That winter brought strange interlopers –
Sussex, Dorset or Leicester Sheep –
Replacing Surrey’s homebred cows
Upon their hoof moiled beat.
Then one sheep teased a barb wire fence,
Reinforced with chicken wire,
That kept them from a richer diet
Than faded grass and briar.
Swarming tightly through the gap
Heads bobbing as they barged –
Like an army unrestrained,
Over the top they charged.
Among the rows of leeks and cabbage
Began their marauding spread
‘Til they saw a man approach
And a stalking canine head.
The shambling flock took formation
And led by one sheep’s eyes –
Sped by fear, they smashed the fence
Back to their home side.
As torn white flags marked the fences,
The lame and injured numbers grew –
The dash-eyed many from behind
Drove on the curious few.
A foggy night in January
They climbed up to the railway line –
Eleven were slain by a train
Upon the Tonbridge Line.
(Written for share a poem in November 2020 when the theme was Remembrance)