October 13, 2016
Driving South from Auckland on State Highway 1, the urban landscape begins to disappear quickly.
The spacious countryside begins to come into full view. Lush, green, rolling fields extend infinitely into the horizon, while snuggling up close to the cavernous mountains.
It is an amazing, memorable vista and is the perfect introduction into the New Zealand countryside.
As you move along the busy motorway, your eyes cannot stop looking at the numerous rolling hills and luscious valleys, while your brain immediately reminds you to concentrate on your driving skills. These are the breathtaking landscapes that New Zealand is well known for.
Far up in the hills, your eyes notice numerous beige colored "things" moving, of which you cannot decipher. Some sort of tumbleweed, maybe?
As the road bends and you speed closer to that direction, it becomes clear: they are sheep.
Hundreds of them. Everywhere.
There are more than 20 million sheep compared to just over 3 million human beings in New Zealand. This ratio has shrunk recently, as there are less farms due to changes in the livestock market and generational issues that plague the farm industry. Despite this, it is still an impressive statistic.
New Zealand’s excellent climate allows the sheep (plus cows and other livestock) to live quite well. The rich, fertile vegetation is so pure, and flourishes with each change of the season. Perfect for grazing and for the open spaces that allow for necessary hearding.
With such an abundance of land and grazing areas, Little Bo Peep would have a challenge before her. FInding your own flock is difficult, as with every turn of the road, there is yet another farm with sheep and cute baby lambs in tow.
One thing that is apparent is that sheep are constantly eating. While most of the adult flock feed on the rich earth, the adorable little lambs always seem to play with each other like excited toddlers. The lambs often bask in the warm sunshine to sleep, as they lie on the fields like soft, cuddly pillows.
Ultimately, Little Bo Peep has a serious problem. Not only would her sheep be missing in the New Zealand countryside, they have decided to leave her for other hills and valleys of their choosing.
The moral of this story is her sheep are not lost, but they have moved on to greener and better pastures.
Sheeps rule in New Zealand and this child's tale still ends happily, as the sheep have chosen to live out their dreams and definately won't be returning home.
Sorry Little Bo Peep.