HERDING SHEEP

        Nobody fenced their individual fields. Cattle and horses roamed at will until about April 15th of each year, according to the season when growing crops would be damaged if livestock was allowed to run loose any longer.
        At Sacrament meetings and other public gatherings each year, about April 1st to 15th, notice would be given out to the people just when the fields would be declared closed and owners must take care of their livestock. It meant that our sheep which had grazed over the fields west and north and even as far as Nephi Caspers home, must now be taken care of. Brother Will must stay our of school and herd them. It was lonesome for Will to go with the sheep alone, so why not let Hyrum go with him? So I went with Brother Will and holding to his hand much of the time, and especially did I need the help if there was a ditch to cross such as Spring Creek Ditch which often carried a good stream. He would jump over the ditch, then he would reach my hand and say, "Jump." I had to jump or land in the ditch. He was four years older than I and quite stout. We had free range for our sheep, about 250 to 300 head not including lambs. We could graze them anywhere south of the old Heber-Charleston road and west of the Heber-Daniel road. The Daniel Creek fields were far enough south that we need not worry about them. As time went on each year, a few people gradually began closing in on us. Shall I say, trespassing on our rights? Well, anyway, they began breaking up more land and sowing crops and we had to herd the sheep closer. It was during the spring months of 1884 and 1885 that I helped brother Will to herd the sheep. Those two seasons Uncle Will Widdison helped father to take care of the farm. In the Spring of 1886 Uncle Will Widdison went to work for P.H. McGuire at his sawmill in Lake Creek. Father must have more help on the farm. Brother Will was 11 years old. He could drive a team and help put in the crops. Hyrum was seven years and eight months old. Ralph was two years younger. Hyrum knew how to herd sheep. Ralph could go with Hyrum. Ralph could see over the tops of the sagebrush most of the time, but he must stay close to Hyrum and not get lost. Hyrum knows where the lucern patches are, where the sheep might do damage. The herders must keep careful watch. If the sheep get close to the alfalfa patches they will smell it and then will start off on the run for the better feed which they liked. A good thing we had a dog. Mother would put up good lunches for us, and we would hunt for the sage hen nests. If we could find the nest before the hens started setting on the eggs they were sure good to eat. We liked eggs, but did not know the taste of eggs in the winter time. We did not know that  chickens would lay eggs in the wintertime. We spent many a day out with the sheep when it was stormy and cold but we would decide where we could best hold the sheep that certain day and then would build up a large sage brush fire. Sometimes we would pull a lot of green sagebrush and build us a seat by the fire.
        In those early days I remember the sheep contracted skab diseases. Some sheep would loose a lot of wool on the sage brush. The first days Ralph and I started herding the sheep, we would get tired and we let the sheep go home in the middle of the afternoon. Then father said, "Boys if you will keep the sheep out until sundown each night until they are sent to the summer range, I will give each of you one dollar.

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