Brought to You By Yellow 428


Yellow 428's last resting place
Yellow 428’s last resting place

By Chris Gandy

This morning I found one of our of Dorper sheep dead in the paddock. We knew her only by an identifying ear tag – Yellow 428. She was 5 years of age, had a lamb 2 months ago and seemed to be a picture of health – and for me couldn’t have picked a worst time to die.

I had a day full of appointments and a to do list as long as your arm.

So as to not attract wild dog and foxes, our practice is bury any dead animals. With our tractor out of action, I had no choice but to grab a pick and a shovel, start digging a hole – and quick!

When I was younger I would have cursed poor Yellow 428 with every shovel load of soil I threw out of the hole. My mind focused on the other things I should be doing and how this inconsiderate sheep had thrown my day into chaos. With each shovel load the hole would seem to be getting smaller not bigger. I could feel my blood pressure rising and by the time I had finished I would be totally knackered and in a lather of sweat.

But today was different.

I am not too sure when it happened, think it was soon after I started part-time farming, but I now view physical chores as an opportunity to think.

So here’s what I accomplished in the time it took to bury little Yellow 428:

  • Composed 4 email responses I needed to get away today.
  • Finalised a strategy for a difficult conversation with a colleague later in the week.
  • Can up with 3 ideas for future blog posts (including this one).

All up, by my standards, a pretty productive 20 minutes or so. And here’s the other strange thing. I didn’t even raise a sweat and had no lingering aches and pains either (and I am not the fittest person going around).

Thanks to Yellow 428, I was again reminded on the power of positive thinking and what a wonderful organ the brain is. Lets use it constructively. It’s there to make life easier, richer and more productive

Chris is the founder and a Director of Cause & Effective. Our mission is to strengthen the leadership and capacity of cause-based organisations

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