The runner came up with a strategy to lead the sheep back to their home.
In a hilarious incident, a runner encountered a flock of sheep and what happened afterward is going viral on social media. Eleanor Scholz traveled to France with her boyfriend from California. She went for a short trek in the nearby countryside near Puy de Dôme, according to Bored Panda. And suddenly she heard a familiar sound and turned around to see a flock of sheep walking and baaing along the trail. The sheep moved toward her and seemed to be following a woman dressed in running clothes. She told The Dodo, "It took me a moment to understand what I was seeing. At first, I thought maybe she was a shepherd, but she wasn’t dressed like any shepherd I’d ever seen, and it seemed unusual that a shepherd would be running."
Eleanor moved off the trail and stood behind a tree while yelling for the runner out of concern for the woman's safety. When the runner noticed Eleanor, she stopped to talk to her. Eleanor explained, "When she stopped to talk with me, all of the sheep stopped and waited for her, and that’s when I realized that something truly whimsical was happening."
The woman explained that she was running by when the sheep, who appeared to be lost, decided to follow her. They chose her as their involuntary shepherd and followed her along the hiking trail. Some of the sheep became intrigued and came up to Eleanor while the women were talking. She said, "Some of them immediately walked over to me, and I was worried they’d start following me instead."
"But they stood there patiently while she and I talked. They didn’t seem stressed or particularly winded, it was the funniest thing." However, the runner wasn't worried instead she wanted to lead the sheep back to their home. She came up with a quick strategy for how she would move the sheep. She would rush back in the direction she came in the hopes that their real owner would call them back because she remembered seeing some pastures. As soon as the runner started moving, the sheep followed her along.
Given that each sheep has a painted mark identifying them, it would be simple to find out who owned them by asking around. "She seemed resigned to her new role as a shepherdess and left me with the impression that she would figure it out and find somewhere safe for them," said Eleanor.
She continued, "The few sheep who had been checking me out as a possible new shepherd changed their minds when they saw their friends start to leave—ultimately the whole flock stuck together and followed the runner off down the trail." Eleanor doesn't know what happened next but she said she would love to know if the runner was successful in leading the sheep back home.
"I’d love to know the whole story, but I only got a brief glimpse of her wild sheep encounter and am happy just to have been able to witness it." She shared a video of the encounter on Instagram which quickly went viral and has gathered over 30 million views. She wrote in the caption, "One of the best things I’ve seen. Do you think they’re still chasing her?" People were extremely delighted to see this encounter. One Instagram user wrote in the comments, "I am so glad you captured this. This made me laugh for a solid five minutes. I can’t imagine having to stop and explain to everyone you pass that you also don’t really know why a whole herd of sheep is following you."
"Legend has it that she and the sheep are still running," wrote another.