Eleanor Scholz was traveling through France with her boyfriend and was out for a hike on her own. As she was making her way along the trail, she heard some sheep coming, which wasn’t unusual — but when they came into view, she realized something incredible was happening. The sheep were randomly following a woman who was out for a run.
“It took me a moment to understand what I was seeing,” Scholz told us. “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. Then, I was concerned that she was being chased and that there might be some risk of being stampeded, so I got off of the trail and stepped behind a tree. 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.”
As the pair chatted, the runner filled Scholz in. The sheep were apparently lost, and when they saw her run by, they decided to follow her. They needed a leader, and they chose her. The sheep were very unbothered by the stop along the trail, and some of them trotted over to say hi to Scholz.
“They all just stopped and waited, it was the funniest thing,” Scholz 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.”
The sheep waited patiently while the runner told Scholz the story — and as soon as she started running again, they did too.
“They immediately ran after her,” Scholz said. “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.”
The runner was planning on leading the sheep back to an area with some pastures to hopefully get them back to where they were supposed to be. She had no idea how they’d gotten lost or why they’d chosen to follow her, but once they had, she made it her mission to help them.
“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,” Scholz said. “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.”