March 23, 2019

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

Ewe have got to be kidding me!

Author Name

Katy Humphries

Author Program

Ireland: Social Sciences

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2019

Student Major


It was reading week, 2019. My boyfriend Jay was visiting me from the US, and I was just looking for a quiet, rural Irish holiday. We set out on a journey to the Wild Atlantic Way, the west coast of Ireland. Our plan was to stay in a cute and dainty cottage in the heart of Connemara, where there are more sheep than people and miles and miles of country roads. Unfortunately, it would end up being those very sheep on those very country roads that would lead to our demise.

My boyfriend and I made two crucial mistakes on our trip to Connemara. The first, and perhaps most crucial error, was that we went to the middle of the Irish countryside with no car. You might think, how did you end up in the middle of nowhere with no car? Well, reader, we took three very odd busses and one train ride, plus an exorbitantly expensive cab driven by a sweet old man. Anyway, we had absolutely 0 cars. The second error we made is that we are far too trusting on animals, especially ones with horns.

Let me take you through the day that changed everything. Jay and I were absolutely loving our cottage. In the morning, we could see sheep outside the windows, eating grass on the hillside. Perhaps they were mocking us, but we didn’t know it at the time. We decided to walk to the nearest town, which was a simple two-hour walk alongside a busy highway. Naivety took over, and we set out without a second thought. Halfway through the walk, we saw a shape in the distance. A familiar shape, a sheep shape. As we walked closer, however, the sheep turned to us and we realized this was a ram, horns and all. He immediately bowed his head and began running.

Jay and I only knew one thing about animal attacks, which was that usually, you should not run away. So we stood still and yelled “please stop! No! Stop!” The ram was relentless, charging at a mighty pace. We jumped up on a stone wall to protect ourselves, and I burst into tears. The ram stood staring at us, waiting for us to invade his territory again. Finally, after a harrowing ordeal that I don’t have space to recount for you all, but which lasted about 30 minutes, he left us alone.

So I would like to tell you a few tips I have since learned from Wikihow about what to do when being charged at by a ram. I simply want you to be safe. Learn from my mistakes.

  1. Always carry a big stick (3 to 4 ft long is ideal.)
  2. Swing the stick at the ram in a downward motion.
  3. Wait for the ram to charge at you, then tuck and roll at the last moment.

Thanks, Wikihow! And thank YOU for listening.