Love ewes: Australian lines up his sheep in the shape of a heart to mourn beloved aunt
Ben Jackson, a sheep farmer, was stuck in a COVID lockdown. So he put down grain to get the sheep in formation and sent drone video of the result to his Auntie Deb’s funeral.
GUYRA, Australia — An Australian farmer couldn’t go to his aunt’s funeral because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. So he paid his respects and expressed his love by arranging dozens of sheep in the shape of a heart and sending the video to the funeral.
Drone-shot video of pregnant ewes munching barley while unwittingly expressing Ben Jackson’s affection for his beloved Auntie Deb was viewed by mourners at her funeral in the city of Brisbane in Queensland state.
Posted online, the video also drew an emotional response on social media.
Jackson was locked down across a state border at his farm in Guyra in New South Wales state, which is 270 miles away.
“It took me a few goes to get it right,” Jackson said. “And the final result is what you see. That was as close to a heart as I could get it.”
Jackson started experimenting with making shapes with sheep to relieve the monotonous stress of hand-feeding livestock during a devastating drought across most of Australia that broke in the early months of the pandemic.
If he spelled the names of his favorite musical bands with grain dropped from the back of a truck, he found that the flock would roughly adopt the same shape for several minutes.
“It certainly lifted my spirits back in the drought,” Jackson said. “This heart that I’ve done for my auntie, it certainly seems like it’s had a bit of an effect across Australia.
“Maybe we all just need to give ourselves a big virtual hug.”
Jackson said he was lucky to have any grain left on his property after a mouse plague this year that followed the drought.