Twenty-five years ago, I was a volunteer on an Israeli kibbutz. I was given the job of shepherding a flock of sheep one day amongst the rocky pastures of the Galilee. I was supplied a shepherd's staff and a dog that had been trained by the local Bedouin Arabs to respond to Hebrew commands.
Off I went into the hills with my staff, dog and 300 sheep feeling somewhat archaic and ridiculous. I must confess, shepherding sheep -- at least for a one-day stint -- wasn't all that demanding. There was a lot of watching and grazing, and not just by the sheep. The novelty soon wore off and I got bored.
Mid-day I was told to move the flock to another field across a narrow road to prevent over-grazing. That was when things got interesting. "GareshYamina!" "Drive them right!" I shouted and the dog shot off like a bullet. Amazingly enough, he drove the sheep to the right.
However, he chased them too far. "GareshS'molah!" "Drive them left!" Off the dog and the sheep went to the left -- but again, too far.
Left and right I drove them for 20 minutes. But I could not get them where they needed to go -- across the road. Frustrated, I abandoned my efforts and wandered over to the new field to scout an easier route. As I stood there pondering this problem, I glanced back and was flabbergasted to see all 300 sheep cascading over the dividing road, down into the new field, following me.