FARMINGTON — Children at the Mallett School learned how to herd sheep Friday, first by watching border collies do it and then some of them doing it themselves.

Two Coves Farm owner Joe Grady brought three Katahdin sheep to the school. He put up a fence on the lawn to confine them and border collies Johnny, 9, and Lily, 5.

Schoolchildren lined up outside of the fence to watch Grady demonstrate how Johnny herded the sheep. Grady, of Harpswell, held a red shepherd’s crook as he gave Johnny commands. He also made growling sounds and the dog appeared to know what he was supposed to do.

They like to work, he told the children.

The dog ran around and around behind the sheep, which kept going in the direction Johnny wanted them to go.

Lily also demonstrated how herding was done. She didn’t listen quite as well as Johnny to Grady’s instructions. Lily broke two, he said. She jumped up on the lead sheep initially to let him know she was the boss. She didn’t hurt the sheep, he said, but she wasn’t supposed to do it.

When it came time for the children to herd sheep, Grady gave them a few rules: no chasing the sheep, no biting the sheep — which drew laughter from the children — and listen to his instructions.

Five kindergartners were the first to get to go under the fence. They walked behind the sheep and they moved in the direction the students wanted them to go.

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