A hiker in France came across the unusual sight of a trail runner coming down the trail with a flock of sheep following close behind.
The runner stopped and so did the flock. She chatted for a quick moment with the hiker, Eleanor Scholz, but, only speaking French, the runner soon continued on like the Pied Piper with the flock of 100 or so sheep following right behind.
In a humorous twist, Scholz posted video of the encounter on Instagram with Rick Nelson singing “I will follow you” in the background.
Runner’s World posted the video with the original audio on Instagram, as seen below (on most servers).
View this post on Instagram
Scholz told Runner’s World that the encounter occurred in central France near Puy de Dôme.
The video got so much attention on Instagram that Scholz did a follow-up post to answer some of the questions posed by commenters.
“I don’t actually know how long they’d been following her, but I believe the runner was leading the sheep back to a pasture when I encountered them,” she wrote. “I don’t speak French so our conversation was pretty brief, but she let me know that they were lost and without a sheep dog, followed her instead, and she was leading them back towards where she’d seen some pastures. It wouldn’t have been difficult to ask around in that small community and figure out who they belong to, since the sheep were all painted to identify which farm they came from.
“Probably a confusing day for the farmer to discover that the whole flock had gone missing, but this isn’t an entirely unusual sheep behavior, and I’m guessing they were reunited by the end of the day.
“I am so curious to know if this runner will wind up seeing the video, though!! Would love to hear from her how this all turned out in the end.”
Incidentally, according to Merriam-Webster, one definition for Pied Piper is “a charismatic person who attracts followers.” Though it doesn’t identify followers as being sheep, it does seem to fit in this case.
Photos courtesy of Eleanor Scholz.