A woman who helped a daycare worker and two children who were attacked by a sheep Tuesday is suffering soreness and bruises from what she described as a terrifying ordeal.
Darlene McKeown and her husband Earl pulled out of their driveway on Grandom Place when they came upon a woman with two small children who appeared to be pinned against a hedge by a large sheep.
“The lady [was] screaming, with two kids, and a sheep was facing her head-on and had her cornered against the hedge,” McKeown said. “So I got out and I said, well, what’s happening, and she said the sheep’s attacking us … she was hysterical. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. She was just screaming.”
McKeown, 64, said she looked at the ram named Moses and told him to follow her and the animal actually started following her toward its pen.
“The next thing I know I’m flying in the air and I’m on the ground,” she said. “It head-butted me from behind. It scared the hell out of me. I went running back out of the driveway – because I was hoping to get it back in its enclosure. I don’t anything about sheep, right? I’ll never do that again – so it chased me back out of the yard and it went right back to that woman and had her pinned again against the trees.”
McKeown’s husband, 67, got out of the car and grabbed Moses by his wool to hold him long enough for McKeown to grab one of the children and put him in the car of another passerby who’d stopped to help and was already calling 911 from her car.
“I turned around and there’s my husband in the ditch,” McKeown said. “The [sheep] had head-butted him. He’d lost his grip on him and it head-butted him into the ditch and it was going at him in the ditch with his head.”
By this time the woman, who operates a nearby daycare, and the children were being driven back to the daycare and ambulances were on their way, but McKeown now had to get the sheep away from her husband, so she grabbed a shovel from a nearby carport.
“So I went running back out with this shovel and I went at the sheep to get him away from my husband, so he had time to get up,” she said. “I scared the sheep back enough that he could get up out of the ditch. I threw the shovel over at the side of the road and both of us went running … back to our car and slammed the doors shut and the sheep is chasing us.”
By this time police from Nanaimo were arriving on scene and kept an eye on Moses until his owner Crystal Hanson arrived to put the animal back in his pen.
McKeown said she and here husband were sore from the beating they took, but grateful they didn’t suffer any broken bones.
Sherry Conly, the mother of the two-year-old boy who was head-butted, said the child didn’t suffer any serious injuries.
“He is just fine,” Conly said. “He doesn’t even have a bruise, somehow.”
But McKeown said she remains worried for her safety and for her neighbours who must go by the property to pick up mail from Canada Post boxes, where there is also a school bus stop.
“Everybody thinks it’s so funny, but that poor woman is so traumatized, from the daycare, I’m traumatized, and thank God there was a woman there checking her mail and hear that poor lady screaming because, you know what, that sheep would have killed those kids. It was so angry,” McKeown said.
The operator of the daycare declined to comment to the News Bulletin.