Daisy on the pastoral

Daisy and I are walking through a pastoral scene. True, the pastoral scene is comprised mostly of sheep – but there are enough sheep to suggest that shepherds are sleeping and singing on the hillside. I comment on this to Daisy. The conventions of pastoral, I say, tell us that shepherds recline under those trees to sing of their love. And do the conventions of pastoral tell us whether dogs must be kept on their leads? asks Daisy. I’m not sure about that, I confess, thinking it unlikely. The sheep scuffle about in front of us. I know that Daisy would like nothing better than to run and gambol with them joyously. She gives her lead a tug. Well? she asks. I’m sorry, Daisy, I reply, that’s not going to happen: this pastoral scene requires you to stay out of it.

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