Sheila’s Sheep

Uta Hasekamp
Online-Krimi Sheila's Sheep

Englisch / Erwachsene mittelschwer

“So you want me to find your sheep?” Emilia Ramsay heard David Rowe say to the fifteen-year-old girl who had obviously been crying. “Yes, please,” the girl replied, “It’s been stolen and I’ve been told that you’re a policeman.”

Emilia noticed David and his girlfriend Alix exchanging a glance. She herself had arrived only a few minutes before, planning to spend the day with her friends and the night in their spare room. Unfortunately, they would not be able to go for a walk – Alix was recovering from a sprained ankle – but this could not be helped.

About three months before, in February, Alix and David had moved into their new home in Huntly Cross, a stone house near the church of the picturesque village in the gently rolling hills north of York. Although it was not more than half an hour’s drive from St Stephen, Emilia had not managed a real visit before. All the three of them had been busy, and from what David had told Emilia she gathered that he himself had not yet had time to really get to know Huntly Cross and its inhabitants – a small village where, Emilia thought, people looked out for each other. And in such a close-knit community new arrivals had better make a good first impression.

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Alix was obviously thinking along the same lines. “He’s a police inspector in St Stephen,” she told the girl who had said that her name was Sheila Drewe, “and just now he’s working on a number of cases that keep him at his desk all day.”

David raised an eyebrow at her. “So looking for a sheep should be a welcome change?” he asked.

“Think of all the fresh air,” Alix gave him a mischievous smile, “And isn’t it obvious that someone has to do something about the sheep? We can’t have sheep going missing in the place where we live.”

David threw another – questioning – glance at Emilia. “Oh, Alix is right,” she said. To Sheila she added, “I’m a private investigator, but I’ve never looked for a missing sheep. I’d like to help.”

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Tipp:

  • Present verwendest du zur Beschreibung von einmaligen oder wiederholten Handlungen in der Gegenwart (Beispiele: I work, he works, I do, he does)
  • Simple past verwendest du zur Beschreibung von Handlungen, die in der Vergangenheit begonnen haben und bereits abgeschlossen sind (Beispiele: I worked, I did, he spoke)
  • Past perfect verwendest du zur Beschreibung von Handlungen, die zu einem Zeitpunkt in der Vergangenheit angefangen haben und noch andauern oder schon abgeschlossen sind, aber noch Einfluss auf die Gegenwart haben (Beispiele: I had worked, he had spoken)
  • Will-future verwendest du zur Beschreibung von Vorhersagen künftiger Handlungen, von nicht beeinflussbaren künftigen Handlungen und von spontanen Entschlüssen (Beispiel: I'll work oder I will work, he'll go oder he will go)
  • Going-to-future verwendest du bei der Beschreibung von bestehenden Absichten und logischen Schlussfolgerungen für die Zukunft (Beispiele: I am going to work, he is going to speak)

Present, future, simple past or past perfect?
Vervollständige den Lückentext mit den Verben in der richtigen Zeitform. Die Verben stehen in ihrer Ausgangsform jeweils vor der Textlücke. Wenn du die Future-Form gebrauchst, achte auf die Verwendung von will-future und going-to-future.

Klicke auf das Fragezeichen oben rechts, um Informationen zum Gebrauch der Zeitformen zu bekommen.

1. Huntly Cross (be)
a small village between York and St Stephen. Its church (date back)
to the 14th century – the first Lord of Huntly (commission)
it in 1345. The building still (look)
good, but two years ago a storm (damage)
the roof. Shortly afterwards, a few villagers (repair)
it provisionally, but, things being as they (be)
, a thorough restoration (cost)
a pretty penny.
2. Chief Inspector David Rowe and Alix Hill (move)
to Huntly Cross in May. They (look)
for a house for some time, and it (be)
a piece of luck that a friend (find out)
that the house in Huntly Cross (come up)
for sale. They both (think)
that they (like)
living in the small village. Unfortunately, they both (work)
long hours, so they (can)
to spend much time at home.

The sheep was not just any sheep. It was a pure-bred Border Leicester called Sir Oscar and had won a number of prizes at agricultural shows. After Sheila had calmed down a bit she managed to tell them what she thought had happened.

She had come home late the evening before – due to some emergency, her weekend visit to the family of a friend from school had had to be curtailed – and had only managed to have a look at the sheep a few hours before. “When I looked for Oscar at about half past twelve, he wasn’t in the sheepfold any more,” she said. “I had finished practising my fiddle, Dad insists on it, and wanted to begin fitting him for next weekend’s show, but he wasn’t there. There was no gap in the fence where he could have escaped. Ned helped me look and he said that he thought that in one part of the fence the two lowest rails might have been taken out and put back again. So someone must have stolen him.”

“Who is Ned?” Emilia asked, “And what do your parents say?”

“Ned Brown works at our farm,” Sheila explained, “and he takes care of the sheep when Dad’s away. My Mum doesn’t live with us, and Dad went to a friend’s wedding yesterday. I spoke to him on the phone. He cursed when he heard what had happened and said that he would be back as soon as possible.” “But Oscar is my sheep,” she added, a bit stubbornly, “I am the owner.”

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Er hat auf der Farm gearbeitet.
Er war auf einer Hochzeit.
Er war im Dorf unterwegs.

“Have you had a good look for Oscar?” David wanted to know.

“Of course,” Sheila replied, a bit indignant. “I even had a look around Hill Farm, our nearest neighbour. They’ve got a number of Border Leicesters as well. But Oscar’s not there.”

“Do you have any idea who could have taken him?” Emilia asked.

“No,” Sheila said, after giving the question some thought.

“Might someone have seen him at a show and become interested in him? Someone who has asked you about him, perhaps?” David queried.

“Do you think so?” Sheila asked, eyes wide open.

“I’m afraid it’s a possibility,” David replied.

“There are other farmers whose sheep also take part in the competitions. Some of them have admired Oscar, but I don’t think … I mean, they’re always so nice.”

“Do you remember their names?” David asked. “A few of them,” Sheila replied reluctantly. “Could you think about it and make a list for us?” David suggested. Sheila nodded.

“How much might a sheep like Oscar be worth?” Emilia wondered.

“A lot,” Sheila said. “Only a few weeks ago my Dad told me that he was probably worth a couple of thousand pounds. But we don’t want to sell him.”

“Has anyone made you an offer?” was David’s next question.

“No,” Sheila answered, “but I’ve often been told how beautiful he is.”

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Tipp:
Vervollständige den Lückentext mit den Verben in der richtigen Zeitform. Die deutsche Übersetzung der Verben steht jeweils vor der Textlücke, und die folgende Liste zählt die englischen Verben auf, die du verwenden musst.

Present, present perfect or simple past?

Complete the text by using the English equivalents of the German verbs given in parentheses. Take care to use the right tenses and the right forms of the verbs. To help you, here is a list of the English verbs you have to use:
already begin – appear – be (x 3) – clean – complain – explain – get up  give – have – have to – not always like – not feel – not find out yet – shape  – take – take time – use (x 3) – wash (x 2)

Before a show, there (sein)
lots of things to do: Sheila (säubern)
and (formen)
Oscar’s wool, so that his body (erscheinen)
to best advantage. She (schon beginnen)
this time-consuming fitting for next week’s show: Last weekend, she – helped by her father – (geben)
him a shearing. Then she (waschen)
him, which Oscar (nicht immer mögen)
and which (Zeit erfordern)
because sheep’s wool (sein)
full of lanolin. “We (haben)
more than a bottle of shampoo left and you (gebrauchen, aufbrauchen)
it all,” her father (sich beschweren)
afterwards.
After washing Oscar, Sheila and her father (verwenden)
hand shears to give Oscar another, more precise shearing or trimming. On show day, Sheila (waschen)
him again. She (aufstehen)
frightfully early, because Oscar’s wool (müssen)
dry, which (dauern)
up to six hours. Sometimes Sheila (benutzen)
a hair dryer to speed the drying process up a bit. “But you have to be careful,” she (erläutern)
to a school friend, “Last time the dryer (sein)
too hot, so Oscar’s wool (sich nicht anfühlen)
right. I (noch nicht herausbekommen)
how best to dry a sheep.”

Shortly afterwards, they arrived at the farm and went to a sheepfold near the farmhouse. It was the first time that both David and Emilia saw Border Leicester sheep: they were quite big, and their long white ears looked like rabbits’ ears. It being May, there were also lots of lambs running around. For some minutes they stood, Emilia exclaiming at the cuteness of the lambs and David with a big smile on his face. Sheila, taking pity on Emilia, gathered a lamb up in her arms and gave it to Emilia to pet.

“They are so lovely,” Emilia finally said, “but how do you tell them apart?” “I cannot tell apart most of them without looking at their ear tags,” Sheila explained, “but our flock of Border Leicesters is not very big. We have about fifty ewes and only three rams – who are bigger than the ewes. And Oscar is the biggest of them.”

“Yes, but how would we identify him in another flock of sheep?” David asked. “We use those yellow plastic ear tags,” Sheila replied, “and Oscar’s number ends in 187. Besides, there aren’t that many Border Leicester Sheep hereabouts. They are more common in Scotland.”

Together they looked at the part of the fence that Ned Brown had indicated to Sheila. “These nails seem to be newer than the other ones,” David said, “So someone could indeed have taken a sheep out by removing the two bottom rails.” “OK,” he then said, getting up again, “what do we do now?”

Emilia sensed that he was a bit reluctant to continue their investigation before he had spoken to Sheila’s father, but she herself saw no harm in making a few discreet inquiries – which, she thought, might also serve for David to get to know a couple of his neighbours at Huntly Cross. Besides, she wanted to know more about Drewe Farm.

“Let’s speak to Ned Brown,” she suggested. “We might also pay a visit to the neighbouring farm – maybe they’ve seen or heard something. And Sheila, it might be a good idea if you started on that list of people who might be interested in Oscar.”

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Tipp:
Du verwendest Simple-Formen, wenn etwas allgemeingültig ist (regelmäßig, oft, nie) und auch bei Aufzählungen. Findet etwas genau in diesem Moment statt oder beschreibst du mehrere gleichzeitige Handlungen, verwendest du die Progressive-Form (zum Beispiel I am working right now).

Simple or progressive forms?
Vervollständige den Lückentext in den richtigen Zeitformen. Die Wörter für die Lücken stehen jeweils in Klammern davor.

In some instances, you have to use a progressive form to show that something is taking place at this very moment or is taking some time.

1. When David (get)
home to Huntly Cross he usually (not do)
any detective work. But today he (look)
for a missing sheep. Just now, David and Emilia (ask around)
to find out who could have seen Oscar. In the meantime Sheila (compile)
a list of people who might be interested in Oscar.
2. For more than a year, Sheila (show)
Oscar in competitions. Last autumn, she (take part)
in five of them. Oscar (win)
four times. But he (do not well)
the fifth time, because for the thirty minutes before he was judged he (show)
undue (unangemessen) interest in a pretty ewe near to him.

Their visit to Hill Farm did not yield any results, but was interesting enough. The owner, Mary Thurston, was a bit amused that David and Emilia were looking for Sheila’s sheep, but answered their questions readily. Unfortunately, she had not seen Oscar. She also thought it unlikely that he had broken out of the sheepfold.

“I have to say that Anthony Drewe’s walls and fences are usually in very good repair,” she told them, “So far, no sheep of his has managed to do an escaping act, turning up in a field with a neighbour’s ewes, as sometimes happens. Not that I would say anything against Oscar’s tupping my ewes, which would usually cost me money. But it’s not the right time of year anyway.”

“It’s bad that he can’t be found,” she then said thoughtfully, “But if it’s any consolation to Sheila – it’s not very likely that someone has stolen him for his meat. He’s much too valuable for that.”

“Sheila’s sheep? Oscar?” Ned Brown, who lived at the end of the village, was surprised when a police inspector and his “colleague” turned up on his doorstep. “Yes, he’s missing, and we’ve been looking for him. But there hasn’t been much that I’ve been able to do. And now it seems that the lass has found herself some outside help.”

“Sheila said you thought that a part of the fence looked as if someone had broken into the sheepfold.”

Ned scratched his head. “I can’t be sure,” he said, “but when I think about it, this is what could have happened. The lock to the fold wasn’t forced and no self-respecting sheep thief would heave a 350-pound ram over a fence.”

He hesitated. “So I told Sheila,” he said, “she needed something in way of an explanation. But I wouldn’t have thought that she’d manage to rope in the police. Where is she, by the way?”

“In most police investigations you need to get a bigger picture,” David replied, “which is one of the reasons why they are not conducted with the wronged party present.” “But,” he added less formally, “this is not a police investigation yet, it’s more a case of neighbours helping each other. Looking for a missing sheep is not really my line of work.”

“Oh, I see.” Ned seemed a bit relieved. He thought for a moment. “Look,” he said, “I do not know how I can help you. But you said that you wanted to get the bigger picture. If you want to talk to someone else who knows Sheila very well, you might try Nancy Barclay. She teaches the violin and Sheila is her star pupil.”

“Sheila’s sheep? Disappeared?” Mrs Barclay, whom Emilia and David found at home in her cottage at the other end of the village, seemed at a loss for words. “This is most unfortunate, but how can I help?”

Emilia explained things and Mrs Barclay sighed. “I see. Well, Sheila is one of the most gifted pupils I have ever had. What more can I say?”

Don’t get me wrong,” Emilia said, “but it’s not often the case that a farmer’s daughter who is passionate about sheep is also an accomplished violinist.”

“Her father plays the fiddle – as he calls it – himself,” Mrs Barclay explained, “and he recognised his daughter’s talent early on. And he really goes to great lengths to pay for her lessons. Even so I’ve had to lower my fee quite a bit, but for a talented pupil …” Mrs Barclay sighed.

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Tipp: Lies den Textabschnitt genau durch, denn er enthält die Lösung. 

Which instrument do father and daughter play? There is one correct answer.

“Do you have a suspect yet?” Emilia asked when they went back to David and Alix’s house.

“Do you suspect someone?” David asked back.

“I’m beginning to have an idea.”

“So am I.”

They looked at each other. “What do we tell Sheila?” Emilia wondered. “We should phone her and at least say that we are sure Oscar is doing well. Like Mary Thurston told us, nobody steals a prize-winning ram for his meat.”

“We must also explain that there is nothing more we can do today, but that there is a line of inquiry we would like to explore tomorrow.”

With any luck this line of inquiry is going to progress without us helping it along,” Emilia remarked. “Let’s hope so,” David replied.

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Reported speech: 
Der folgende Abschnitt gibt den Textabschnitt, den du gerade gelesen hast, in indirekter Rede wieder. Wähle für jede Textlücke einen Begriff aus, der zur indirekten Rede passt.

When they went back to David and Alix’s house, Emilia asked David if he
a suspect yet. David asked back if she
someone. Emilia replied that
to have an idea, to which David commented that so was he. Emilia wondered what to tell Sheila and suggested phoning her and saying that they
sure that Oscar
doing well, because, like Mary Thurston
, nobody
a prize-winning ram for his meat. David suggested adding that there was nothing more they could do
, but that there was a line of inquiry they
to explore
. Emilia remarked that with any luck
line of inquiry
without
helping it along, and David replied that he sincerely hoped so.

Late in the evening – after Emilia, David and Alix had dined, taken a stroll through the village in the warm May night (which, due to Alix’s ankle, had been rather short) and opened another bottle of wine – they had a visitor. The tall, black-haired man introduced himself as Anthony Drewe. “I’m Sheila’s father,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of phone calls in the last few hours. It seems that you’ve been involved in clearing up the theft of a prize ram. But,” he hesitated, “I’m afraid that it was a false alarm.”

“We thought as much,” David said drily and Emilia nodded her agreement.

“You’d better sit down and have a glass of wine,” Alix suggested.

Anthony sat down heavily on the sofa. “I did not want to tell Sheila on the phone,” he began, “and she was supposed to be at her friend’s this weekend.”

“You need to know,” he continued, “that the income of sheep farmers in the UK is not very good, hasn’t been for quite some time. I try to counter this by also breeding sheep I can sell to other farmers. Sometimes this makes me a bit of money and sometimes not. And sometimes I have a valuable sheep that gets a very good price.”

“Is Oscar such a sheep?” Emilia asked.

Anthony nodded. “I’ve allowed Sheila to put quite a lot of time into training and fitting him for competitions at agricultural shows. I’m of course delighted that she is interested in sheep, but I had not counted on her getting quite so passionate about one single sheep. When we spoke about Oscar a few weeks ago Sheila made it quite clear to me that she’d never think of selling him. At that time nobody wanted to buy him, so I suppose I said something noncommittal. She must have taken this as my agreeing to keeping him forever. But a few days ago I got a phone call from another farmer who is very much interested in pure-breds.”

“And he made you an offer you couldn’t refuse?”

“He did,” Anthony said. “I needed the money, partly to pay for Sheila’s music lessons. You may have heard that she plays the violin quite well and it would be a shame to waste such a talent. Besides, if she does not want to take over the farm one day, she might even become a professional. At least Mrs Barclay thinks that she has what it takes.”

“To come back to Oscar,” he continued, “the price I got for him is going to cover more than a year of Sheila’s fiddle lessons and will help to pay Ned Brown. I would have been hard put to earn that money otherwise. So selling him was a no-brainer. And as a sheep farmer, it’s best not to become attached to a single sheep, which is something Sheila will have to learn. I had planned to explain this, and my financial situation, to her when we were both back at the farm tomorrow evening. But I thought that Sheila might phone Ned from her friend’s house to ask after Oscar, so I impressed upon him not to tell her that he had had to be sold. That was something I needed to do myself. I had no idea that this decision would set off a kind of police investigation.”
“But why did Ned Brown not tell us that Oscar had been sold?” David wanted to know. “Oh, Ned is a shrewd one,” Anthony said. “He did not want to tell you because he couldn’t be sure that you wouldn’t tell Sheila and he thought that it was my story to tell. But when he first spoke to you he had some misgivings about wasting police time. Then he heard that this was not really a police investigation. And so he decided to keep quiet, but to send you on to Mrs Barclay to give you a chance to work out what had happened. Which you seem to have done.”

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Hinweise

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Tipp: Im gerade gelesenen Textabschnitt erfährst du die richtige Antwort.

Warum hat Sheilas Vater das Schaf verkauft?

Weil er eine Allergie gegen Schafe hat.
Damit er Sheilas Geigenstunden bezahlen kann.
Weil sich die Dorfbewohner über Oscar beschwert haben.
Weil man Schafe nicht allein halten soll.

On the following day, Emilia and David visited another sheep farm. This time they were accompanied by Alix, who had decided that she did not want to miss having a look at Oscar and was hobbling along. They were meeting Sheila and her father at the farm of Oscar’s new owner about five miles from Huntly Cross. Sheila was a bit subdued. She had been told by her father and from her behaviour Emilia concluded that a few tears had been shed.

“I’m delighted to finally meet Oscar,” Emilia said when they were standing in the sheepfold, having a look at the prize ram, who, she thought, with his upright posture, white head and light brown fleece, did look impressive. Oscar, however, was not at all interested in them and also did not appear to be very interested in seeing Sheila.

“You see, he’s settling in nicely,” Anthony said to Sheila.

“He seems to be,” Sheila replied, “but maybe he’s offended that you sold him and is putting on a brave front.” A few moments later, she asked wistfully, “There’s no chance that we could buy him back?” Anthony only shook his head.

“How would you pay for him?” Emilia asked.

“I don’t know,” Sheila sighed, “but wouldn’t it help if my fiddle got stolen?”

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Tipp: Kombiniere die Sätze so miteinander, dass sie inhaltlich richtig sind. Zu jedem vorgegebenen Satz passt nur ein weiterer Satzteil.

Conditional sentences: 
Combine the beginnings of the sentences 1 to 6 with their ends a to f to get conditional sentences that are both meaningful and grammatically correct.

1. If a prize ram was stolen, …

2. If Anthony gave another ram to Sheila to train for shows, …

3. If Oscar had really been stolen, …

4. If Sheila had spent the weekend with her friend, …

5. If you dry the wool of a sheep with a hair dryer, …

6. Sheila seems to think that it will help …

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

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