The Herd

Herds are always on my list while traveling. When I see them, I stop the car to have a short conversation with the shepherd about his life and how he started this, how many animals he has etc. Generally, in rural Turkey, being a shepherd is sort of considered as being a philosopher. They have a lot of time for thinking, and no surprise, most of them I've met prove this with their long sentences and stories. 

At that time, when I traveled around Tekirdağ, in the northwestern Turkey just close to the border of Bulgaria, I saw a shepherd and stopped the car as in my previous road trips. At the time of a magical sunset, the fields lying down ahead seemed like a torn piece of a beautiful picture. The shepherd - Ercan has a herd of 400sheep, and apparently, he even gives names to some of his favorites. When I asked him what his dream is, “The only dream I have is being retired then living on a pension for a long time", he says. He used to work at a jean factory Mavi Jeans -one of the biggest brands of Turkish textile world- as a worker for ten years. "It feels that my new job is more liberating than being inside a factory all the time", he adds. 

© 2023 by Deniz Yılmaz Akman

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