August 30, 2021
Recently, an Australian farmer herded his sheep into a huge,” heartfelt” valentine shape—photographed from above by a drone—in order to pay tribute to his aunt after she died, People magazine reports.
Indeed, Ben Jackson recently lost his aunt Debby, according to the BBC—but he was prevented from attending her funeral by COVID-19 restrictions Down Under. Jackson was 400km (248 miles) away in New South Wales when his Aunt Debby lost her two-year cancer battle in Queensland—and regulations forbade him from travelling to Brisbane to be present at her last rites.
So, in an effort to participate and show his love, Jackson posted a video on social media on Tuesday, August 24. In it a drone captures the moment when hundreds of his sheep are released into a pasture to form a huge heart by following a trail of grain laid out for them.
“There was no way I could get up there and see her, say cheerio, or go to the funeral,” he told the outlet, “So I felt hopeless, helpless—I didn’t really know what to do. But because I was doing a bit of feeding already, I just decided to do a massive heart in the ground, which in all earnest, pales in comparison to hers.”
The farmer’s family received the video ahead of Aunt Debby’s funeral and played the sweet clip at the service while Jackson watched on through a live stream.
Jackson told BBC he had done other “sheep artworks” in the past and his aunt, an “incredibly giving” woman, was a fan of the animals’ designs. The video of Jackson’s tribute to his aunt has gone viral since the clip appeared on Twitter.
“She would be proud as punch to see so many people smiling and enjoying the heart I’ve made for her,” he said. “It’s just love. Love’s sensational.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Jackson shared that he started experimenting with shapes and spelling out his favorite bands’ names by leaving trails of feed for his sheep amid Australia’s drought last year.
“It certainly lifted my spirits back in the drought,” he told the outlet.
Speaking about the reaction people have had on social media to the sheep shape, the farmer said, “This heart that I’ve done for my auntie, it certainly seems like it’s had a bit of an effect across Australia. Maybe we all just need to give ourselves a big virtual hug.”
Research contact: @people