The shepherds crook, smooth and comfortable to hold, containing an inner warmth like the spirit of its maker. At its root it is still the most basic tool of a shepherd but at its most beautiful and complex it is a work of craftsmanship and art as fine as found in any gallery.
There are those that believe that the shepherd's crook is a tool whose value lies in the past. With the advent of more and more machinery it is often seen as more of an inconvenience than a useful tool. Even among those that train herding dogs there are many that prefer a short fiberglass rod. However to those that are familiar with a well balanced, comfortable shepherd's crook nothing else will do, it is as much an extension of who they are as it is a practical tool.
Of course a crook can be used to help control sheep and signal to a dog, if made of sturdy enough material it can be used to capture a sick or wayward sheep but that is far from all. When looking at animals with another it can be used to point out individuals or more them around to get a better look at one. Unlike a fiberglass rod using a crook for such things feels natural, looks natural and adds a certain indefinable gravitas to your words.
You can't lean on a fiberglass rod when standing around talking to friends, acquaintances and competitors, you can't flick the tip about to emphasis a point or express frustration or agreement. Having a good crook can even help with your health and the health of your flock as it encourages you to go out and enjoy a walk through your flock, getting some exercise and a good look at your animals while they are calm (something you can't do properly on the back of a 4 wheeler).