Thursday, 1 October 2015

It's a tough life for some.

We have half a dozen ewes and one ram. One of the ewes is barren, and (soto voce) will wind up in the pot sooner rather than later. (I like to keep this kind of information very low key, as I might have an ovine mutiny on my hands if word got out). Five of the ewes had lambs, and, inexplicably, one lamb managed to dislocate its back leg and was put down.

The ewes and 'Cecil' the ram, meanwhile, are growing wool which needs to be taken off, and it's falling to me to do the 'honour'. Hence the first sentence. One of the ewes was not so happy about being the first I chose. Given that it is at least 50 years since I'd had a shearer's hand-piece in my hand, she was justifiably anxious, and will probably sue me for what could possibly be judged as the worst haircut given to anyone (or thing) in the last hundred years.

I asked the poor old bleater to not feel too bad about her new #1½ as I had been assured that there was only 2 weeks separating a bad haircut from a good one, and to, in the meantime, be a good girl and go into the trees in the cemetery just over the fence where no one can see her.

A hint to anyone contemplating shearing a sheep after a fifty-year hiatus, you should ensure that there is a competent shearer on hand to take over when you realise that your back is in agony and that you still have three quarters of the wool to take off.

One can imagine the ignominy of explaining to the neighbours, who were likely to check in at any time to see how you were getting on, why the sheep was only half-shorn with bits of fluff hanging off it, because you've given in to the pain and released it before completion.

No photos were taken of the ewe's new style! 

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