Sunday, April 1, 2007

shearing day

Okay, let me tell you one thing. One person trying to get over four hundred pounds of reluctant sheep onto a truck is not a reasonable idea. I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to just pick them up and throw them in the back on my own, and you can forget about them voluntarily leaping into the livestock crate. Sheep aren't open to new adventure like, say, a cat would be. Aha! Superior Human Intellect! I will outwit the poor ovines and lure them into the truck with their favorite treats! (I reasoned). I withheld food in the morning, and then loaded up the bowl with crack (corn, that is, the drug of choice). Well, it worked for three of em fine. Took an hour and a half to get the last one on, and yes, I ended up picking her ass up and shoving her in, kicking and baaing, by myself. She kicked and baaed too. None of us were what you'd call happy, at this point. The situation was about to get more alarming, from their perspective.

First there was the drive, 84 miles. Yes, I'm sure there are people who shear in West Virginia. But, I reason, I've got to go down to the middle of Virginia anyway, to pick up yarn for the shop from Misty Mountain Farm and 2 new angora goat babies, and Linda has offered her shearer's services to me, so it seemed like a good idea.

Actually, it was a beautiful drive through the mountains, in the most gorgeous part of the east coast, but from the racket in the back, I gather they weren't enjoying it as much as me. The crack high must have worn off by then and they were cranky.

So, we come to Linda's lovely farm. Here this strange man grabs them and takes them DOWN, and starts the clippers. Mass freak! They will never forgive me for this humilation. I know they must feel better though; they had been starting to pant from the heat already. They have also never been around dogs, and seemed a tad alarmed at all the (docile and elderly) sweet dogs she has. Half an hour later, its done, the fleece is bagged, and we are loaded back up. Next time, I'm just going to clip em myself. Did you ever see such an annoyed look?

By the way, I was told that I did a good job on Betty, so here's a picture. I used the traditional hand shears on her. It only took me, mmm, 2 hours. (A good shearer can do the job in a couple of minutes).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ellen, Lily and I are looking through the blog. So great!!! The shearing day fiasco reminds me to give you Kevin's info. Contact him soon and he'll put you on the list if he comes to that area.
Kevin Ford
279 Warner Hill Road
Charlemont , MA 01339
He is by far one of my favorite people in the world and a great shearer too.

Love you, Maggie