I made attempt #1 to give Neo a haircut today. With that special mind reading ability that sheep have, Neo instantly knew I was up to no good and ran to hide behind his sister instead of coming over for treats and chin scratches.
“Nothing to see here, this is not the sheep you’re looking for, move along…”
I think the instant suspicion was because I was carrying the rope halter in my hand instead of hiding it in my pocket like I usually do. The sheep all know the rope halter is a horrible thing that only comes out when I want to make them do something they don’t want to do, or torture somebody by giving them a haircut and trimming their hooves, so they all start avoiding me when they see it.
All except Angel, who has never been haltered and thus retains her youthful innocence of halter-related tortures. She thought maybe it was a new toy for her to beat up and/or chew on.
“I’m the boss, rope!”
And Nova, who stayed well out of grabbing distance but still wanted her crunchies.
“Toss the crunchies over here and keep that nasty halter to yourself!”
I put the halter on the hoop house and covered it with my coat, hoping that would make them less suspicious, but since about 90% of the reason they like having me around is because of the crunchies in my coat pockets, they all just ran off and continued to shoot dark looks at me over their shoulders.
“ShepherdPerson looks extra shifty today, we better keep an eye on her!”
Angel didn’t run off, mostly because she was busy trying to decide if my coat needed to be beat up separately since I took it off, or if it had been sufficiently intimidated by being beat up while I was still wearing it.
“I’m the boss, you got that, coat?”
To my complete lack of surprise, she decided yes, the coat needed to be taught a lesson on its own. One might think that the muddy hoofprints all over the lower half of my poor coat would be sufficient proof that the coat knows who’s boss, but no.
Eventually, with no halter in evidence and Angel otherwise occupied, Mira and Lady thought it might be safe to come see if I had any crunchies, as long as they stayed out of arm’s reach. No such luck with Neo, but I hoped if I could get his mama to relax it’d make him relax.
“If we come over there for crunchies, you’re not going to try to grab us, are you?”
But the minute they started walking towards me, Angel abandoned trying to beat my coat into submission in favor of running over to jump up on me and make sure no one else got any of her crunchies. It’s hard to try to catch anyone else when you have a lamb attached to your hip throwing jealous tantrums at everyone who gets too close.
“Mine! My person! My crunchies! Mine! ‘Cause I’m the boss!”
This is how I always end up with muddy hoofprints all over my clothes. Angel, Mira, and Nova are always climbing on me trying to monopolize my attention. And my pocket full of crunchies. I’m just glad the Shetlands generally don’t try to jump up on me.
I made a few more efforts to catch Neo, but he was able to avoid me pretty easily, and Angel kept snatching all the crunchies before I could try to bribe him close to me, so I gave up. I’ll have to catch him in the morning before I let them out of the barn, when he doesn’t have so much room to escape.
They always feel so much better once their itchy old fleeces are gone, I don’t know why they have to make the process so difficult.