I accidentally slept in a little bit this morning, so the sheep weren’t sleepy anymore by the time I went to let them out. The Dukelings all ran down to the fence to beg for crunchies.
“Give us crunchies! We’re cute!”
From left to right: Ash, Cedar, Apple, and Chestnut, with Johnny behind them keeping an eye out for Duke. They are terribly cute, those Dukelings. Almost makes me willing to forgive Nova and Duke for probably making more of them. Nova still hasn’t cycled, so it’s starting to look more likely that she’s pregnant, although I still can’t say for sure.
Of course Duke had to come running to make sure no one got any treats except him. He’s very indulgent with his Dukelings, but there are limits.
“Give ME the crunchies! I’m cute, too!”
I must admit, I do think he’s kind of cute. Although in my saner moments I suspect that might have more to do with sheepy mind control skills than actual fact.
Once I let the girls out, Holly went straight for the fence and stuck her head through it.
“All the grass on our side is dead! I must eat the identical, equally dead grass on the other side!”
All of Lady’s descendants tend to stick their heads in things at a higher than average rate, but Holly puts her head through the fence so often she’s worn a visible groove in the wool around her neck. Probably because she doesn’t have horns long enough to get caught in things, just tiny little nubs that never came through the skin.
“I must kill this stick!”
Mira had no time for grass, dead or otherwise. She was very determined to kill that stick. I’m not sure why she’s so fixated on sticks. She stomps on them with every indication of great annoyance, but if I make the slightest move in the direction of her stick she hovers over it protectively and glares at me. I made the mistake one time of tossing her stick over the fence, so now she’s paranoid.
I had to stop halfway to the gate and break up a fight between Drake and Angel that looked likely to break Angel’s head, or horns, or both. Griffin and Drake both received official warning this morning that they were in violation of the established annoyance limits, which state that any male sheep in the ewe pen must have an annoyance factor less than or equal to Will Scarlet, and if this was not corrected promptly they’d find themselves booted out into the ram pen.
Once I’d finished chewing the two hooligans out, I turned to find Will Scarlet himself, with his mama and sister, all giving me their best innocent/hungry expressions. They’re very good at that particular expression, which is probably why Will gets used as the benchmark for annoyance levels instead of getting kicked out with the boys himself.
“Aren’t you glad we’re such good sheep who never cause problems like those rotten little boys? I think we deserve crunchies for being so good!”
I think Mira was on her way to commandeer all the crunchies for herself, but there was another stick behind Holly, and she got distracted by the irresistible drive to kill it.
“Can I be your boyfriend, Holly?”
“No! Go away!”
Drake continued to make a great pest of himself all the way to the gate, flirting with ewes who aren’t in heat and picking fights with everyone, including his poor, longsuffering mama, Nova. I saw her butting him back pretty firmly though, so if even Nova has had enough of his shenanigans I think I could probably move him to the ram pen without feeling too guilty about it.
“Can I be your boyfriend, Mira?”
“No, I have no time for boyfriends! I am too busy killing this stick!”
I think that was the third, possibly the fourth stick of the morning. Kill the Stick has always been one of her favorite games, but she’s been particularly obsessed with it lately and I’m not sure why. I’m still not sure why she plays Kill the Stick in the first place, especially since I’ve never seen any of the other sheep play it. Sometimes I think she just likes keeping me confused.
“The sooner you move those boys out, the better! They’re distracting me from my sticks!”
Well, we can’t have that, can we? If only she’d devoted a fraction of that dedication to mothering Angel, we wouldn’t have had a second bottle baby. And maybe Angel would also beat up sticks, instead of always trying to beat up my feet.
“I think you should kick EVERYONE out except ME! And I should live in the yard! And sleep in the house! And eat all the crunchies!”
I think Angel did turn out a lot like Mira in many ways, even if she’s not exactly the same.
I think if Nova does have a lamb, it jolly well better be a ewe lamb. Four ewe lambs and twelve ram lambs born in four years is a terrible gender ratio, even if “only” ten of the twelve boys are still here. I thought it was just Duke, but BB’s lambs turned out the same.
The ewe lamb has always been the first one born though, so maybe if Nova is the only ewe to lamb, she’ll have a daughter and we can skip all the ram lambs that would have come after.