Oh thorny tree that once did guard the gate
And dealt out pain to all that would pass through
Your thorns have dealt out suffering so great,
I know I will not grieve that much for you.
— ShepherdPerson, “Eulogy for the Tree of Death”
I cut this out of Bran’s fleece this morning. It was a long process involving many repetitions of “OK, I think I’ve almost got it… oh my gosh there’s a whole other branch! How big is this thing?! Oh Bran, you poor baby!” I was happy to toss the thing on the burn pile with the rest of the tree.
Bran showed his gratitude by thrashing wildly the whole time, then running off to the opposite end of the pasture the minute he was released. I’m not sure why he’s so skittish, since all of his relatives that live here are very friendly. Well, maybe Princess isn’t exactly “friendly,” more like “fearless and demanding,” but she definitely isn’t skittish. Maybe he’ll calm down as he gets older.
I also did a bit of moaning about having to cut up part of his fleece, but most of the branches were embedded in the belly, leg, and neck wool which might have been skirted off anyway after shearing, so I suppose it could have been worse. It’s the first chance I’ve gotten to look at Bran’s wool up close since he was a little lamb (well, I say ‘little’), and I think it’s going to be a very nice fleece. Surprisingly greasy compared to his parents and Little John, but nice.
“You keep those scissors away from me, ShepherdPerson! I like my wool to stay right where it is!”
He may not be the friendliest sheep in the flock, but he definitely is a handsome boy. With parents like Princess and Liam I suppose he couldn’t help but be good looking.
I haven’t even finished Liam’s fleece from this year yet, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s fleeces! Always providing, of course, the sheep don’t find anymore Thorny Death Trees to play with.