Guilt Trip

Today, I am bruised, scraped, and sore all over from shearing Barnabus yesterday. Barnabus is the most compliant sheep on the premises 90% of the time, but shearing him is a nightmare. Shearing Barney involves being knocked down, butted, stepped on, body-slammed into walls, and I kid you not, peed on repeatedly. I never understood why a crude word for urination is the most common idiom for “very angry” until the first time I sheared Barney.

Somehow, the tired, very angry, but completely unharmed Barney thinks I should be the one feeling guilty. He’s still rubbing all the itchy cut hairs off on the fence and glaring at me.

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“Stay away from her, guys! She’s mean!”

All the rest of the fluffy guys are keeping their fluffy behinds away from me and eyeing me suspiciously now. Except Little John, who is too adorably innocent to see the signs.

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“Can I go back to my mama now?”

He and Bran got kicked out with the boys because they were playing too rough with the pregnant girls. I can honestly say I had never used the phrase “Quit hitting your pregnant grandmother!” before.

Neo and Will were supposed to go too, but Lady’s boys are slippery little guys. That’s ok, Will’s too little to do much damage, and Neo’s usually pretty chill unless the other boys get him wound up.

I tried to get a better shot of Barney’s haircut, but Mira gets upset when I take too many pictures of not-her, and I couldn’t hold the camera steady with her clamoring for my attention.

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“Mommy! Mommy! Mooooommy!”

Seriously, how is this girl a yearling? She still acts like a baby.

Case in point, I am not as skilled at slipping out the ram pen gate as I was the ewe pen gate without little lambies wiggling through and following me. I was too achy to argue with her, so she noodled along after me on my way to get water, poked around in the basement while I got a bucket, and played around the patio while I filled it. Just like old times.

 

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“Finally, I get to come back to the house! I’m just going to play around here while you’re filling the water bucket, OK?”

It’s almost worrying how young she still acts, sometimes. Most of my other girls were well on their way to their first lambing by her age, but she’s still tiny and content to follow her mommy around just like before she was weaned. It’s cute and sweet, but I do hope she gets a growth spurt this year.

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“I don’t want to go back to the field, I want to play with this bucket!”

Although honesty I’m not sure I want her to be a great big stubborn ewe, she’s hard enough to manage as a little tiny stubborn lamb.

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“Go play with the other sheep? I don’t want to play with the other sheep, I want to play with you!”

She’s a lot better at making me feel guilty than Barney is.

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“If I hide my head behind the gate post, you can’t tell that I’m still out!”

Guilt, guilt, guilt.

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“OK fine, you got me back in the field, but I still want to play with the bucket!”

If I didn’t have housedogs she’d probably still be in the house.

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8 thoughts on “Guilt Trip

  1. In my experience, the sheep that are the easiest to deal with in the pasture are the worst for shearing/hoof trimming/etc. This year during shearing Elizabeth- my baby and absolute sweet heart- peed on me multiple times, danced around on the stand, and kicked and flailed while having her hooves trimmed. She is always one of the worst when it comes to the unpleasant stuff. I think it is because she has no fear of humans. The sheep that are more timid in the pasture have more fear/respect of humans so they don’t act up as much during shearing. But in the end I’d rather have the good personality 99% of the time and deal with the bad behavior a few days out of the year!

    • That’s probably it, my tamest sheep are always the hardest as well. They’re so indignant that I would dare make them do anything they don’t want to!

  2. Yousa, you need 4 point restraints and a couple of big men…………lucky you didn’t get anything broken. Mia is just the sweetest despite being the most spoiled.

  3. Barney has a very large, hard head…no wonder you were achy if he butted you with it.

    Thankfully you have Mira to remind you of how darling-like-toddlers sheep can be. She is quite the amazing little girl.

    Very best,
    Natalie

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