Every One to His/Her Own Way

It seems there is no one left in the flock bossy enough to keep all those conflicting personalities together, so the breed divide seems to be at least semi-permanent for now.

Every morning lately the Shetland (and half-Shetland) group wanders off thisaway and grazes peacefully together…

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“The flock that grazes together, stays-es together!”

…While the Soays wander off thataway and argue about it…

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“What are Lady and Duchess fighting about now, Nova?”

“I have no idea, Neo.”

… And Mira stays right by me to make sure no one infringes on her lap-sitting rights.

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“This is MY mommy’s lap. Mine. Only I can sit here. No Apples or Novas allowed!”

After giving her her morning tribute of petting, it’s back to the house where Watcher drinks from the faucet “helps” me fill the water bucket, soaking everything in a four foot radius. He then follows the bucket me all the way out to the field, hopping and craning his neck trying to lap at the water, usually causing me to slosh quite a bit of it over both of us.

There’s a nice, stationary bowl of water for him and Echo on the porch, but apparently it’s more fun to drink from a moving target.

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“It tastes better if you can make the water go everywhere while you’re drinking!”

Meanwhile Echo stays on the patio, sniffing the clover flowers and keeping his paws out of the wet grass as much as possible. He follows me down to the fence in the evenings when the grass is dry, but in the mornings it’s a 50/50 chance he’ll decide to keep an eye on me from a distance rather than get wet.

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“I’m just going to wait here, it’s awfully wet out there.”

I think my whole farm is a study in contrasts.

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15 thoughts on “Every One to His/Her Own Way

  1. It’s like living with adolescents! Or our almost 23 year old, who is determined to stay in that dramatic state forever. At least yours don’t have you worrying at 3am

  2. They do tend to have strong personalities… one day you’ll be shocked to find they’ve worked it all out. In the mean time, at least it’s interesting 🙂 As for your dogs… I have no clue ~ unless they’ve been talking to your sheep!

  3. Once a small child (not mine) told us that our whole house was crazy!! He was probably right!
    How did you get those other Shetlands anyway? Just lucky or did I miss that Post? Off to spin some Shetland for the Fair.

    • Which Shetlands? Lana and Nina are the newest two, they’re not mine, they’re just boarding with me. They’ve only been here a few weeks.

      My whole house is crazy, I have to admit. 🙂

  4. I thought you were just boarding the Shelands for a while… is “a while” over soon? Their wool is a gorgeous color! I had no idea sheep were so “particular” about sticking to, their own. Little Mira will always be your baby. Will she become a mum next year?

    • Lana and Nina are staying here for now, and they’re welcome to stay as long as they need to. They’re sweethearts, even if they are still a bit shy. 🙂

      I didn’t know sheep stuck to their own either, but flocks almost always follow a ewe, and I’ve never had a Shetland ewe around for the Shetland wethers to follow before.

      Mira might be a mum next year. I’m thinking about it, but I haven’t decided. I’d love Mira-babies, but given her mother’s difficulty having live lambs I’m not sure I want to risk breeding Mira.

  5. Dear Sarah,

    Giggles on this end: you’ve quite the extended family, each with his or her own foibles, and some of them plenty vocal about it. Mira is a *hoot*: she is truly possessive, right down to keeping her hoof conspicuously touching you!

    Read your latest posts to the boys on the train last week as we rode from D.C. to Richmond. Had to read some of them twice because each boy wanted to read the dialog.

    They can hardly believe that fey Lana is a leader of sorts. So glad you are enjoying she and her daughter Nina. They look so content and plump!

    Very best,

    Natalie

    • Lana is pretty skittish around me, but Nina is starting to be friendlier. She looks hilariously woolly next to my all-legs Soay babies. 🙂 I thought Prince Bran was a puffball, but if Nina is typical, cpurebred Shetland lambs are clearly even more fluffy than he was!

      • I’ll be curious to see just how fluffy she gets. Her Daddy, Toffee, has a super-crimpy fleece, without Lana’s guard hairs. Wonder what Nina will end with. To me Shetlands in full fleece look like furballs on short toothpicks, while Soays look like small and graceful, slightly fluffy deer.
        Very best,
        Natalie

      • They do look like puffballs. I think my favorite winter pictures are of the Shetlands from the year the snow was so deep their legs disappeared entirely and they looked like legless clouds bouncing through the snow. 😀

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