Four Years

This weekend was my fourth anniversary of sheep keeping. (If you measure by exact days it was last Thursday, June 1, but measuring by “first weekend in June” makes this post only one day late instead of four days, so I’m going with that.) I remember the day those first four sheep came here to live, but it seems like it was a lot longer ago than four years.

Somehow in only four years I’ve gone from four sheep to… um… more sheep than I have fingers to count them on. I think I counted about fifty last time I checked. Although they were moving around a lot, I might have counted a few twice. My records say I have twenty-two, but it seems like more than that.

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“Should we beat up ShepherdPerson for crunchies, or is it too hot to bother?”

Ah, the good old early days when all the sheep (except Princess) were too scared to beat me up for crunchies. Now I can wave my arms over my head and yell trying to shoo them away and they don’t even flinch, they just stand there looking mildly concerned for my sanity. I don’t really blame them, sometimes I’m mildly concerned for my sanity, too.

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“Crunchies?”

Lady was one of those first four sheep. She and Holly feel neglected I’m sure, since they don’t have lambs this year and I’ve mostly been paying attention to the mamas and babies. Lady needed a break after having four lambs in three years, and I think Holly’s probably happy to still be Lady’s baby for another year.

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“We want crunchies, too!”

Duke, now edging towards the beginning of middle age, has a small army of duplicates running around, only some of whom are pictured here. Nobody’s gotten brave enough to challenge him for top spot yet, though.

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“Chompy-chomp!”

Angel looks like she’ll be as beautiful as her mother and grandmother when she grows up, but remains frustratingly hard to photograph unless engaged in acts of violence against my feet. I sympathize completely with Mira’s physically-painful-looking eye roll in the background.

I made a flower crown out of clover blossoms and tried to put it on Mira, but she thought it was a halter and fussed and fidgeted until she knocked it off onto her back where she couldn’t reach it. Then she just glared at me until I took it off of her. Mira has a very low tolerance of anything that might be a halter in disguise.

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“You only pull out halters when you’re trying to tell me what to do! This better not be you trying to tell me what to do, Mommy!”

On the other hand, I think Mira has no business rolling her eyes at Angel, given that Angel probably got her attitude from Mira.

I tried putting the flower chain on Angel, but she fussed and fidgeted and ran around in a panic with it dangling from one ear.

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“Get it off!”

Like mother, like daughter.

I then tried to put it on Nova. With absolutely no fuss and a bare minimum of fidgeting, she promptly tossed it off her head and ate it. Thus ended my attempt to take cute flower pictures.

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“ShepherdPerson’s being annoying and doesn’t have any crunchies, let’s go eat grass!”

One fun thing about having a larger flock is that watching the whole big mob charge gleefully through the gate is much more impressive than when it was only the three little ewe lambs with Duke wheezing along behind.

running-sheep

But those early days were fun and special, too. I’m glad I have pictures.

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8 thoughts on “Four Years

  1. What a sweet herd! You are lucky (most days) to have an energetic, healthy and smart group. Nice try with the flowers 🙂 Congratulations on four fun filled years and giving us a look see into your farm.

  2. Congrats ~ You’ve come along way ShepherdPerson! 50. I had no idea your herd was that big and amazingly fun 🙂

  3. Dear Sarah,
    That last picture of the first four sheep gamboling is poignant and joyful at once. One of the neatest things about this fourth year is seeing the character traits passing through the generations.

    The Shetlands already are getting so fluffy! Is their wool growing faster than normal? Surely not.

    Nova, so much calmer than Mira…practical, too. Why wear sweet clover when you can eat it?

    Very best,
    Natalie

    • They do have distinct family traits, it’s very interesting to see how those manifest in each new lamb.

      I don’t know if the Shetlands are growing faster than normal, I think it’s about the same as usual, but I could be remembering wrong.

      Nova is her mother’s daughter as well: Food is the Most Important Thing. Nothing distracts her from eating, other than her lambs when they’re very young.

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