Doing Things the Hard Way

We had another ice storm, which I once again failed to document in a timely fashion. The front barn door was frozen to the ground for days. The only notable picture I got was this one of Angel straining to out of the top of the hay feeder:

“If only there was an easier way to reach the hay!”

Someone needs to invent a feeder with holes in the sides, so she doesn’t have to go up on her tiptoes and crane her neck like that that. Oh, wait.

This morning was brisk, but it’s supposed to get fairly warm by this afternoon. Future warmth isn’t much comfort first thing in the morning when I’m letting the sheep out.

They’ve knocked this hay feeder half off the fence for approximately the seventh day in a row. That’s not because they’ve only started breaking it in the past week, it’s because I’ve only started bothering to put it back recently and they keep knocking it loose again. I’m trying to divide their hay across all the feeders I have so that hopefully no one gets squeezed out.

“I think we should open this bale next, Mommy!”

Mira helps me feed the boys, taste-testing the hay when I open the bale and testing it again once it’s in the hay rack, just to be sure the quality didn’t suffer in transit. For a little girl who still whines at me about how bullied she is every time someone shoulders her out at the girls’ hay rack, she has no trouble forcing her way in at the boys’.

“Hmm, which bale do I want to choose?”

Angel usually takes over taste-testing for the girls’ hay. I don’t know why they trade off like that, but it’s what they do more often than not.

“If only the hay was easier to reach!”

Angel’s taste in hay is at least predictable. The harder to reach, the better.

Liam, on the other hand, prefers whichever feeder lets him best avoid any Soay nonsense.

Liam is why I have to fill all the feeders now, I used to just fill one for Lady, but once Liam realized semi-private dining was an option he stared monopolizing it. He doesn’t mean to, he’s never aggressive about pushing anyone else away, he’s just so big and solid he takes up half the room at a feeder by himself and he doesn’t notice a little sheep like Lady trying to push her way in. Now I divide the extra hay across multiple feeders and it seems to work better.

Neo left his buddy Liam to his breakfast and followed me down to the fence with Nova, hoping for treats at the gate. Usually it’s Nova and Lady, but Lady must have been distracted by something else.

“I’m hiding behind this fence post so Nova won’t see me and chase me away!”

Nova and Neo were the very first lambs to be born here, so Neo has a lifetime’s experience in avoiding provoking her. She may have only been physically larger than him for about two weeks, but she made sure to leave a lasting impression. She isn’t Princess’s daughter for nothing, after all.

“Hi, ShepherdPerson! Mama’s busy, so she said it was all right if I got the gate tribute crunchies today!”

Lady finally noticed I’d sneaked off behind her back and came running to disabuse me of any notion I could get away with gate-tribute-evasion.

“I said no such thing! Gate crunchies are all mine!”

Angel’s there too, I tossed a treat in her direction so the sheep at the fence would get a turn, so she was still busy looking for it in the grass.

“Where do you think you’re going without paying tribute to the queen??”

It’s a good thing I’d just refilled the treat pocket in the ever-popular magic barn coat, so I had enough for everyone.

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