Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Lonely Sheep

A few days ago, the county started working to clear their power/phone lines of tree branches. Of course this translates to butchering our beautiful pine windbreak, as well as three of our ancient and barely-clinging-to-life apple trees and I tried not to be terribly upset about the whole incident. I understand, but I don't have to like it. What I reeeally don't like is that the county workers left their lunch garbage in the orchard! Oooooh. I've only I'd seen them do it, I'd have given them a crazed, fuzzy haired and wild eyed piece of my mind!

Anyway, I noticed that our older ewe, Ingrid, began bleating incessantly on the same day. Of course it took me nearly three days to notice the correspondence, and in the mean time I was fairly concerned. Ingrid is a very quiet and skittish lady. She has very rarely bleated since arriving, though I cannot say the same for Gertrude (the name we've given the morrit ewe). At first I was only mildly concerned, but as the first day progressed into the next and then a third I became more and more concerned. She was standing at the gate baa-ing nearly every 5 seconds, for hours on end! She was still making trips to eat and drink, but I was pretty much at a loss!

After sending a message to Laura over at Queso Cabeza Farm (the farm we bought the sheep from), Laura confirmed my suspicion that this behaviour was previously unheard of for Ingrid. In her message, she mentioned that Ingrid originally came from a flock of hundreds of sheep, and then when she was at QC, she was still in their flock of several tens of sheep. It occurred to me then that the men from the county were using chainsaws and from a distance those chainsaws sounded exactly like distant baas!

The next day, the county men finished their work and Ingrid became her silent self once again. It's amazing how much I learn daily from my sheep. They continue to be a source of amusement and education in both shepherding and my own limitations. Hah.


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