I had meant to write about all the places we’ve been recently, but several things in the past couple of days changed my mind.  At least for now.[ad#ad-1]

The first happened Monday morning when I went out to the clothes line to get a leo for my elder daughter to go to gymnastics.  That morning I was awaked by some noise outside which sounded like some metal being moved around.  It reminded me of the sound of moving metal dumbbell weights around on the ground.  I thought the farmer was doing some work outside.  When I got to the clothes line, I found two sheep eating outside the window of the bedroom.  One was making herself comfortable by lying on the ground as she ate.  They were around the rose bush and the plants we had in jars and pots around the little porch.  I frightened them and they ran towards the fence, but turned around and looked at me.  I went inside to wake my daughter but when we looked outside, they were gone.  However, I noticed that the sunflower which had taken us months to grow was uprooted.  My husband heard the commotion and came out.  We went to the living room window and saw that one jar was smashed.  It was the noise of the jars that I had heard in the morning.

My husband went out to inspect the damage and found the sheep again.  They had not gone far, probably just around the house and came back again.  They had eaten our chives and got into the carrots.  One of the sheep was on the ground again.  But when they saw him, they ran again.  Our daughter came out and they ran out our front gate.  My husband told her to shut it, but she came in without doing so.  When next they went out, the sheep were in again.  This time, my daughter shut the gate after they left.  As my husband went out with the girls, he was going to try and get the sheep back into the fields by moving them behind their gates; however, the gate at the top of the drive was open and they went that way.  He found them down by the main gates into the estate, but luckily, or unluckily, they veered off and went into the landlord’s yard.  We have seen the landlord shoo them off his yard previously, but he wouldn’t have wanted them out on the streets either.  We don’t know what became of them.  I know our landlord was busy with the electric guy because they came down to see our place and he was too distracted for me to mention the sheep.

Now, I know I mentioned using the sheep as our natural lawnmower, but we had managed to cut the grass with shears and now only the weeds are growing in between, so it was unnecessary for them to donate their services now.  Besides, they left a trail of poo on their way out the gate.  As I said previously, that was one downside to using sheep, so we had nixed the idea.  As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, and the sheep obviously believed it.  But, then again, the chives, sunflower and carrots were probably delicacies for them.

Sunday on the farm was sheep-shearing day.  It was rather comical.  Forget what you might have seen at agricultural shows and demonstrations.  This was the actual daily grind sheep-shearing.[ad#ad-1]

Not all the sheep were shorn that day, but those destined for a haircut were rounded up into a pen.  The farmer drags one by the chest, protesting with a “Baa!” while her colleagues return in kind, front legs up in the air, hind legs dragging on the ground (kind of reminds me of me pulling the older kid when she refuses to be moved).  The razors go on – ziiiiiiiiiip! ziiiiiiiiiiiiiip! ziiiiiiiiiiiip!  All done in a few seconds, before she can let out another “Baa!”.  The farmer’s son balls up the wool and throws it into the pile with the rest.  From far away, I initially thought he had lifted up the shorn sheep and tossed it over the fence (an amazing feat for such a small one) until I later saw him handle a ball of wool.

Without their wool, these ewes look like little goats.  They also appear somewhat scrawny, but maybe that’s because I’m seeing lines where the razors had left some wool behind and it looks like ribs sticking out.