Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Sheep

I have a sheep. Actually it's not really mine - I sort of have it on loan.

At the end of last summer there were a dozen sheep on our field, usefully munching their way around and keeping the grass down for us. They were 'killer ewes' - the aged, barren and toothless or the ones whose previous lambing had been over-difficult and wouldn't go to the ram again. There's quite a good market for them, probably for processed foods and the like. Kebabs maybe. Mostly they looked a sorry bunch.

They soon learned that my bucket of layers' pellets was tasty enough and I soon learned to keep out of the way of this greedy mob at hen feeding time. Never underestimate the pushiness of a ewe who thinks she is hungry. One of them in particular had gold medals in persistence.

The time came for them to go and the big blue cattle truck arrived to take them away for slaughter. My little flock was gathered from the field to be loaded - and the words I shouldn't have spoken escaped my lips: 'Please can I keep that one? That one there with the pretty face?'

To my surprise H and J agreed. A few moments later the wrong sheep was trotting back to the field. 'It's the wrong one!' I squeaked. With only a little phaffing about, the right sheep was hauled off the lorry and she too went trotting back. 'Coffin dodgers' muttered Carl.

So. The Sheep and The Other Sheep live on the field - but only for the time being because the day will surely come when they will have to go. This one comes running for a handful of sheep nuts and offers its ears for a scratch. Her charms have beguiled me - though common sense tells me her wiles are mostly to do with cupboard love. Here she is, below, tasting the zipper on my gilet.
I've broken my No.1 Rule - don't get over-fond, taken in by a pretty face. (That would hold true for many relationships perhaps!) This way sadness lies. 

Rule No.2 - no names - still applies though. She is 'The Sheep'.

14 comments:

Fennie said...

Ah, you are, like me, soft-hearted; and being soft-hearted I should attempt to procure the services of a ram in the hope that she (I should call her Shirley) might not be barren after all but might produce twins with pretty faces whom I could call Timmy. My sister keeps sheep in Suffolk, nameless great East Anglian monsters with black faces like highwaymen, but I think I would be put off by all that dipping palaver. In fact I have never owned a sheep in my life.

Kirsty.a said...

Lovely story. Nothing wrong with ahving a tender heart

rachel said...

Aaaaaawwwwww......

Aaaaaawwwwww.......

You (lovely) big softie.....

Tattie Weasle said...

Sometimes its right that there are a few coffin dodgers about. Long live The Sheep and The Other Sheep!

Pondside said...

We've had to give up our goats and I miss my morning visits with them. It was cupboard love too - but hey, sometimes that's enough!

Cro Magnon said...

I have a similar relationship with my hens. But at least they give me something in return.

Lesley said...

Put a smile on MY face. Nice to know there are nice people out there. Say hello to The Sheep and The Other Sheep for me, if that doesn't break any Rules!

Lesley x

Twiglet said...

We have that sort of "pretty sheep" in our field sometimes - they look as if they have false eyelashes on! Never been tempted to keep one though. We just have free range pheasants and squirrels roaming in our back garden. - Jo

her at home said...

I have a goat called phillipe, who if left too long without my company will break out of his barn and seek me out, he shows more interested in the dogs and I than his wife and son who are there fore in another barn out of fathers jealous reach. I refuse to have sheep... however I also refused to have goats at one stage so I am afraid I may follow you down the primrose path to destruction if I am not careful!

bayou said...

Ohhhhh, how lovely! It's name is FS then ;-) or is it the Fsheep? I would love to have sheep, but only those with the very long hair to make soft wool out of it. But I am busy with the hens now... I hope you will never blog about sheep's departure.

Calico Kate said...

Ahh! She is indeed a pretty sheep! Sheep have a dreadful habit of getting under the skin and finding then filling an unknown hole in ones heart!
CKx

Jayne said...

Love sheep, It is the one thing I would like to have a go at if I ever get fully installed on the adjacent low mountain, they would have to be pretty like yours, not sure about these Texels, square ugly beasts.

Go on give them names.

elizabethm said...

I could be tempted myself and also by pigs.....

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

She looks like a Rosamunde or Phyllida .... and is certainly mistress of the winsome flutter of eyelashes !
I can quite see why you kept her .... what does Other Sheep look like ( or it like Best Friends , one plain and one Wow ? ) ?
Word verification agrees and has come up with swoonc .