Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sheep Shearing

Farmer John invited us to his sheep shearing this morning, so I drove into town early to pick up SugarPlum. "Would you like to go see some sheep today? We can watch them get haircuts."

"They're getting haircuts? Does it hurt?"

"Oh no. They like it. It's summertime, and they have such thick, heavy coats. They're so hot. They'll be really happy to get haircuts. In fact, they might this," and I let out a substantially raucous and ugly *baaaaaa*, which made her laugh. I was relieved. Listen, I had no idea what sort of songs they'd be singing, but I thought it was a good idea to do a little advance sell of their possible ditties, lest SugarPlum suddenly break into a sad song of her own at the shearing.

I wanted a photo of the plum viewing the scene, but quarters were a bit tight, and she was determined to not stand "in that," referring to what was actually and remarkably clean barn floor cover. She did her viewing from Uncle Son 3's arms. I did coax her onto the floor near the end of our visit and managed to catch the back of her head and one pigtail, with the sheep in the background. But I have new photo editing software, and I moved the photo parts unknown and yet discovered. I know where I told it to go. I don't know why it didn't obey or where it's hiding. Well, you've seen one pigtail, you've seen 'em all. On to the sheep, or sheeps, if you're three years old.

These were hefty sheep, and I was told the breed name, but of course, I've forgotten. It began with a "C" and wasn't Colossal, but that would fit.

Interestingly, Mrs. Farmer John reminded me of Isaiah 53:7, which says in part, " a sheep before her shearers is dumb...." I didn't recognize it at the time but looked it up later and immediately knew it in context. Oh, that. A nugget I'd missed in an otherwise familiar passage, as Mrs. FJ pointed out that the ewes don't "sing" when they're being sheared. And they didn't. They just sat there -- and I do mean sat -- and took it. Silently. She said the rams are a different story, so we left before there were any songs or dances.

A spinner was on-site, and I may have never seen a happier face than hers, when this pile of wool (from that one sheep) was spread across a tarp for her inspection; she was giddy. She said just putting the wool in a tub of water washes it white. "Water? Just water?" Yes, that will do it, but sometimes she adds a little dish detergent to cut some of the oil.

It was a fun outing.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. ~John 10:27, 28

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