08 June 2012

I Shouldn't Have

I knew I shouldn't have.  But I did.  I sheared the sheep while pregnant.  I had been anxious to trim the sheep's wool since hearing of the mild winter and warm, dry spring back in Iowa while we were in Texas for Jack's SpaceX internship  Instead of shedding like most mammals, their thick wool just keeps getting longer and hotter.  It's hard not to feel sorry for the ram and ewes.  The new little lamb, Murphy, has been fortunate since they're born with a short curly coat.  While his herd members have been panting away, he's still oblivious to the discomfort of long wool.
Magnus was lucky to be the first.  Though he has formidable horns that he uses efficiently and effectively against an unsuspecting person's shins, they also are like built in handlebars.  He would have been more appreciative had he not been so focused on his wounded pride.  Like other male animals, there are few things on his mind, one of which is making sure everyone knows he's the king.  Instead of being revered, he found himself restrained.  I didn't expect to hear a thank you bleat from him.
The ewes are much more agreeable.  Well, once they're caught anyway.  They have grown quite feral since we've been gone.  The rodeo to catch them was pretty entertaining and after they got the best of us a few times, resulting in scratched glasses, bruised ankles and sore elbows, they were laid gently on the ground.  In the middle of Milly's shearing, my back needed a break.  Sheep shearing is difficult enough work without holding extra weight in your abdomen while bending over.  I tended to my children, giving my mom and Jack a chance to try their hand at shearing.  I came back to find Milly with several nicks from the sharp clipper blades so Jack went back to fixing the roof, my mom was demoted to holding the sheep and I took the helm of the clippers again.
Milly was rewarded for good behavior with a few goldfish crackers.
Imagine wearing a six inch thick black turtleneck sweater in 90F+ weather and you'll understand why I was so determined to shave the sheep despite any of my own physical discomfort.  I'm no masochist.  I just like keeping my animals reasonably comfortable and though nobody thanked me for their crummy, uneven haircuts, it was obvious they felt much better.
Everybody looks about fifty pounds lighter with their fresh, clean wool.  By fall, they'll be due for another clipping and will probably put up the same fuss, but in the end, they'll be grateful to be freed from their restrictive wool.
Even Magnus is pleased
I took a short break to rest my back and though I knew I shouldn't have, went and mowed the lawn.  Sure, my back is sore but by golly, the yard looks wonderful.


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