The Day I Got Fleeced (Ewe)

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April 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Dear Diary,

It has been an eventful few days after months of sameness.

First the farmer and his wife encouraged us sheep to run down a hard surface with lines on it and go into a different field than the one where we had been all winter. I remembered the field from last fall but now it had a little grass. Yummy!

With friends, moving to a new field

With friends, moving to a new field

Then the next day we were hurried over to the barn. I wanted to stop and eat all those tender new shoots but the farmer said no! We spent the night in the barn. Funny not to be able to see the moon and the stars. We are usually outside and not in a stuffy barn. I did hear the farmer say something about keeping our fleeces dry. I was so flattered that he cared about us getting wet until I realized the next day he had an ulterior motive.

The next morning it happened! Some stranger came and he had a machine with him. It made a bad growling noise. He grabbed at one of my friends and sat her up on her bottom! Not very dignified, if you ask me.

Not her most flattering position

Not her most flattering position

Then he proceeded to rip all her lovely fleece off. I was shocked! Oh, maybe I had a vague memory of something like this in the distant past but I never thought it would happen again. It took about 3 or 4 minutes and she was naked. She looked so white and not fluffy or pretty. She didn’t say anything but I did notice she took the chance to walk over to the fence and have a good scratch. Then some boy grabbed her pretty fleece and put it into an eight foot tall burlap bag that was hanging on the wall.  He didn’t even ask her if she wanted it. Then they grabbed another friend and did it again! Shocking. This went on and on. Then (you won’t believe this, dear diary, but it is true) they came for me!

My fleece is too precious! I tried to run away but they got me and the growly noise was right by my ears. I, like all sheep, have very sensitive ears and am a very sensitive individual. Can’t they tell this?

To be totally honest, it didn’t really hurt at all. The machine slid around me and my perfect fleece came off in one gorgeous piece. But they stole my fleece also!

My fleece came off in one piece. It really wasn't so baaaaaad.

My fleece came off in one piece. It really wasn't so baaaaaad.

The good news is that when we were all naked and white, they took us to a field with green grass and hay and left us there. Ah, the moon and the stars. The lightness of being. Well, I do notice my friends and sisters are rather bulgy and rotund. What is in the near future?

Kind of nice to get rid of that heavy winter coat and enjoy spring on the farm.

Kind of nice to get rid of that heavy winter coat and enjoy spring on the farm.

Being a sheep means I don’t have to worry!

Yours,

Baaaarbara

Shearing began April 5 on Rivendell Farm in Montgomery, Michigan. Bob Kidwell (former chemical engineer turned farmer) and Linda Kidwell (former senior executive with a well-known department store chain) claim that Baaaarbara wrote the whole thing herself.

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2 Comments

  1. The annual Sheep-to-Shawl event is coming this Sunday to The Children’s Farm at The Center in Palos Park, http://www.thecenterpalos.org/SheepToShawl.html. It’s 1pm to 4pm this Sunday, April 11. A great family event!

  2. IllinoisLori says:

    I know this was written last year…but I’m just now getting to know your farm :-) What a great perspective to tell the story from! When my son (Bryan) went to U of I’s weekend sheep-shearing-school a couple years ago, it was a wake up call for him as to how hard shearing is on the body…of the farmer! He didn’t walk straight and upright for almost 2 weeks, LOL! He took that course to help him in his volunteer work (this summer he’ll be on staff there for his college internship) at a local living history farm. Here’s a clip of their sheep shearing demonstration, if you’re interested! http://illinoislori.blogspot.com/2010/04/ttat-this-is-why-he-loves-it.html

    Have a great spring…all the best with lambing next month!
    IllinoisLori

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