The old adage ‘better late than never’ certainly applies to the somewhat belated hair dressing that has been happening up here on Walton’s Mountain of late.
You see when you only have 4 sheep you are way (and I mean way, way, way) down the list of Flocks To Shear for those guys who spend all summer going round farms doing such manly, smelly and time consuming tasks. These guys hit farms with hundreds of the woolly beasties early in the summer and move on to another a few hours later leaving many shivering sheep and piles of fleace behind them. They are not interested in dealing with a few pampered ovines who have no respect for sheep dogs and no intention whatsoever of being packed off for a hair-do, gathered together for anything other than food or caught in any way.
This leaves us small holders (I know that moniker does lead to a few giggles) with a dilema. You either beg, borrow or kidnap a sheering hulk or you go the D.I.Y. route.
Let me tell you dear reader, I have done that one many years ago and NEVER again. This was way back when Mr X and I were a partnership and with the first batch (no not a flock, think you need more for a real flock) of sheep we had in the late 90s. We were overly keen, nouveau rustics with bag loads of enthusiasm and fitter, younger bodies.
We thought nothing of chasing the bloody animals all over the field. Straddling the damn things and wielding those nasty looking shears with the sort of abandon that is the preserve of those who don’t have a clue what they are doing. The blood was everywhere – ours!
The resulting hair-dos made our sheep the mockery of the village and a stopping point for the Young Farmers Annual Treasure Hunt that happened to betaking place that week.
I swore I would never do that again and so far have managed to keep that promise to myself.
So I am resigned to the fact that I am at the bottom of the pecking/shearing order and get the guys in when they have time at the end of the season.
Last weekend Ian and his friend arrived armed with electric clippers, sheep dog and a batallion of helpful kids.
Ian did the sheep last time and knew the drill. So did the sheep and did not disapoint in their antics to avoid the whole hair dressing business entirely. There was fence jumping, head butting and general mayhem as four geriatric sheep found their inner lamb and put up a good show.
They were no match for the team and after the usual shenanigans ended up in the stable/salon emerging a wee while later with neat locks and a far slimmer profile.
So while it may be end of summer/start of autumn my sheep are finally in their summer finary, lets hope the weather stays warm for a while longer…..
And what happens to the fleace?
Well my lovely friend Carey of Rustique Interiors will be using it to add needle felting to her amazing furniture creations, can’t wait to see what she does.