notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Sheep Rapport

This weekend I went to the local country fair.  I think the official slogan is:

Eat Crap and Look At Cows.

I didn’t think the fair would start with a moral dilemma, but there I was at the gate faced with a ticket choice of $8 for adults or $5 for seniors.  Since I am over the age threshold for seniors, I can legitimately save three bucks. So the unethical thing would be for me to say I was younger, and pay MORE to get in.  But I wanted to.

My husband waited patiently.  He likes to save money, but he knew better than to ask aloud for “Two Seniors” without getting the lay of my land, so to speak. He just shrugged.

“One senior and one child?” he finally asked.

“Okay,” I said. “Ask for two seniors. But whisper.”

Well, that was depressing, so we headed right for the Eat Crap section of the fair. I displayed great self-control:  fire-roasted corn-on-the-cob, french fries, and a root beer float.  For fair fare, that’s practically health food.

We spent some time at the truck pull. My husband likes to see trucks haul shit.  He cheered like mad for the Ford trucks.  He booed when the Chevys come out.

On to the Look At Cows portion.

We met a young girl waiting to show her calf. We discovered that she LEASED her calf.  Part of her high-school agriculture coursework. So there’s some farmer out there who gets paid for letting kids take care of his herd.  I am thinking that cow leasing could be a nice second career for me.

The chickens were loud, the rabbits were timid, the pigs were indifferent.  But the sheep were my favorite.  Sheep like me.  Just look at this little guy smiling at me.  He’s positively flirting.

My husband says sheep’s mouths just naturally curve so they look like they are smiling.  But I know better.

I have a special rapport with sheep.  I think they recognize a kindred spirit.

About a quarter of a mile down the road from our house, there is a sheep farm.   The fields there are beautiful, and the neighborhood is quite upscale, so the sheep are very satisfied.

I stop daily on my way home from work and say hello.  They are always friendly.

One day last year, when I drove past the farm, the sheep had escaped and were all milling around, just chillin’  in the road.  Unlike the teenager at the fair, I have not had any coursework in animal husbandry, but I figured the least I could do is knock on the farmhouse door, and let them know that their lambs were loose.

But when I got out of the car, they all came to meet me.  So I walked to the field and they came!  I was a shepherd!

I got them all in the pasture, and they were smiling–laughing even.  But as I closed the gate, it stuck.

And one sheep gave me a very knowing look, and bolted.  And all the other sheep followed this strong-willed old gal and they ran off down the road.  I had to knock on the farmer’s door after all.  The old man said, “Oh, yeah, they do that once in a while.”

But I recognize that old sheep.  (Well, not literally, – they really do all look alike).  But I recognize that old girl in myself.  Happy and content.  But always ready to break out and run down the road.  And yelling to all the other girls, “Follow Me!”

22 Comments

  1. What fun – both the fair…and the lead sheep!! She really does look exactly as you describe – happy..content..but still young enough to be free!!!

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  2. bigsheepcommunications

    Was that sheep at the fair wearing a blankie or undergoing some sort of barnyard spa treatment? Also, I believe the correct slogan is “Eat Deep Fried Crap and Look at Cows and Try Not to Notice the Smell.” Ah, the fair…

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    • Yes…. a blankie… he had just been shorn.

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  3. pharphelonus

    I have a sheep farm not far from me also, also in an upscale neighborhood. Hmmmm. And it’s wonderful being made to feel like you have some power over animals. I went to a party once and the hosts had a longhaired daschund. It was very skittish, and kinda mean to non-family members. Within 15 minutes of my arrival, it was sprawled out on my lap like it had found the perfect place in the universe.

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  4. I’m dying laughing!!!! I LOVE this. I love critters, and I love your writing. I’m pretty sure we’d cause trouble if we were neighbors. Great post.

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  5. I LOVE sheep and I LOVE cows … I drive by pastures of cattle along the highway. I keep telling myself to stop and love on them! One day, when I’m driving by and the ranchers are out feeding them, I’m going to stop and ask if I can play with their cow! I can just imagine the look on the face!

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  6. Great writing.

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  7. Don’t forget to add shepherd to your resume!

    Do they peddle deep fried Twinkies in your neck of the woods, or just mine?

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    • Oh yes, we have all the best of crappy food.

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  8. They have them here in CT! Deep fried Snickers, too. This is a great post. We all need to live near each other! We could start a herd!

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  9. Too funny from start to finish!

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  10. Sheep WHisperer….

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  11. I love sheep, too, tho I suspect they really are not the most intelligent animals. Or so I have heard from others who work with sheep……my favorite memory of our trip to New Zealand was getting caught in a sheep jam on the road. They were everywhere and the car in front of us was being very timid about going through, around, over, under them. Finally the shepherd yelled at the driver “Push on through, mate!” He did and the sheep moved so i guess they weren’t that dumb after all. Sorry my comment turned into more of a post here….but I love sheep. And fairs. And fair food…..stop me now!!!

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  12. To all my readers: For some undetermined time, WordPress had a bad code on my images, and repeated the same photo several times through my blog. They’ve corrected the problem, but I apologize if it looked kind of goofy to you.

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  13. I loved this post, especially the fair slogan. 🙂

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  14. I love the way you tell a story—so INNOCENT and wide-eyed. I just had my smile for the day. It’s been so miserable raining last few days, I needed it. Thanks.

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  15. In Toronto, at the Ex (the Canadian National Exhibition) they had Deep-Fried Butter last year. Apparently this year they had Donut Burgers. Yes, two donuts, with a beef patty in between!!! It sounds disgusting, but people seemed to like it!

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    • Deep Fried Butter? A cardiologist’s dream.

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  16. I love your blog. Makes me laugh out loud (the old-fashioned way, not just LOL) every time.

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  17. Katrina Kritz

    Oh my Lord! Too funny! LOL!!

    Like

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