notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Sheep Rapport

In honor of Labor Day (because I don’t want to perform any actual Labor) – and in celebration of the start of Country Fair season in New England, here is an encore presentation of my Labor Day post from two years ago – when I first started blogging.

**

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!”

30 Comments

  1. I am admittedly a city girl, but the sheep are adorable. I’d only seen cows in movies and such until I was an adult; when I finally saw one up close I realized they are 1) huge and 2) smelly. Not as adorable as they seemed. But I’m up for eating crap!!

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    • Cows are cute too, and sheep are very smelly.

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  2. Love it! Sheep really are kind of comical looking. I grew up in the country amid farms, but everyone there had cows and pigs…no sheep.

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    • We have mostly dairy farms in Connecticut – but lots of sheep too. The sheep farm in my neighborhood is a gentleman farmer’s pasttime – we have some of those too.

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  3. I swear I am going to make a book of your blog posts so I will know I have a place to go for laughter! I love your sheep rapport and the account of Cows and Food at the Fair. Goats are attracted to me. I know this because one ate my skirt once. 🙂 Keep ’em coming! I love your blog!

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    • A goat once ate the WHOLE of the back of my mother’s skirt! We kids loved it.

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  4. I am glad that you re-posted this as I would have missed it. Lovely post! I have not had much contact with sheep as I grew up on a ranch where cattle and goats were more common. Too funny when you asked husband to whisper two seniors. Cheers for Labor Day and NOT laboring.

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    • I really hate senior discoutns. I hate especially when someone gives me one automatically.

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  5. You were brilliant from the git-go, Nancy

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  6. mo

    This made me laugh! “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”. Mu Hubby would have cheered for the Chevy trucks. They do love watching trucks hauling shit. Thanks for the laugh.

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    • At this year’s fair, we watched the antique tractor pull. My husband thought his tractor could do better.

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  7. This is a lovely re-post. I think it was a good choice to whisper and save money, this way you could eat healthy inside, you know all their health food is double the price.

    A rapport with sheep, yes I can see this.

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    • I have no problem asking for a senior discount for my husband.

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  8. Up early, had a bad dream, which carried me backwards a few months to ponder again.. But with coffee in hand, reading this blog to the end, smiling all the way, thinking I’m like that sheep who would rather not be fenced in! Thanks for the smiles you bring through your writing! You really should write a book. You are the female version of Bill Bryson. 🙂

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  9. This was great and definitely worth re-posting. I do think the sheep fancy you 🙂

    MJ

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    • I am positive of it. I think I am very cute to a sheep.

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  10. I haven’t been to a fair since my daughter was little. Sheep are adorable but cows are gushers, if you catch my drift. Stand back. Waaayyy back.

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  11. Perfect description of a county fair just this weekend, my husband, brother, sister-in-law and I deCided to go to the famous Blue Hill Fair — made memorable in Charlotte’s Web. We drove past it, took in the livestock stalls, the carnie rides and the greasy food stalls. We opted to go into Blue Hill to a bookstore and a bar. I think we all deserve blue ribbons in decision-making.

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    • Maybe if you go to the bar FIRST, then the country fair…

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  12. I think most of us would follow you too!

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  13. Loved the “fair fare” that you chose and yes, at the WI State Fair, that is health food! Every year at our fair, we wait to see what chocolate covered fried food will be the latest hit, i.e. deep fried chocolate covered bacon.! For me, there is nothing better than the animal barn, far away from the culinary options, where you can watch nature at its best – unless you stumble into the pig barn and the vet has his arm up to his elbow inside the sow helping to deliver her piglets while your five year old is fixated on the video screen and is traumatized for days!! Paying senior citizen rates is only one of the many hazards of your local fair!!

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    • Last year and the rabbit judging, the judge didn’t like one little rabbit because he said she was too loose. I didn’t know you could be downgraded because you are a little slutty.

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      • That’s a good one, a little slutty rabbit – it’s those fluffy white tails that make us all judge 🙂

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  14. “One senior and one child?” LMAO! I am a “few” years older… (ahem)… than my husband, and I’m still throwing away all of the AARP crap I get in the mail, while he is saying…”hey, you should sign up for this. Look at all these discounts older people get.” I know he’s right, but I’m just not “there” yet.

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    • My husband and I still haven’t joined AARP, even though we know there are discounts involved.

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  15. Our county fair offers deep-fried oreos! As if oreos needed more calories wrapped around them, once by being dipped in pancake batter, twice by being fried in some cheap, rancid vegetable oil. I just hope that none of the guys participating in the demolition derby eat too many of them BEFORE the derby….

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