Friday, September 25, 2009

Shearing the Sheep

Sheep shearing has long been a skillful craft. They even have international competitions. Usually shearing is done with electric shears but here in the south of Spain the shepherds use home-made scissors with very sharp points that I have never understood because it is so easy to puncture the skin with these things. Mind you, they are probably about as fast with these hand shears than any expert with electric ones. I sheared my own sheep with normal scissors and it took forever and my sheep looked like a poorly cut poodle, but the wool soon grew out again. A professional would not come for so few sheep so I was forced to do it myself. Each sheep had its own special trick to standing still while I labored away with my scissors. Negrita, the black sheep seen here in a very old picture on a picnic with Lenox, would only let me shear her. As a present for me a local shepherd was having his sheep done and thought he would give me a gift of shearing Negrita. After several hours and several men they gave up and said they had never come across an animal like this one. Lucía Amalita is the other sheep, while still in the baby phase, shown here watching TV with Freetxua. Every feed I would hold Lucia like a baby and bottle feed her, for way too many months - but that’s me: all the while singing her a little song I made up. When it came time to shear her she wouldn’t stand still so I started to sing her song to her and then she was ok. When she was half finished and I was exhausted my son and his friends said they would finish her. I told them they would have to sing her song or she would run away. The big tough boys just laughed at me, knowing that they out-weighed her ten to one. After a lot of screaming and laughing I heard one of them break into song and not long after appeared a well-shorn Lucia.

1 comment:

Amber said...

You should turn this one into a chidrens story!