Friday, February 22, 2008

In Praise of Betty the Sheep

Here's Betty doing what she does best; looking up towards the house watching for movement. I guess winter does that to a person, you just sort of space out. Betty has hay stuck in her wool, which drives me nuts. It feels like the hay is attached with velcro and when you pull on it, it even sounds like velcro. If you scratch Betty, which she loves, you'll get black oily residue on your hands, I suppose that would be lanolin. One year, I was determined to save her wool and actually get it ready to......to what? I dunno, spin or something. I read up on how to clean it. I was about 1/2 hour into the project when I got overwhelmed, like you wouldn't believe, as there was 52,000,000,000 little pieces of debris that just would NOT let go of their strong attachment to her wool.
Still, I decided to stuff it into old pillow cases until I figured out an easier way. I forgot about these pillow cases of wool for about two years. I don't even remember how they got up in my attic, but when I came across them two years later, I opened them up......still smelled the same, still full of dirt and possibly even more gross than before.
I read where lambs wool is just dandy for the garden.
I'm not so sure, it took a looooooooooong time before it even started to decompose. It's almost impossible to work into the soil. And, people always said, "what the heck is THAT?!!" when admiring my herb garden. Most people thought the wool was a dead animal.
All in all, Betty has proven to be the easiest pet I've ever had the priviledge to care for. She is low maintenance and has done her job spendidly, which is to be a pasture mate to Nancy, the horse.
The two of them face each day and night, side by side, year after year, with patience and trust.
It's been a wonderful experience to be a part of their everyday world.

3 comments:

katelynjane said...

Aw! She's so cute (: I love the blog entries you have, they're so down to earth! When I was a kid we had a heard of sheep. Mom tried to make one of those sheep-skin rugs or mats, but it didn't really work. Apparently you need to soften the skin by rubbing salt or something on it and it look much more effort than we thought it would. So she sent it away along with the bags and bags of other wool to make quilts for us kids and socks. Mom and dad still have sheep actually, six of them all gave birth to twins this year! SO CUTE! I'll have to post pictures on my blog soon (:

art4friends said...

Yeah I am the same, lots of notes on scrap bits of paper, anything i can find at the time. and then i probably end up loosing them!

but at least we are keeping creative!

xx

Rosie's Whimsy said...

awwww....Betty is a sweetie. We need something like that for our big Alaskan Malamute. She is an outside dog (only can stand being inside for a couple minutes at a time). We have an inside dog that plays with her several times a day but she needs a companion. I think I need to call a resue shelter for farm animals....hmmm....