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.