Yesterday I hitched up the (station)wagon and Earl and I hit town for supplies. It was cold. I bought stuff furiously. I went to Costco, something I never do. Why not? Because I came home with cheesecake, a massive chunk of stilton cheese, some smoked salmon, cheese danishes, artichoke hearts. C. gave me crap for succumbing to Costco-itis. In my defense, I also got organic sugar and short-grain brown rice. And the biggest container of baking powder I've ever seen – 3.75 pounds. I needed that baking powder.
Liam rode in my electric scooter cart, and Emma, an old Costco hand, acted as guide. When Liam got cranky, I drove serpentine and lulled him to sleep. Hit WinCo after, and limped home very tired...
...to find Savvy the sheep had a piece of binder twine wrapped around one leg. And it's cold. And dark. And I'm very tired.
So C. and I suit up in layers and gloves and hats and drive over to the barn, parking with the headlights aimed at the building. We have grain, so everyone comes over. C. takes the bucket of oats and leads the iguanas (code for alpacas) and goats away from the barn gate. I'm inside the barn gate, shaking my grain sack to seduce the sheep. Everyone mills around and Savvy comes in. I close the gate, only to see C., surrounded by goats and iguanas, trip and nearly fall, then overbalance and nearly fall the other way.... She finally goes down face-first, grain dumping all over. Appalling, the big alpaca, rushes over and acts like he is going to kick her, but she's up quickly, swinging the bucket at him. He backs off. Sheesh.
|Night maneuvers at Old School Acres. Note Chel's hideous, treasured 1970s down coat.|
She comes into the barn area and grabs the sheep. Savvy drags her for a few yards, but C. hangs on. (C. is a tiny, stubborn person famous for grabbing sheep and holding on.) She rolls the sheep over, exposing four waving legs, one with bright blue twine around it. I gimp over, cut it free, and Savannah gets up and goes back to the grain. The twine has left marks in the wool but not in the flesh. We are successful, and it's still damn cold.
We drive home and huddle around this. C. tells me of her earlier attempt to cut the twine off the sheep. Apparently Appalling took seriously this attempt to restrain a member of his herd, and lunged over, spitting furiously. We're pleased that he will defend the sheep, but not that he is so damn aggressive toward us. Alpaca spit is hard to get off eyeglasses.
She lectures me – again – about picking up the twine from hay bales.
And all this time I thought "barn hygiene" was scraping chicken shit off my boots before I came inside.