Beginnings, Part III

"What is my husband going to think?" Well, as I said previously, that thought was quickly shoved out of my head as Lee and I walked back out to the sheep enclosure to look at Mikey, Black Velvet, and Panda Bear...the three sheep that Lee was offering to me. I looked at their sweet sheepy faces and fell in love - now, it's not particularly surprising that I fell in love with animals...this has been happening since I was a little girl. But these three sheep were different than the others in Lee's flock - they were much more willing to hang about and stare at us, as opposed to running out into the pasture.  They looked genuinely curious about me, and I took that as a sign that this was meant to be.

So Lee and I talked further about the costs and needs of sheep - what I could expect if I decided to become a fledgling shepherdess. All in all, it sounded very doable - we already have a sheep barn on our property, as well as three fenced pastures. The biggest expense was going to be buying the sheep and eventually, the winter hay. So I bit the bullet and asked the big question - how much will the three sheep cost to purchase from Lee?



That's my trick ear, Joe. It sounded as if you said no charge.
That's charge. Lee wasn't selling these sheep - she had already sold them to her friend, who she had lost to cancer. She just wants a good home for them to live out the rest of their lives, and because they are such gentle souls, they will be perfect for somebody finding her feet in the world of sheep.
I was touched beyond belief, and I nearly cried, but I managed to hold it together. I thanked her profusely and said that I would talk to my husband - she suggested he come out to meet her and the sheep sometime, and so we parted, me clutching the three fleece I bought with my heart about to burst from happiness!
Once I got back to town, I called David. After a brief run-down of the morning's events, I finally blurted out, "And she wants to give me 3 of her sheep!" I think I heard laughing on the other end of the line, but I wasn't hearing dead silence or grumbling, so I was very hopeful. I said, "I know the sheep barn needs work," and he replied, "Yeah, a lot of work." I promised to do the work myself if he would teach me - there was more chuckling in my ear. He said, "We'll need to buy a trailer," and I said, "Oh yeah, I hadn't thought about how to transport them." More laughing. But he never said no, and that was my dear husband's way of saying yes. After 20 years, I've learned the fine art of reading between the lines, and I know a resounding yes when I hear (or don't hear) one!
The next day I e-mailed Lee to let her know that we are definitely going to take her up on her generous offer.  Said generous offer grew substantially in her reply, where she said that she would keep the sheep for me until after shearing in April - because we have things to get ready around here, and we would have to buy hay to keep them fed until spring (which is really pricey if you're buying it a little bit at a time from a feed store), it made more sense to her to let them stay where they were until we had everything ready for them. Then after they're sheared, I'll get to bring them and their fleeces home with me! Remember, back in my first post when I said that the fact that I bought 3 fleeces that day would seem funnier by the time I finished my story?  Yes...because I'm ending up with 6 fleeces and 3 sheep, when I really thought I was going out to her place to get a single fleece. But can you blame me? Look at them - look at their beautiful wool and their sweet faces!
So my adventure begins...not only learning everything I possibly can about caring for sheep, but learning everything I possibly can about Icelandic sheep...their fleece, their history, and the ways in which our northern European ancestors processed this wool. I am starting a journey that, I believe, was meant to be...I don't believe in coincidences, and somehow I ended up at Jerry Lee Farm at the right time and for a reason, and I hope that I learn all that I am supposed to learn on this path! To quote Bernard Cornwell and Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg,
Wyrd bið ful aræd.
Fate is inexorable.







Wyrd bið ful aræd.Fate is inexorable.Amen.

Jennifer Bogut

YES!!! :)

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