Wednesday, August 25, 2010
sheep take a hike
Don your hat, dust off your boots, and git yer'self over to the County Fair!
We've (meaning Ryenne and Grandpa J) got the lambs trimmed, buffed, and fluffed. This morning we are loadin' 'em up and headin' 'em out. Within a few hours Pork Chop and company will be all set in their new digs inside the 4-H lamb barn. Tomorrow is the big show day. Day of accountability, you could say. On Friday Kate, Emmy, and their lamb will be costumed up for the pee wee lead. And Saturday? The sale. Shape him up and ship him out, that's what I say.
Oh. And I'd be lying if I said I kinda can't wait.
Having said this, you can imagine my alarm at my recent conversation with Courtney. The same Courtney who has hardly laid eyeballs on the lambs the entire summer. The same one who is NOT dragging Pork Chop and Friend down the road by a halter most days. The exact same guy who has nary heard a whine from his girls as they attempt this whole process.
Yeah, that's the guy I'm talking about.
WELL. Let me tell you about this little conversation we had.
We were lying in bed the other night discussing the upcoming sheeping events. I was telling him that I am not sure Ryenne's lamb will do as well as last year's lamb. Now, I am the first to admit to being a little shy in the sheep knowledge department. But. Even I can see with my two uneducated eyes that Ryenne's little Pork Chop fellow does not look as nice in the tail-end region as Flufflebugs did last year.
I'm just sayin'. . .
After hearing my expert opinion, he also took into account that we have very few friends that might actually fork up the money to buy the lamb. (Friends are good to have at the sale, you see. Corporate friends. And may I just be blunt? We don't have any of this kind.) After a good hard look at our options (which we fear may be few), Courtney came to the conclusion that we might need to buy Ryenne's lamb ourselves. Sometimes families do this when they don't have a buyer so that the kids can earn enough to pay for the lamb, the feed, and still have a little payoff for all of their hard work.
Fair enough, I thought. Bummer, but we could do that. Buy it and then sell it to market. This way, Ryenne could still come out ahead (at our expense), and feel good about her project.
AND THEN. This is when I got alarmed. THEN. He sneaked out the suggestion that maybe we would want to just keep the lamb. Seeing how her lamb is a ewe (a momma lamb) and all, he was thinking that maybe we could just keep her, breed her, and start our very own happy herd of lambs. (Grandma and Grandpa, who have in the past supplied the girls with lambs, have recently sold out. Closed up shop, you might say.)
Us? Our own little herd? Me? A sheep herder?
This, my friends, is not in my plans. You know why? YOU KNOW WHY? I don't know anything about lambs. That is, except for three months of every year, they are somewhat of a pain in my behind. Why do I want to make it twelve?
And you know what? DO YOU KNOW WHAT, MR. HUSBAND? You are quite often NOT HERE. They wouldn't be our happy herd of lambs. They would be MY herd. My project! And guess what? I DON'T NEED ANOTHER PROJECT! Especially in the middle of a raging blizzard this February when I would be bundled up in the pasture looking for wee little lamb babies. (Do you forget I've watched your parents do this for a long, long time?)
No way buddy.
And to make my point perfectly clear, DEAR, I have a book for you. You see, I was reading Claire a bedtime story last night when I happened upon this book. And in your absence (which is exactly why this whole idea worries me), I thought of you. I thought of the lambs and your little suggestion.
This is what I think of the whole idea. . .
It's warm and clear!
(and soon we're getting rid of them, dear!)
Now you're not here.
No, you're not here!
But the rest of us are loading up all of the gear.
Sheep bicker. Kids bicker.
All of this is hard on my ticker.
Sometimes it's fun.
Sometimes it's a drag.
On and on.
On and on.
Up the hill, and down the dale,
if we're not careful the sheep will bail.
You are smart.
You are wise.
In spite of all this,
you still gave it a try.
Baby, here's the deal:
I like to run.
I like to bike.
Like I said,
They can take a hike.