Wednesday, January 7, 2009

an open letter

Dear Maude,

Let's be honest. You don't like me. Actually, you don't like anyone. You stare at sheep and human alike as if they owe you something. You walk around the farm despondent, bitchy, and loud. When I walk up to your pen with arms full of expensive second-cut hay, all you do is stand there. The other sheep prance and hop about, but noooooo not you. You are a pillar. You have all the warmth of a dead gazelle. The others, they come up to me and let me scratch their heads and pat their sides. But not you. No, never you. All you do when I show up is give me a long look up and down as if to say "Yep. I hates me this woman something awful. Today's a fine day for some crackerjack-a-hating." Then you turn around and show me your very unattractive rear features. Crikey Maude, You don't even baa like the others. It's lower, angrier, and they're boys.

What's your problem Maude? Why do you hate everyone (read me) so much? What did I ever do to you? All right, there was the day I drove you here, but that day was rough on both of us. It's not easy getting livestock into the back of a Subaru. I get that you left your old home and landed with this rookie. I understand that now you're in a smaller house, less pasture... But hey, it's not the best memory for me either. That time when your halter slipped around your neck and you panicked, it was bound to choke you okay? That was like, 45% your fault. But come on, how long was that? A minute of discomfort before I was right there on the ground with you, taking it off, and making it all better. Couldn't have been that tramatic since the second you were in your pen your face was jammed into the grain bin like a fatty hamburger. Devastating, huh? Drama queen on the hoof, that's what you are.

Maude, listen, I am not going to eat you. I will never eat you. Here's a little secret: I have never even tasted sheep. Lamb has never touched these lips. You're living with a vegetarian on a small farm. You can't beat that with a stick. As far as sheeps' lives' go you've got it pretty boss. Okay okay...Yes, the rumors are true. Come spring I'll probably steal your outfit, but you'll be glad I did. No one looks or feels good in a wool suit in June. No one.

Maude, we need to work this out but I am running out of ideas. I've tried buying you off, bribery, gifts, extra attention. There was even that week where we ignored each other completely. I remember you being happiness then...When I pretended I didn't exist around you? Damnit Maude. All you're doing is proving the theory that I am crappy at making friends with girls. I have plenty of guy friends, but when it comes to making girl friends I am garbage. You're like those tall vindictive girls from 11th grade. You want me to get you a Diet Coke and a Teen Vogue? Really round out my high school experience?

Your roommates, those dudes standing next to you wagging their stubby tales - they love me. They can't get enough of me. Actually, we're thinking of joining a bocce leage together and you know what? With that attitude you're looking at a big "sorry, we forgot to invite you" right in the face. What do you think of that Sister Sledge? Huh? HUH?!

Oh, Maude. If we could power generators off your angst we'd have a potent source of renewable energy. You are hopeless. But you know what. I still kinda love you—you mean, crotchety, ruthless old ewe. Surely you will forever.



Blogger Diana said...

I want a Cafe' Press T-shirt that reads... "Maude, the mean, crotchety, ruthless old ewe." With her shining face and "Cold Antler Farm, Sandgate, VT" on it. That's what I want.

January 7, 2009 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Angi said...

Hahahaha, this post cracked me up to no end! I just started reading your blog (after finishing your book a few days ago) and it has become a bright spot in my day. Thanks!

January 7, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I just discovered your blog after reading about your book in my local newspaper. Will be buying the book soon. I went back and read all of your posts to 2007. I have been getting so much enjoyment reading your posts. I also got a co-worker to start reading your blog. You inspired me so much I started my first blog. You can check me out at

January 7, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Mama Pea said...

Great post! Maude reminds me of a dairy goat we had. Debra was a big, beautiful red-headed Nubian that you would have thought had everything going for her. But not only didn't she like people, she didn't like other goats either. Besides that, she put her foot in the milk bucket whenever she got the chance. On purpose, I'm sure. Sigh. Some ewes/goats/people are just like that.

January 7, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger yarrow said...

Damnit Maude. All you're doing is proving the theory that I am crappy at making friends with girls.

ohmygod, you just won my heart forever. i feel like this about our livestock guardian dog at least once a week.

just found you through Green as a Thistle, and i'm glad to have followed her link! your writing is delightful! if you're interested in a similar effort in New Mexico, our community can be found on LJ at

January 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger laura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 9, 2009 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live with a small sheep flock in Idaho. The boys are usually friendlier than the ewes, who naturally gang together and avoid me (except for one who will approach for a head scratch). Maude would be happier with another ewe or two, preferrably from her original flock, but she won't ever get friendly like the boys.

January 11, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger anniebeez said...


May 26, 2010 at 10:39 AM  

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