Friday, August 22, 2008

a night with rams

Good morning. It's around 6:30 here and outside all the morning work is done. The yard birds are fed and watered, straw's been cleaned up and replaced, and the rabbits are all in clean cages. So before I hop in the shower I thought I'd tell you about last night.

It was great. I drove on old back roads to Hebron, winding past end-of-summer farms high in corn and sweet-smelling in freshly cut hay. I can't wait to drive that same road in high fall. It wil be like rolling through Narnia. After this road love, I pulled into Shelli and Allen's place in New York. I was greeted by the sight of a few sheep grazing on the hill. Wonderful, that. Past them was a big old farmhouse, a giant barn, and a small pond. Lucinda waved and shouted HELLO JENNA!. She's their wild curly-haired four-year old who was standing on her cliff of a front yard like a little goat. I get a kick out of this kid. We have developed a secret handshake. You will never learn it.

After farm dogs were calmed and greetings and wine bottles were exchanged, we took the tour, and I met the two rams that would most likely be mine. Their names were Sweet Sal and Marvin. Two castrated guys who were hand raised, and very friendly. Sal stood beside me like a golden retriever, Marvin bleated hello. Besides them there were a few ewes and two Angora Goats (which looked amazing, i would love some one day, but hey one step at a time!)

So we toured the barns and poultry houses and all the while Lucinda and her little sister ran around with ducklings in their arms or climbing fences. I felt kinda proud of them. I like these brazen country kids. It's a good feeling seeing 20-month-olds who smile while they climb fences with sheep poo on their little wellies.

After the animals were set we came inside and Shelli cooked an amazng Thai dish. Friends, it had been far too long since I had curry. It was fantastic. I left full of plans and food. A good feeling. I regret not getting a chance to see Allen's new mandolin. Next time.

On the way home I stopped by my co-worker Nadine's farm. She has a herd of long-haired sheep lead by a giant ram with horns named Gregory (Sal and Marv are debudded, no horns.) She loaded up my subaru with a bale of hay (to get me started, she is a sweetheart) and we went inside to meet her husband Dave and the dogs. Dave met me with a smile, a white beard and overalls. I liked him on the spot. We talked dogs, fences, hay, farm stuff. I left happy and grateful. The drive home was musical. Drives through the dark summer woods are what Iron and Wine writes music for. I sang Passing Afternoon like it was the song at the end of the world. It probably is.

This weekend I'll either stay in town to build the sheep shed - or I'll drive up to Strafford to watch a NEBCA novice trial (A beginner trial for new border collies). So it's either going to watch sheepdogs or stay at home to prepare for sheep. A fine problem to have, if I may be so brassy to say. And Saturday night is Storey's 25th Anniversery dinner, which I get to attend as a fancy author. if you live around here you should check out their Country Fair tomorrow afternoon in North Adams. I'll post the flyer when I'm at work.

So, fine readers, all of this is so new to me. All of it kinda exciting. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm more excited about the sheep than the dinner. I think Storey would prefer that I was anyway. Which is why I love them.

Hey, stay tuned. Sorry I forgot to take pictures last night!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Jenna!
Do castrated male sheep have a special name like in goats (wether) and cattle (steer)? Just curious.

I love that you have such wonderful choices to make for your weekends... Sounds like my dear friend and her Cold Antler Farm are really moving along. Huzzah!

August 22, 2008 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

yeah, they're wethers too.

thanks di!

August 22, 2008 at 1:37 PM  

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