Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lucy's First Fleece - Part One

Last month's sheep shearing has spun me head over heels into a new world of neps and noils, niddy noddies, rolags, cards and combs. My mind is all in a twist over the creative possibilities now that I am the delighted owner of a fleece. A rather muddy, thorny fleece from our sheep-pig but a beautiful home-raised fleece nonetheless.

Lucy was a pathetic little baby lamb who spent many hours in my arms and under my jersey
Lucy as a newborn lamb next to the fire

Lucy was one of the dogs before she thought she was a pig

Hope looking on while Lucy gets a bottle
Lucy the Lamb has grown from a tiny desperate orphan into a friendly fat sheep who thinks she is a pig. She follows the pigs as they do what pigs do, grazing alongside them as they snout for tasty roots, lying chewing her cud in the mud as they wallow in it. She bosses them around too, not hesitating to butt Winifred out of the way if the sow happens to be lying in Lucy's path. Once she gave them both a jolly good butting when they were so naughty as to venture out the gate. She has been known to cheekily step off the wall down onto Houdini's back and then onto the lawn.

Lucy and the pigs feasting on damaged fruit

Lucy out walking on the farm with our friends and 5 dogs
Lucy is also the worst thief of the farmyard, regularly testing gates to see if she can sneak into the garden to steal blossoms off berry bushes and foliage from almond saplings.

Lucy on her way to Shearing

Lucy was not as charmed as I was at the prospect of her shearing. My men hoisted her unceremoniously into the back of my car and drove her to the next door farm where the shearers had set up to clip their way through an enormous flock. Lucy waited patiently for her turn.

With a dog collar around her neck she followed us obediently until suddenly she was flipped over onto her back and had to suffer the indignity of baring her belly to the woolly audience.

Once the shearing was over she gulped down mouthfuls of calming grass and then bleated her dismay all the way home. She soon settled down, tethered on the lawn, and grazed the until sunset as if nothing had changed in her world. Fearing a chill I dressed her in a large dog jacket and put her to bed for the night. By morning the jacket was off and Lucy was once again one of the pigs.

 As for me, I finally had my precious fleece. Lucy's first fleece. My daunting fleece. My intimidating fleece. I left it in its bag and went away for the weekend.

... to be continued


  1. Love it! All I remember of her was "Catherine had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb...and everywhere that Catherine went the lamb was sure to go. So sweet my friend.

  2. I love your farm tales Catherine. And Lucy! oh my goodness, so sweet. I hope you will be taking her with you when you move.

  3. Oh how exciting! I love shearing day and all of the promise just waiting in the fleece.

    You'll have a great time.