...........Here we tell short sheep stories with a little wit and occasional pearls of wisdom. This area will be changed on a fairly regular basis. The pictures are copyrighted, please do not use them.
..........There is a link at the bottom of the page to go back to the previous tales............This story was written in Feb. 1999
...# 12 Invisible sheep.
I took a close look at the large black ewe that I was holding. Strange! She didn't look at all familiar. "And who is this?" I said (in a voice like the father who notices a new mouth at the supper table). Jean paused while measuring out a dose of worming medicine, glanced over at the quiet ewe, squinted briefly and said "That's Velocity's daughter's daughter!"
Turning the sheep's head slightly, I tried to recall ever having seen this particular sheep...... and couldn't.
Jean "works" with the sheep all the time, regularly changing coats, trimming feet, vaccinating, worming, checking for coughs, drippy noses, soupy poops, scraped knees, and tending to all the assorted problems that sheep seem to discover. The sheep are used to being rounded up and herded into the barn, and in fact some are beginning to respond correctly when they hear "GO TO THE BARN!"
Me? I'm the heavy. I'm the bad guy. I'm the one that grabs them and holds them while they get their shots, or wrestles them into position for feet trimming. So it is unusual for me to not recognize a ewe that has obviously been in my hands on many occasions.
Coming to grips with the obvious, I said "You know, Jean, I think what we have here is an invisible sheep!"
"I know what you mean", Jean replied, "you never know that she is here. She is never sick, never causes any trouble, always quiet, never first in line nor the last."
Several days later the subject of the "invisible sheep" came up, and I found that I could not form a mental image of this sheep beyond "large, black ewe".
In a flock of 10,000 it is most likely that you may notice only a very few sheep as being "individuals". In a small farm flock it does not take long to see them as individuals and notice that thing the we call "personality".
Different sheep have different personalities. Some are obvious and blatant, like Mesis
who tries to nibble on the camera straps and occasionally smears the lens with her slimy nose.
Some are like Nina, always subtly moving to the "other side" of the group and away from we humans.
Some sheep have a real attitude like the little Navajo Churro named "Proud", or are distinctively marked with striking patterns like "Finally" (pictured below).
Some have pronounced features, special ears, shining face, or flouncing fleece that draws your attention.
The invisible ewe is "large and black", and she seems to vanish into her small group. It would be different if her group was composed of all large, black sheep, but that is not the case, as her's is a mix of all sizes and colors. In fact, she is the next to largest sheep in the bunch.
She is actually a lovely creature, with excellent wool, but if she were human, you would probably call her "a wall flower", quiet and unnoticed.
I suppose there are definite advantages for being an "invisible sheep", the most obvious (to me) would be that you can stand at the feeder and eat the tastiest morsels, when the more frantic are wildly dashing about.
In some ways, I suppose that "invisible sheep" are a shepherd's dream, never sick, never a bother, but a whole flock would be .......... rather boring!
Looking through the hundreds of pictures that I have taken of the sheep, I found only one of the invisible ewe, and it was very poor, so today I made a real effort to capture her image and have finally succeeded.
Let me introduce you to the "invisible sheep".
Gentle and passive, large and black, #28 does not have a name other than "the invisible sheep". She is due to lamb in a couple of weeks, and I just hope she does not give birth to ........... "invisible lambs".
You can click on these numbers to continue, or use the pink buttons at the top of the page, or the *Jump links* that are below, to go somewhere else.
#1."Me-sis" #2. "Gem" #3. Short History #4. Stupid? #5. Rule #1 #6. Chris #7. Leonard #8 Lamb Wave #9. You know...when, #10. "Wimps" #11. "Fidget" #12. Invisible sheep #13. "Fraidy" #14. Words
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