Today I did it. I sheared a sheep. In fact, I sheared 3 1/2 sheep. That half comes from Z, since I started giving her a trim using the scissors earlier in the week and only got about half finished, but she's not lopsided anymore.
Those of you that know me know I'll get to the point of going out in the field and getting a hold of one of the sheep and start cutting away with the Fiskar scissors. You see, Hon's a busy man, and I don't feel like I can harass him too much over sheep not being sheared, being as he has two jobs...and a boat load of other stuff to do around here on top of that. I decided this afternoon it was time to get a hold of Z, trim her up so she wasn't looking so funky, and then move on to the next unsuspecting sheep. That was Lucy, by the way.
Problem with those Fiskars, as much as I love using them, is they start pressing on parts of my fingers that in the end feel tingly for days because I bruise a nerve. I remembered buying Hon a pair of hand shears (the non-electric ones) last May that hadn't been used yet. I figured if I can use Fiskars and get the job done, as slow as it is, I can give those medieval things a go, too. I'd use the electric shears, but I'm a wimp at heart, and they just make me nervous. It was time to put on my big girl panties and move up from the Fiskars. I did, however, keep them in my back pocket for moral support.
As I was shearing Lucy (I just love to say that because I sound so professional), Hon came out and asked me if I needed help. "Nope, I'm good, " I said. Then Kid came out and asked me about shearing his Leicester Longwool, Ramley. I was kind of getting tired since I'm slower than molasses when it comes to wool removal, and asked him to find out from Hon how he wanted to do it - electric shears or not - really hoping Hon would do it. He said he'd shear Ramley, so he got out all the stuff he uses to do it - electric cord, tarp and stuff to keep it on the ground, shears, oil spray for the shears - caught Ramley, and turned those shears on. Nothing - they wouldn't work - something was broken. That meant I was going to work on Ramley, too. Problem was, I had gotten Hon to catch Little Man for me before he started his setup, so I was working on him. Kid held onto Ramley while I worked on Little Man, filling up a garbage bag with all his fibery goodness. I must admit, I did a real nice job using those shears, too. I like to think he was happy with his new look.
Oh...about 45 minutes later...it was Ramley's turn. Now I'm a lot more high tech than Hon is when it comes to shearing equipment. I moved over to him with my scissors (ahem, hand shears) and plastic bag. Being as this is the first time we've sheared Ramley, I noticed his fiber is kind of cool. It all hangs in separate locks. Hon helped me by holding him still. He was a nervous little bugger - Ramley that is, not Hon. I cut and cut and cut and cut. I'm sorry, that's wrong. I sheared and sheared and sheared and sheared. I could pick his locks up and cut them quite nicely without worry of second cuts. Since I'm a lot more high tech than Hon when I shear, I prefer to have the sheep standing while I move around them, whereas Hon starts with them on their behind, their back sort of laying against his legs, and does this flipping them around thing. He has his way, I have mine...and I am not the Hulk. After a while, when I got to some of the more delicate areas of a ram, I did get out my Fiskars, which I think made us both feel a bit better about the situation. While I did that Hon took the shears and started in on some other parts of him. Figures I got stuck with the back end and all it's poopy parts while he got to work on the front, but I suppose someone had to get the job done... Besides, Lucy had already peed into my rubber boot and Little Man had made sure to also make a deposit...so I wasn't the cleanest. In the end, Ramley had his wool removed. Hon and I did a great job working together and getting the job done. We're a great team. If I hadn't been so worn out, I'd have asked him to wrangle another sheep over, but tomorrow's another day...and I wanted to get my wet boot off.
So, there you have it folks. I did a painfully slow but professional (in my world) shearing job, graduating from total Fiskar scissor cut to those non-electric hand shears. Z, Lucy, Little Man, and Ramley are all looking spiffy out there in the field, sporting their new hair cuts. The others have resorted to eyeing me nervously. While we were shearing, Hon said, "Shearers have the softest hands!" I told him we need to print that on a t-shirt because it is oh so true! I don't know about you, but I need to go get cleaned up. Smells a bit sheepy around here. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.