Alex and Arnie come to live at the farm

My flock of nine sheep (four lambs from Foster Sheep Farm and five yearlings from Wing and a Prayer Farm) came together nicely last Summer, and I pretty much thought, “That’s it for me – no more sheep!”  Oh, there was plenty of temptation on my Instagram feed, adorable lambs are everywhere, every day.  But, I resisted…until Allison posted these pictures:

…and what’s a shepherd to do?  So, I drove over the hills of Cambridge for a look-see.  They boys had grown a bit, of course, but they were just as adorable.

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And, always a weak spot for me, they came with a story.  Arnie has injured himself somehow, and lost a good chunk of his tongue.  His intrepid and spunky nature showed itself early, for this little fella found a way to eat and nourish himself, nevertheless.  The only drawback to his new way of feeding was that he drools while ruminating – foamy, icky, green drool which gets on his fleece, and because he cuddles with his brother at nap time, he drools on Alex, too.  Allison needed to bathe both boys frequently, and Arnie  needed to wear at coat to protect his gorgeous Cotswold fleece; most likely, Alex would, too.

My buddy Amos, a fine wool Cormo, needs to wear a jacket to protect his fleece – and I find it an enormous ordeal to get those coats on and off.  So, at first, I hesitated.  Allison let me know that I did not need to adopt both boys – Arnie had other sheep to keep him company  Lilac Rain Farm.  When I saw these two together, though, I felt they belonged together – and Arnie’s will to survive pulled at my heartstrings.  Yes, the drool  was unsightly, but coats and the occasional hosing down will help mitigate that.  And the fleece has to be washed before processing, anyway.

You know how this story ends…the boys came to live at Hebron Hills Farm:

As Allison suggested, they’ll start wearing their coats after shearing in late October.  Until then, rain and the garden hose will have to do.

The flock were a bit startled when the lambs first pranced into the pasture on Monday.  A bit of shoving here and butting there went on, just to let the new comers know their place in the hierarchy of sheep order here.  The little ones took it all in stride, and kept trying to ingratiate themselves any way: a friendly nuzzle, giving way at the grain trough or the water tub.  By Thursday they had been allowed into the pole barn when it rained, and were grazing alongside the big guys when it did not; by Friday, Arnie had figured out how to finagle an entire grain trough all to himself:

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I now have a flock of eleven, and that’s it for me – no more sheep!

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