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Mary had some Little Lambs

Hi! I’m Mary! And I’m Marilyn! We are Jacob sheep and we live at Meridian Jacobs in Vacaville.  Robin, who runs this place, asked if we would do her a favor. She says she has Writer’s Block and wants us to fill in for her. She is supposed to tell all of you something about us sheep. We are flattered that she asked us to do this. We have heard that Robin does a lot of writing and the only other friend she has asked to help her is Rusty, who gets to have his own blog. (meridianrusty.wordpress.com)

Mary and her triplets

Mary and her triplets

Marilyn

Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary: Rusty is a Border Collie who is supposed to tell us where to go. He thinks he is hot stuff,  but us sheep know that he is easily intimidated if one of us turns and looks at him. I had three lambs in March and I can make Rusty slink away if I hit him with my horns. Robin usually intervenes before I can do that.

Marilyn: Gee, Mary, I can’t wait until I have my own lambs. Do you think I will have three?

Mary: Marilyn, you are only five months old. If you are lucky enough to go out with the boys this fall you will probably only have one lamb in the spring.  Most of us grown-up ewes have twins, but Robin was surprised that seven of us had triplets this year. I’m special because Robin chose me to lamb at the CA State Fair in the fancy nursery managed by the UCD Vet School. I have lambed there for the last five years. Last fall, however, a ram named Miller got through the fence and even though Robin gave me the sheep version of the morning-after pill, I had triplets in the spring. I sure love my sweet babies!

Marilyn: Ooh! Miller is my daddy so I guess your lambs are my sisters! I heard Robin say that I was going to go to the fair, but not to the nursery. In June I went to a place called Oregon and got a blue ribbon at Black Sheep Gathering. My mom, Hot Lips, won a blue ribbon there a couple of years ago. Mom’s friend, Fandango, who is a year older than me, got a Champion ribbon this year. Fandango only has two horns though and I have four. I think that maybe I’m more special.

Robin with Fandango

Robin with Fandango

Mary: I have four horns too, but some of my best friends and even my lambs have two horns. We are Jacob sheep and two or four horns are OK. But back to the fair. I’ll kind of miss the fair this year. I don’t mind the people who are there to see us and I do like having really good alfalfa in our feeders all the time…and fans blowing when it is hot. On the other hand, I like our very own pasture. All of us girls go out into the pasture every day.

Marilyn: Sometimes Robin makes us stay in. I don’t like that.

Mary: Yes, but that is only when she has Irrigation Water on. Did you know, Marilyn, that if Robin didn’t irrigate every three weeks then we wouldn’t have any green grass at all? There is no rain here in the summer so all our beautiful pasture would dry up. I like our pasture because it has lots of different kinds of plants in it. Robin says it’s a Sheep Salad Bar. Robin also works hard to keep the bad plants out of our Salad Bar. Sometimes I see her out here with a hoe chopping out thistles and cockleburs and other things with stickers that would get into our wool.

Marilyn: Yeah, I heard Robin telling someone about my wonderful wool. She thinks that I have “a soft, lofty medium-fine fleece” just like my mom and dad. My black wool looks kind of brown right now but that is because I am out in the sun a lot and the ends change color. Underneath it is black and Robin says my fleece will look black and white when I am Shorn. I don’t know what Shorn means.

fleece

fleece

more fleece

more fleece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary: Shorn means that your wool is cut off. Robin has a person named John come here each year in the fall and all of us are shorn. When they roll up the fleeces the part of the wool that was next to the skin is black and white or gray and white.

Marilyn: I don’t think I want to be shorn. Can I hide?

ewes after shearing

ewes after shearing

Mary: No, you can’t hide. This place isn’t that big. And if you stand in a corner, Robin might send Rusty over to make you move. You might not know how to stare at him the way I do and make him think you’re tougher than he is. But don’t worry. Shearing doesn’t hurt. John is a really good shearer and it only takes him a couple of minutes to shear each of us. I like to go out and rub on the fence after all that wool comes off. And the people here are so excited. Robin always has a lot of people come to watch. She calls it an Open House and people pay a lot of money to buy our wool.

Robin: Hey, Mary and Marilyn. Thank you so much for doing this for me. You were terrific, but I think that we have run out of room now because we have to leave space for pictures. Maybe you’ll do some more writing for me.

Vicki: Maybe some of the rest of us want to write too. What about us?

Robin: Hmmm. Maybe you can help out with some other writing jobs I have. Or maybe you’d like to write a post for my blog.  (meridianjacobs.wordpress.com)  Many of you already are in photos on my website  (www.meridianjacobs.com) along with all the things that I make from your wool. We really have to go now because this is due. Did you know that we are doing a photo shoot here next week? Vicki, maybe you can be part of that.

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