Just before we moved in, our next-door neighbors (a quarter of a mile down the road), had decided to take a job out of state. At the beginning of August, they contacted us to see if we would be interested in buying any of their sheep that they had to leave behind. Nick and I discussed it and decided to buy 3 ewes. One evening, we walked down the road to grab them and bring them home. We weren’t quite sure what to expect as far as trying to catch them and “walking” them back to our house. The owner’s brother met us there and what followed can only be described as a rookie rodeo. After some time, Nick was able to catch the 3 ewes we had chosen.
As we “walked” the sheep down to our house, I heard sudden screaming from Kylie. I ran to catch up to her only to find she had been stung by a bee on her head, and the bee was still stuck in her hair! I quickly grabbed a stick and was able to get the wasp out and kill it. I knelt down next to my 2 year old daughter and said “Sweetheart, I know your head hurts, but before I can help it feel better, we have to get back to our house. I need you to be super brave and run with me as fast as you can.” She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said “Ok, Mom. I can be brave.” Then, that brave little girl ran a quarter of a mile to our house without stopping! We got home and I gave her some Ibuprofen for the pain and swelling, pulled the stinger out of her head and put some baking soda paste on the sting site. After about 5 minutes, she was fine and wanted to go see the new sheep.
Since Brennan and Brayden had gotten to name the goats, the smaller kids got to pick out names for the sheep. Emma named the white ewe Isabella. At 7 years old, she was the biggest, oldest, and loudest. When she “spoke” it would scare everyone. It was almost like a loud belch. She was also the friendliest, and was the first of the sheep to let the kids feed and pet her. Austin got to name the brown ewe. He chose the name Rosie. Rosie had just been born a few months prior to us getting her, so she was a little bit smaller than the other two ewes, but she had this beautiful light brown fleece that was so soft! After a few days, she stopped being scared of us and would run up to all of us as soon as we went outside. Kylie got to name the badger-faced ewe. She named her Panda because she had black circles around her eyes. She was so proud that she got to name her and constantly referred to Panda as “my sheep that I called Panda”.
The sheep quickly got to work eating what had quickly become a very overgrown pasture. I spent a lot of time in the pasture that summer getting to know the sheep and goats and letting them get to know me. It was my favorite place to be.