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Posted by GoatWorld on June 17, 2002 at 23:00:38:
Every once in awhile I get the yen to write a funny story and I guess tonight is the night. This has nothing to do with goats, rather sheep. One to be specific. #1228. Of course it certainly was not funny at the time....
Dateline - last year. Place: Ozark Empire Fair.
I had gotten a couple of registered Cheviot sheep from a fellow up the road. Real nice stock, good lines, etc. When I bought them, one of the supposed conditions was that I was to show them in the upcoming fair. Not a problem. I looked forward to it. Well, as things turned out, I started working with both of them and only one #1228 was responding positively. And it's not like you have to really go through intensive sheep training, but I did.
Cheviots are not known for being so friendly and trainable from what I have heard, but here is ol' #1228 really becoming like a good little sheepy should be that is off to the fair. I worked with her for months to the point that she would come right up to me, walk beautifully next to me on the leash, etc. I knew I had a prize winner for sure.
So the fair draws closer and closer. The people that sold the sheep to me called me up and told me that I could bring them up and get them sheared for show. Well, even though the other sheep was not going to be entered, I took her to be sheared too. I was really surprised when the "non-show" sheep got a real haircut while the "show" sheep got a trim. The shearer told me that a good tip was to wash the lamb with baby shampoo the day before the show. I figured my secret weapon would be my Horse Main and Tail shampoo (worked beautifully).
So there I was, soapy sheep, soapy me and alot of water. That was a squeaky clean sheep for sure. I dried her off and prepped her real well. She was beautiful. I had originally planned on taking her to the fair in a small enclosed trailer -
It ended up that I got a call from the people that very same morning telling me that they had forgot to tell me that I needed to take the sheep to the vet to get a health certificate to be granted entrance onto the fairgrounds. They set it up with a local vet and I had no choice but to pack this clean sheep up on the back of my flatbed and speed down the highway in a torrential downpour. Poor #1228 had no cover, nothing. Just four hog panels on each side of her, a madman doing 60 at the wheel, and buckets of rain coming down on her. My grand prize dreams were suddenly fading to green and yellow ribbons.
So I get to the vet and wouldn't you know, they had just left for lunch at 12:00 and wouldn't be back until 2:30. I had to be on the fairgrounds at 2. Well after trying to charm the receptionist into paging or cell phoning the vet to no avail, you might imagine that I had a few choice words and goodness gracious was not among them.
I sadly got back into my truck and headed home knowing that my blue ribbon hopes were suddenly replaced by worrying if #1228 wasn't going to get deathly ill because of the weather. I was soaked, the sheep was soaked (but very bright clean) and as I pressed on, the more enraged I became.
By the time I got back home I had calmed down and grabbed the sheep off the truck to put her back in her pen. On the way leading her for the last time down "victory lane" my boots slipped out from under me in the mud and I did about a five foot slide in the chicken, sheep, goat and duck dukey. That threw a bit more gas in my beehive and I ranted on for an hour about the whole deal.
Funny how I look out there now and see #1228 and hear all this fair talk. Wasn't so funny back then but I can just see all the people getting ready for their ribbons this year and get a small chuckle with my fair experience. Hopefully they at least make it to the show! I think I may go with something a little less involved this time - like origami paper folding!
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