Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A story of 3 sheep

I just received this photo from my friend Deborah and thought I'd share this amazing story of how fate can step in, even for animals.  I loved hearing this story from her, and know she's a great mom to all her animals, these girls will have a wonderful home for the rest of their lives. 
This was the message I got along with the photo.

Hi! Here are Annabelle, who I raised from a tiny baby in my laundry, her twin Rose, and Lily, Roses baby.This was taken last year, they have heavy fur now. I adore them. Fondly, Deborah
The breed is Barbados Blackbelly Sheep they are on the endangered species list, and are a cross evolved from the African hair sheep, and the European wooled breeds. They are wonderful, sweet, playful, and love to jump.

A few years ago Deborah found a baby sheep (Annabelle) caught in a fence near her house, it was close to dying and she nursed it back to health and raised it from a tiny baby in her laundry room.  As Annabelle got bigger she had to move her outside to live near the 2 horses.  I remember her talking with me back then about this little sheep that had won her heart.  Since then she has also managed to rescued the twin sister of Annabelle whose name is Rose, from the same place that owned the fence (farm) where Annabelle came from.  She rescued Rose the day she was to be slaughtered. 

Deborah paid the money for Rose they would have gotten for her at the meat market.  So fate stepped in again to rescue her, I don't know how much animals can feel or know, but through the kindness of one person not only Annabelle, but later her sister Rose too were miraculously saved.  Even more remarkable was the fact that Rose was pregnant with Lily at the time, amazingly, they were going to slaughter her anyway, even though she was pregnant. 

Going back about a month ago I wrote about wearing wool, and natural fibers for warmth.  I talked to Deborah about what she was going to do with the wool from her 3 sheep, she said that normally the wool just comes loose, and she pulls it out.  I asked her if I could have some to send it away to get it washed, carded, and spun, there are companies that do this and will send it back to you in skeins, ready to knit.  Deborah said that I could have the fiber, so now we are hoping to sheer them this Spring.  I have a friend with all the sheep shearing equipment, and he said I could borrow it.  This might be a bit of a stretch for someone with absolutely no knowledge of sheep sheering, but I'm going to look into it and we'll see if it sounds like something we can do ourselves.

I'm a real do it yourselfer, so usually I will give something a go, even if it's not done just like the pro's do it.  I will keep you posted on this little adventure, I think it would be fun, and will research to see how hard it looks, and read up on the process.  To be able to make some simple scarfs and hats out of their fiber would have special meaning for both Deborah and myself.   Maybe this will turn into an annual ritual and we'll get good at it, and have some great fiber to boot.   I'll update when I have more info, and if anyone reading this knows anything about sheep shearing, we'd love to hear from you.


Kimberly said...

Thanks for sharing this story! So precious. :)

Benita said...

Very nice story! What breed are they?

Jewel said...

They are Barbados Blackbelly Sheep, these sheep are on the endangered species list, and are a cross evolved from the African hair sheep, and the European wooled breeds. They are wonderful, sweet, playful, and love to jump. I will be getting a current photo up soon of what they look like with their full wooly coats. Thanks for joining us Benita :)