Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Heart George

For about 6 months now, we've had a pair of Katahdin sheep at the farm: Missy, the bottle lamb, and Annie, a ewe. We were waiting until just the right time in fall to bring home our ram from Bryan Welch's farm, the publisher of GRIT, Mother Earth News and a bunch of other titles. So a few weekends ago, we loaded him up (no easy task) and into the pen with our ewes he went. After doing that thing where you squint your eyes and look at a new animal and try to decide what his name should be, I wanted to name him Ramses. He looked regal and I thought he should be named after a king. My sweetie scoffed and said "I'd rather call him George or something." Yes! That was it ... George: The perfect name for this handsome creature.
George is somewhat famous as far as we're concerned. He is the grandson of Wendell Berry's ram. (If you're unsure of who Wendell Berry is, do an Amazon search and you'll find pages and pages of novels, essays and poems, mostly about agriculture, by him.) And George, what an aristocratic ovine he is ... his big eyes, his gentle nature, his luxuriating ways. He is a quarter Cheviot, and 3/4 Katahdin; enough so that he doesn't need to be sheared. I have trained him, along with the ewes, to take molasses treats from my hand. He stares at me with his expressive eyes, sizes up whether I can be trusted, then darts in between the girls to get what's rightfully his. He smells the treat first, I press it into his lips and he gently takes it and steps back. I have no doubt that come Easter, we'll have spring lambs bouncing around the farm!


  1. Neat. Good post. I like Wendell Berry and his work.

  2. I'm glad you like him so far! I hope you get lots of lambs. - Bryan