Friday, November 23, 2007

click go the shears

Today 'our' sheep took their place in the annals of Australian history.

They were shorn.

Sheep shearing has achieved something of an iconic status here, immortalised in art and song - who didn't learn 'Click go the shears boys, click, click, click' in primary school?! While most Aussies now live in nice houses in big cities, there was a time when Australian life was played out on the farm and in the shearing shed. It's where the Australian spirit came from, working on the land and doing it tough.

You can therefore understand my excitement when the shearer turned up today to clip the wool off our sheep. It was all a lot more dignified than I had expected.

First we lured the sheep into a makeshift pen. (I know... I can't believe they've grown that much either!)

Then we dragged them out to the front of the garage where our local shearing contractor had set up his machine. While Frank held Clive, the shearer set to work on Blackie. They baa-ed a bit at each other but were mostly quiet and still.

This is Blackie waiting for Clive to come... poor girl. So lost.

As soon as the shearing was complete they were allowed to go back into the backyard. Hey... they aren't so big after all!

They've been kind of bleating at each other forlornly all afternoon. Which I understand because they do look rather naked... the indignity of it all.

Actually they seem to be having trouble recognising each other. At first they gave each other a little sniff, then Blackie, emboldened by Clive's new smallness, kept head butting him. And he just stood there and took it, as if all his strength had been taken away with his wool.

So there you go. A taste of real Australia. Ah.

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At 8:33 am, November 24, 2007, Blogger Dublin City Girl said...

Oh, I want sheep too! As a kid I used to be crazy about sheep, no idea why.

How long does it take before they get 'woolly' again?

At 9:09 am, November 24, 2007, Blogger Mike S said...

I loved the silly little woolies we had when I was a kid:)

At 9:41 pm, November 25, 2007, Blogger Cecily said...

Dublin City Girl (do you have a name? :)... apparently the sheep should be shorn once a year. They are dirty already though.

At 4:54 pm, November 27, 2007, Anonymous Leah said...

What do you do with the wool? I've never even lived remotely near a farm, and living in the big-city suburbs, we've got hoity-toity laws against having barn animals. So I am so curious!

At 5:35 pm, November 27, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

Fantastic! They look fantastic. Reminds me of my grandpa and his sheep sheering adventures. Good times! I know the sheep will enjoy your warm weather much more now.


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