Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless


sheep on a foggy day

The goats hardly leave us alone, but the sheep mostly don’t come near us. There are some exceptions – Hickory, Adam, Clover – but sheep tend to be shy, Dave told us last weekend.

It was a foggy morning, thought not especially cold. The goats were hanging out near the barn, keeping us busy scratching their necks instead of raking their yard. The sheep stayed on the hillside. Usually they are closer, but there were more of us than usual, and they didn’t seem to be certain they wanted to be near us.

Woolly is one of the older sheep. He has arthritis, and it was time for his medicine. He would lift one front foot, then the other, seemingly giving Dave a look that said “enough chatter, already, make me feel better!”

Dave put the arthritis medicine in banana chunks and headed toward the sheep – there were several needing medicine. The others took their medicine happily, but Woolly didn’t want Dave coming near. He would hobble off if Dave approached.

“Woolly!” was Dave’s laughing but exasperated response.

“Should we move further away?” I asked him, thinking the small crowd of humans was making Woolly nervous.

“No, he does this to me all the time. He’ll always let Terry approach, but half the time he’ll just walk away from me.”

Dave is a gentle guy, and I know it is not fear that makes Woolly move away from him. It is just an incomprehensible, to us, decision that Woolly is making, but it is a decision he can make, and he knows he has the choice. He has a preference, and aching joints or not, he’s going to demand that Terry be the one to feed him his medicine. There is something beautiful about Woolly expressing his individuality, showing the strength of his will, communicating what he wants. Even more beautiful that he has a chance to.



4 responses to “Woolly

  1. girl least likely to January 4, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    great story, and gorgeous shots! is wooly the big ram in the second picture? so pretty.

  2. Deb January 4, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Yes, that’s Woolly! 🙂

  3. cheriej January 5, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Woolly! It’s great how individual they are – I noticed that at another sanctuary where I watched the chickens, the curious turkeys, the pigs (one of which was trying to hide from us, I think!). 😀
    Great pictures again.

  4. Deb January 5, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks! Yes, they are all quite the characters! And you’ll get to meet them soon! 🙂

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