Thursday, December 06, 2007

Farm Photo 12/6/07: Cary Baby

Finally, A Cary Update


That's My Girl

Don't know who Cary is? Click here to read her story.

"Are you ever going to breed Cary?" Joe asked me a few months ago.

"Of course!"

"Your baby?"

"Of course! I just didn't want her getting pregnant last fall when she was still so young and small. Besides," I said, "How else will I get a Cary baby?"

Cary, who turns 19 months old today, is doing just great. And as you can see, she still looks much the same as she always has.


Scratching An Itch

She did lose that tuft of baby wool on her head during the summer. You can see the last little bit of it in this photo from July 16th (which is one of my favorites).

What you can't see is that there is a lot more of Cary than there used to be. She's got that narrow, unwooly head, and then everything just widens out. If you look down at her from above, she's shaped like a large fluffy teardrop. When she runs, her ears and belly bounce separately from the rest of her body. It's very cute.

She hasn't quite realized that she isn't as small as she used to be, though. Cary had pretty much melded into the flock this summer, not really paying attention to me or drawing attention to herself. But then one day she saw me carrying a bucket of feed down to the barn and all of her memories of being The Privileged Animal apparently came rushing back. And how do sheep get to what they want? They PUSH. As she shoved her way through the barely open barn gate and then tried to squeeze her way (along with me) through the partially open Treat Room door, my only thought was, "Geez, that girl's gotten big!"

Once inside, she turned around and around in circles, knocking things over and frantically looking for food while I tried to push her out the door, laughing hysterically because the whole scene was so hilarious. I still let her into the barn with me sometimes while I'm filling up buckets of treats, but I had Joe install a little latch on the Treat Room door. I now lock myself in there while Cary and The Nanny Bear wait outside.

Cary knows she doesn't have to suck up to me, either. Once in a while she'll allow her face to be scratched, but if I try for a hug when there's obviously no chance of a treat along with it, she takes off. Meanwhile I'll have six or seven other sheep surrounding me, all clamoring for pets and hugs.

Then out of the blue she'll surprise me. She still likes to be the first one through the barnyard gate each morning, but one day, instead of heading right off down the driveway, she stood next to me as the rest of the flock filed past us. I scratched her head and talked to her for a little while, and then we walked out together to join the group.


Hanging Back With Mom

The sheep keep to a fairly regular grazing route each day, and at this time of year they're usually at the far end of the hayfield by mid-morning. One day back in late October I was standing at the edge of the hayfield fence taking photos when they started filing by. I heard Cary's still recognizable (though much deeper) bleat and looked over to see her running toward me at top speed just like she used to. I was so surprised. She stopped just on the other side of the fence and proceeded to quietly munch grass while the rest of the flock kept heading out into the field. After a minute or two she looked up, saw that everyone was several hundred feet away, and ran off toward them.

Cary may not show it very often, but we both know she's still my little girl.

Because of losing several baby lambs to a still unknown predator during lambing season 2006, last spring, much to their dismay, all of the sheep were locked in the barn each night for several months because it was the only way we could guarantee the babies would be safe. When the big boys, who had been kept in a separate pen during lambing, were put back with the flock, I let them sleep outside in the adjacent barnyard if they wanted to. While Bear and I herded everyone else into the barn in the evenings, at least six or seven of the boys would start settling themselves under a large oak tree.

After a few nights of watching this, Cary decided to join them. She'd sit right down with the boys and give me a defiant stare. Make me. Since she wasn't a mother, there really was no reason for her to spend nights locked in the barn, and so I gave up the fight and let her sleep out under the stars with the boys.

Next year things will be different, though. Studly Do-Right Jefferson (who is about twice the size he was last year) went to work at his one and only job on October 13th, and less than 24 hours later he'd. . . nailed my baby. So if all goes well, around March 13th we'll have a Cary baby. I do hope it's a girl.

Want so see more? You'll find lots more Cary stories and photos here.

© Copyright 2007 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.

20 comments:

  1. Yay for the Cary update! I was just thinking about her yesterday when I saw the other sheep picture. I'll keep my fingers crossed that come spring you'll have a Cary baby!

    Thank you for the wonderful update!
    Carol

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  2. Oh thank you for a Cary Update! I have wondered how she was doing!

    (aka Dawn-Neville Farm)

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  3. So great to hear how Cary's doing. The entire story is certainly a sweet and entertaining one.

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  4. Yipee!!! At last, a Cary story!!!
    I love Cary, and her tender moments with you are touching. To think that she remembers you as her mama. It seems that she has a great sense of humor too. I cannot believe Cary will be a mama. I bet her jiggle-ie tummy really will get big. Let us know how her baby grows...

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  5. Man, I would love to raise sheep. I can supposedly take a sustainable agriculture class at my college where sheepherding is a required component, and this just makes me want to do that all the more.

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  6. Oh man, I've been wondering whatever happened with Cary, worrying something bad had maybe happened that you weren't yet ready to talk about, but then there'd be the occasional mention of her. I was really getting the good-vibe combined with sad feelings of you slowly losing your baby as I was reading this, and then you threw in the "...nailed my baby" comment and I was laughing out loud here at work. LOL Thanks! :)

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  7. Thanks for the update! I love your stories.

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  8. Thanks for the update on Cary. I love all your stufff but the pictures and stories of all your family----(animals) are always special
    gramps

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  9. i just love your life, farmgirl...i love how much you care for and about your animals...and i can't WAIT to see cary's baby!! imagine, your very first GRAND LAMBIE!
    have a great day, and give cary a pat on the head for me, next time she deigns to allow it.

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  10. How very sweet and porno.

    I'm very excited to see a Cary lamb, but also a little disturbed about the 'nailing'.

    Easy Jefferson!

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  11. Wonderful and lovely pictures!!!! Gloria

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  12. How I love reading abut your farm animals! And, of course, Cary! There is no doubt that Cary is your baby...every word in your post resonated of your love for her - and her love for you! How awesome...she really knows you are special to her!!!

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  13. As far as I'm concerned you've just "nailed" Best Food Blog Rural 2007!

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  14. Aw, weep, weep! Great story. So glad to hear how your girl is doing (that slut!).

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  15. I can't believe what a little love Cary is! I'm off to read up on the rest of her stories. She truly is your little girl! Keep us posted on baby news. xo

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  16. I am new to your site and was wondering what you do with all those sheep? Do you raise them as pets or do you eventually sell them off? I am hoping it is the first. Cary looks like a loving animal. I think if she was mine she would have a special place under the covers of my bed at night.

    Love your site!

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  17. Yeah! News of Cary.. :) Oh my Susan... you're going to be a grandma!

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  18. Thank you for the update on Cary!!!(I'm the anonymous who most recently asked for it). I love the photo of her scratching her itch.

    Now that summer growing season is over,when garden photos are obvious, please include more animal stories and photos.
    From Cary's fan, who lives in Bluegrass horse country (alas, in suburbia), with three cats

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