When the decision was made to shear Lacey, Eric The Bold jumped right in with a pair of borrowed shears and his usual enthusiasm. In the spirit of the event being held in a barn, he even taught Lacey some barn dance steps!
Lacey was cooperative, Eric was confident, and it seemed like this would be a piece of cake!
See what I mean?
Even though Lacey was beginning to show a few "shaving nicks" I didn't want to miss out on the fun. And the circus was drawing a crowd; our neighbor and friend Dennis (he and his wife raised hundreds of sheep in the past) Sarah, Donnie,Eric's friend Deven, Tammie, and I crowded around as the shearing progressed to the more curvy and delicate areas. Turns out that it was a great idea Tammie had inviting Dennis to the fun. His experience was crucial in finishing the process as the nicks became more common and and our concern grew for this trusting, docile volunteer. Wool is dense, resilient and tough. It felt more like foam than the fluffy hair that it resembles. The SKIN of a sheep, however, is very thin, supple, and delicate. The dexterity required to force the shears to separate the heavy, dense, matted wool from the skin without nicking is amazing! And Dennis told us that at the top of their game, a good shearer only requires 2 or 3 minutes per sheep! Our experiment lasted 90 minutes! Here is Dennis showing us how it is done...
He started with a cuddle. Probably a good idea, considering the circumstances.
Very quickly, it began to look like a baby Lacey emerging from a pile of dirty wool.
Dennis is good! A couple of new dance moves for Lacey, new directions for Eric, and the crowd went wild!
The girls were in charge of final inspection and "the right look".
Our sheep had a very long tail which, when wooly, interfered with several important body functions. Dennis used his burdizzo to fix the problem. Once again, Lacey surprised me by not reacting!
The freshly coiffed beauty! We applied a purple colored antiseptic to all of her boo-boos, and then, inspired by Operation Purple Horse, we made her fancy!
Maybe TOO fancy. During the entire 90 minute hair cut ordeal, she maintained a regal, if subdued air of patience. As if this was her weekly appointment at the salon. Today, the new do has clearly gone to her head! I'm glad. She earned it!