A sheep's tale

I guess I've been thinking about sheep a lot lately, because we're planning on raising them next spring.

In college, I used to have this friend named Jesus Josh. His original, given name was Josh. "Jesus" was tagged on to the beginning in college because he preached the word of Jesus at every opportunity. He preached so much that people got restraining orders. He preached and preached. He preached so much that his Christian friends spoke with him about the style and intensity of his spreading the gospel. He was of smallish stature, and his bright blue eyes just burned with a fire when he was speaking with conviction.

He came to college with a Bible and some clothes. That's all. If you've ever known someone who didn't have any possessions, you'll know that they tend to borrow things a lot.

Jesus Josh borrowed a lot from me. He came at all hours of the day and night to use my word processor (yes, I'm old), to write papers for our creative writing class. As an added bonus, he would read aloud to us what he had written, and it was just crazy entertaining. In his darker moments, he would question why God put certain people on this Earth, or declare that certain others deserved to be in hell- usually just because they didn't want to listen to him, Jesus Josh.

But this is a story about a sheep. I almost forgot.

Another thing Jesus Josh enjoyed borrowing from me was my car (which he insisted was a Mustang, although it was a Ford EXP), along with its driver, me. At some point, Jesus Josh left campus housing, and went to live with some ex-missionaries turned shepherds out in the country north of Durango. The funny thing was, he had absolutely no means of transportation to and from the ranch. Well, except for me. It was a beautiful drive and I truly enjoyed his company, except when he was insisting my car was a Mustang when it wasn't, but whatever. You may wonder how an atheist/ part-time Buddhist like me got along with a fanatic like Jesus Josh, and all I can say is, I was completely comfortable around him and found him thought provoking and entertaining.

But this is a story about a sheep. I almost forgot.

As I mentioned, Josh was always needing a ride out to this sheep ranch with the missionaries, north of town, in a long valley, surrounded by mountains, with a river running through it. A few times, I even went for walks in the woods with him out there (I know those of you who knew him are really creeped out by this- sorry). On this one particular day, while I was giving him a ride out, he said he really wanted to introduce me this sheep, his favorite sheep. I stifled a chuckle.

"You have a favorite, do you?"

"Yeah, oh, this one sheep, you can tell she's different, you know?" He had that familiar light in his freakishly bright blue eyes. "She's like, well, she knows me, you can tell she recognizes me when I come to see her, and she, oh,"

"Um..." I just didn't know what to say.

"You'll just see when you meet her. She's really special. I go and see her every day and talk to her. You'll like her."

I don't think I'm much of a pervert, but when a grown man starts telling me about his "special sheep," I'm only thinking one thing, Jesus freak or not. I just couldn't help it. He was like a parody of himself, a Monty Python skit all on his own.

I couldn't wait to meet this sheep.

So, when we got to the ranch, we started wandering around, looking for this sheep. They all looked pretty much the same to me, all white and fluffy and wooly. They were making noise and doing sheep stuff, walking around a lot. But he just couldn't find that one special sheep.

He was really getting worried, then. Where was the sheep?

And then he found her, off on her own. He was so happy for a moment.

"This is her!"

He went to pet her and this big flap of wooly skin just came up, exposing the sheep's muscles.

She had been attacked by a wolf.

Oh, he was crestfallen. I mean, he was devastated. I was truly sad for him. He went and got the old missionaries, and I guess he was thinking, because it was his special sheep, that they would get a vet or something for the sheep, but no, it was to be dinner.

Special sheep for dinner!

Josh was just horrified.

I didn't stay for mutton. I wasn't much of a meat eater. I have a feeling Josh wasn't so hungry for mutton that night, either.


  1. Oh dear. Chef's special lamb.

    What will you do with your sheep?

    And, when you have a smallholding, who looks after your animals for you when you go on holiday?

  2. I remember Jesus Josh...I met him in choir. I haven't thought about him in years! Wow.

    The special sheep dinner part makes me sad though. :(

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Today's BizarroBlog is about sheep too. Coîncidence?

    Scott Gerber used to shear sheep for money. He hated it. It's really hard work.

  5. We will eat some sheep. (I'm vegetarian mostly because I don't like how animals are treated on factory farms and such, so maybe if I knew they were treated well, I could eat them. I don't know. I ate moose and wild birds in Sweden and felt very good about it. Also, it was tasty.) The moral of the sheep's tale is not to get too close to your sheep!

    We have not worked out how to go on holiday. There is a club for sheep owners in the area. Perhaps, if we made some friends, we could sheepsit for them and they could sheepsit for us? I have no idea.

    The Bizarro Blog is either a coįncidence, or he is copying me!

    I've no doubt there will be some nasty hard work involved.

    I don't pretend to know what I'm doing in the slightest. I've been reading, though. I also have friends who have raised sheep, but when they were children. So, there.

  6. Do you knit? I loved this story.

  7. I was equally horrified by both the wolf attack portion of the story, and the fact that you voluntarily drove to a farm outside town and then walked into the woods with Jesus Josh.

    When I was a kid, we had some chickens and pigs and we ate some of them. They were treated well, and they were also delicious. I would recommend that you hire someone to slaughter and butcher them, though.

  8. That's horrible! They ate his girlfriend!

    I don't know JJ, but you going for walks in the woods with him freaks me out a little.