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Friday, February 5, 2010

The Taming of the Shrew

Two years ago Petrucio came to live with us on our farm. He and three other sheep had been living together at a spinning friends farm as a group. They all still stick together pretty tightly, even though a group of four is now a group of thirteen. Petrucio is an unregistered, though purebred, Shetland wether. Evidently his mum died not long after he was born and he was a bottlefed lamb. Weeeell....I was warned he took liberties with kids- yup sure does. The kids can't go into the sheep pen by themselves and have to stay closeby an adult when in there supervised otherwise Petrucio will try to knock them down.

This fall, when the ewes were cycling, Petrucio was taking quite an interest in some of the ladies and his behavior towards ME became increasingly antagonistic....he loves to have chin and brisket scratches and would butt any other sheep that was getting them so he could have some and then would change his mind and offer to butt me instead of getting the pats. He had a few buckets in the face and my boot to butt instead of my body.

But YESTERDAY, Petrucio decided I was a shrew that needed to be tamed once and for all. (Frankly, I had wondered about his naming and now I have a much clearer understanding of the Shakespearian character he was named for). I was medicating Amey's eye and he came up and rammed her in the side. I hollered at him and he decided my time was up...I was next. I did the sideways dance for a bit and of course was no where near the bloody gate... Finally he came at me and I stupidly put my foot up so he would get my boot in the face. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I had on my winter clunky boots, the ground is hard and slick in spots and I'm not the worlds most graceful person (shocked??). So, as you have already determined in your active imagination, I ended up on the ground with a pissed off sheep looking for round two. Crap. I got up, slipped, back on my butt. Dodge and roll. Where are the other sheep??? Won't somebody come and assist me?? Even the llamas where standing by watching! A little intervention please?? Somehow I managed to get back on my feet, but couldn't fend off a blow to the shin. ouch. So at this point I've managed to slither my way closer to the fence but now I'm trapped between the hay feeders and the fence. The next blow I grabbed his horns but the rascal managed to twist away....Okay I'm outta here! I climbed up on the hay feeder to jump over the fence and he actually tried to get me even though I'm ABOVE his head at this point. Couldn't let him have the satisfaction so he did see the underside of my boot- phase him? Not a bit.

After I escaped the pen, I went back to the gate to make sure it was latched...he came over for a piece of that too. Cripes.

Even though I love his dreamy fleece, and the sweet boy he is when he chooses, he will have to go.
It definately gives one fodder to ponder about the power of a name.


  1. I had a similar personality animal named suzie, a nigerian dwarf goat who literally thwarted my every effort at fencing, and was the orneryest little thing. I finally cut my losses and gave her away, and said good riddance...
    What a mean little booger.

  2. Well I'm happy to say Heidi that I went the same route as you! This weekend a lady drove 2.5 hours each way to pick Petrucio up as a companion to her lonely ewe. I made sure she knew about all his issues but she was willing to give him a try for which we are thankful! We did gain a rabbit in the transaction- she had one in the car she was going to sell and she gave it to my kids. We really didn't need another pet rabbit, but I was so relieved to get rid of the sheep that we took him! :)