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Pets
Queenie


              “Queenie! You get yourself home!”  Dee called to the wayward sheep who would rather nibble the vacant lot next door.

            The sheep lumbered across the grass at a speedy run. Her wool was full and she wasn't suffering from missing any grazing. The minute she got to the edge of the property the contrite sheep  slowed to a walk. Her attitude now was like the name she owned. She was glancing off at a distance as she delicately simpered along in an unconcerned way as if to say, “Here I am, back on the property.  Are you happy?  What is the need to hurry now?”

          “Queenie, you would think I had beat you instead of just raising my voice. Please will you stay home?  Mrs. Smirnoff will calling again gritching about your being out.”

          The fluffy animal was now looking directly into Dee's eyes as if eye contact was what was needed. Her Suffolk breeding gave her a certain privilege, she must have believed.

           “Look,  Lady!  There is plenty grass on our place. The vacant lot next door is off limits. You wouldn't stop there and Mrs. Smirnoff is so afraid you are going to nibble something in her yard. That is if you don't want to go back into your pen and get fatter even on grain.”  Dee fussed at the sheep.

         “Well, I never!”  Queenie seemed to be saying. “Can't I mix up properties once in a while?” All the while she was ducking her head to nibble on the grass at her feet with an unusually exaggerated jerking of the blades from the ground like a kid rebelliously doing what they are told to do.

            “Larkivar is staying home. Why can't you?  I don't have to yell at him.”

       The sheep turned her attention and gaze over to her gelded mate to study his actions long and hard.

            “Dee was muttering.  “And, they say sheep are not very intelligent. I'd like to write a book on that one!”

         Sheep were never around the home of Dee when she was a child. That was ranching country and not any cattlemen wanted to have them. They definitely were not like cattle, which were easier to maintain as far as just turning them out to range. This was what Dee was finding out now. The animals were what she could allow her son to have for Four-H, since they were not land holders.

       Dee was visiting with her Uncle about Queenie. He was always having fun with her regarding her farming efforts on one acre of ground.

             “How do you suppose she knows where our property line is?” She asked her Uncle Dan.

             “Probably, the length of the grass is different from someone else's mowing.”  Her Uncle's father had been a fairly successful farmer when he was a boy. He knew a lot about these things.

              “I never thought of that.”  Dee had to admit. “I never cease to be surprised at their  ways.

         The other day Queenie had her focus glued on something no less than a mile away. She wouldn't move, just kept her stance like she was getting ready to bolt in another direction. I got out the field glasses and there at a distance was a good sized dog. I thought that was so strange the way she picked up the potential threat so far away.

        As it goes with farms, even this tiny one, Queenie had to go to the fair. She was judged at the top of her line and sold for six hundred dollars.

            As they were leaving the fairgrounds,  that evening,  Dee was weeping slow tears.

           “I'm not doing sheep any more for the fair. It must have been for a reason I didn't marry a rancher or a farmer. I mean how many farm wives would bawl every time one of the animals had to be sold.

         All that is in the Bible is true. They know their name when you call, thankful when you clean the burrs from their wool, appreciate cool places with water and when they have green grass to eat.

           The priest  used the illustration of a rich man taking  a sheep, that was like a daughter to a poor man.  King David was adamant about it and this sealed his own judgement. The priest made his point.

            This closed the subject for Dee. “Not raising any more sheep for Four-H.  Sorry.”


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