Herewith, another thirty-six hours in the saga of the sheep.
After we got Panic into his micro pen yesterday, I took Lisa to the airport. When I got back it was almost dark, and there were intermittent bangings from the sheep compound. Of course when I went down to check, everybody was the soul of innocence and hoping for another treat. Looking down from the balcony I discovered it was Panic, apparently just bored, ramming the gate that led to Sueâ€™s pen. Sue didnâ€™t seem really happy about it, but he wasnâ€™t frantic either. I put bigger screws on the gate hinges and called it a night.
Panic woke me up once with his banging, but otherwise things still seemed ok at morning feeding time.
This afternoon I finally got to work on the pile of wood on the front porch. Cut and stacked it seems to be just a bit less than the pile weâ€™ve already burned, maybe a third of what we need before I can get out to cut again in March. Leaving that ugly stack on the porch for two weeks shows how worried Lisa was about the sheep. Normally sheâ€™d have demanded it be gone in two days.
After the first tank of gas, I did treats and the afternoon feeding. Our little dears returned to form. When I went into the Shetland pen to see if they liked pears, (they do, but not like Sue does) I found Marilyn struggling to get under the fence, apparently for an assignation with Raven. I shooed her back, and figured to re-staple the fence after the feeding when everyone would be busy. However just as I sat down with the bowl, Sassy and Leon all in my lap, Minx, who is several inches smaller than Marilyn popped under the fence, intent on a second helping of treats. Raven of course was immediately intent on her. Had he been a little suave and debonair, Iâ€™m sure he had a chance. But he did his tank emulation and scared the daylights out of her, causing her to run all over the pen. So I had to catch her and carry her home. This entailed a face-off with Raven as well. Fortunately, he blinked. (Heâ€™s small and not too bright. Heâ€™d go flying if he actually attacked me. Sue Iâ€™m a little more concerned about.)
I restapled the fence with twice as many staples as I used last time, and went back to the firewood. FWIW, that ram-proof oak corner board is not an unmixed blessing. Itâ€™s damned hard to sink a staple properly in seasoned oak. Had it been pine they might have held.
It seems that Sue got tired of Panics banging, and came through the shed wall to teach him a lesson. I rescued Panic and chained him up under the deck. A bad solution, but I had neither time nor better ideas. The two rams had done grave damage to the fence separating Sue from his daughters, and Marilyn, having seen Sue beating up Panic, decided he was studly after all. So I had to keep shooing the two of them away while I repaired that fence. The corner board on this shed is maple and the two rams had broken wire rather than popping staples. Again twice as many staples, and more screws on the board.
I spent the time till dark putting Sueâ€™s shed back together with screws rather than nails. I didnâ€™t quite finish: when I do the rest tomorrow Iâ€™ll also screw the other two walls before he goes to work on them. Lisa suggested some 2×4 strapping as well. Next time I run the sawmill Iâ€™ll make some.
Iâ€™m at my wits end about Panic: If we put him in the middle paddock, heâ€™ll fight with both of the other rams, and weâ€™ll have ten more lambs next spring. Even if we built another paddock (very iffy setting fenceposts this late) we have no one to put in with him: Weâ€™re no longer sure the shetland girls are pregnant, and if we used Leon, our only wether, Raven would have a fit, and Leon, who canâ€™t stand the little twerp, would probably kill him almost as fast as Raven would. Sheesh and a half.