January 11, woke to the color of rain. Such a storm of hail for me to walk through along the length of the deck to the covered porch. I called Bummer, and called and called, while hail and rain pounded off the the roof. Maybe for twenty minutes I stood out there, hunched under my orange rain hat that makes me look like I'm under a toadstool, calling. I was becoming hoarse. Still no Bummer. I began to be afraid. I begged, "Please don't make me go out there looking for you." I thought about all the hungry critters that might have carried him off during the night. I thought about the people who sneak around, chase him into a corral, and close him off, where I will find him shivering and hungry, unable to get to his feeder.
Still no Bummer and still lots of rain.
It lessened and I yelled out that it wasn't raining so hard and he could come out now. "Bummer, it's stopping! Bummer come on!"
I kept looking around, scanning the slope, becoming ever more fearful. Had someone closed the gates on him, the way they had before a few weeks ago? Had dogs gotten through the fence? Had some creature eaten him?
I thought maybe if he heard me opening the door of the shed, heard the metal can banging around, and heard me rattling pellets into the pail, then, maybe . . .
I was halfway down to the shed when I thought I saw movement. I thought I saw his little black head, his sweet little face, poking between the bars of the gate on his shelter.
Yes, there was Bummer. He was a smart little guy. A very smart sheep who knew I would be coming to feed him at the same time I fed him every day.
Usually when I call to him, he answers. Maybe he did and I didn't hear him over the storm; the hail and rain were overwhelming. As he ate his pellets, I stroked his ears and talked to him. "Smart sheep. Nice and dry."
Nadia, the Great Pyrenees, refused to leave the house. When I went outside, she ducked out, sniffed, and backed into the kitchen. Moses the St. Bernard also went inside. I had to mop the floor . . .
What do wool growers do with the wool they don't sell? They hoard it. I wash almost all the fleeces and store them in cardboard boxes. When I do start spinning them up, I put the yarn in a bag. The shawl pattern I have been using takes a lot of yarn. But if a friend comes over, I like to give her a hank.