I’m done. The sheep are done. At least until October, anyway.
Today was our last 4-H show of the season.
Primo and I rose at the crack of dawn to load sheep and trailer them down the state to one of his favorite invitational shows. (Invitational means the kids from that club invite kids from other 4-H county clubs to participate in their show.)
Primo was the only invitational kid to show up. He was the only boy in the show, too. He didn’t let that get in the way of a very successful show. Here he is, post-show, from the front:
And all laid out on the kitchen counter:
But then we headed home.
Note to self: when your kid tells you that he hears a hissing sound from the air valve on your truck tire, listen to said kid. Put the sheep back in their shady holding pens, and deal with the problem at the well-stocked fairgrounds. Whatever you do, DON’T load the trailer with five sheep and head out on your merry way back home.
Because you will get a flat tire about two miles from the fairgrounds.
No problem, I thought. I will just call Triple A, and they will come rescue me, never mind that I am in the middle of the back of beyond. We did a little rearranging in the trailer so we could open a back door for more ventilation for the sheep, and then we waited.
And then Triple A called and told us that we would have to wait some more, approximately ninety minutes more.
So we took matters into our own hands, and changed the darn tire ourselves, which of course we should have done from the beginning. It was slightly complicated by the fact that the truck was hooked to a trailer, so the first order of business was unhooking the trailer, and then trying to figure out where all the various parts of the truck jack were located. (It required some concentrated thinking on our parts to locate the radiator, which, it turns out, is under the hood, because that is where the jack handle is stored. Makes perfect sense, right?) We panicked a little when we encountered the padlock on the spare tire, but it turns out that’s what the little mystery key on the truck keyring is for.
Our progress was further slowed by the antics of our passengers. The ram decided that it was time to make a pass at one of the ewes, who wasn’t thrilled with the attention. We tied him up. After about thirty minutes, his son, out of sheer boredom no doubt, decided that it was time for a challenge and started to head butt his much larger, heavier father, who was prevented from killing the lamb thanks to the halter. So we had to tie the ram lamb up too, and move his father so they couldn’t get to each other. Meanwhile, all the activity was dislodging the panel holding the sheep in the trailer, and mass escape was prevented only by the strategic application of binder twine.
Another note to self: Bring halters along on the next long car ride with the boys. They work wonders to separate sparring partners.
Finally, finally, the spare truck tire was on, the bad one was in the truck bed, and the trailer was hooked back up. This was the point at which, most helpfully, the Triple A guy showed up. After sending him on his way, we unloaded the sheep, and reorganized them, and loaded them back on again. (Which was no mean feat, as they DID NOT want to get on that trailer again.) We made it back home about eleven hours after we had left that morning.
After showering and showering and SHOWERING, I was wise enough to just order pizzas for dinner. Thanks to my befuddled exhaustion, I went to the wrong pizza joint to pick them up.
My son is already making plans to attend this show next year. Me? I'm making plans to spend the next twenty-four hours sleeping.