Blackie Shoots Blanks

Blackie assumes the position

For as long as I can recall, Martin has pined for more sheep. Much the way some mothers wish for more children.

Actually, let me interrupt this post and ask Martin “why” he wants more sheep…

I’ll be right back.

I don’t know why… it would be cool to see Maisie herd more sheep… Because I like to collect things. Flashlights, old fridges… and sheep.”

About a year ago in response to his pleas, I told Martin that if he and Maisie displayed legitimate, controlled, sheep herding — if Maisie could drive the flock away and bring them back — he could get more sheep. The key word: control. Running the sheep at warp speed, until they huddled around his legs in dispair, didn’t count.

We’ve disputed what constitues warp speed and control, but I’ve stood my ground, and we’ve held steady at five head.

Then Martin stumbled on a loop hole.

Last fall we were deworming the herd in a small pen. As usual, Martin wrestled each one free from the sheep cube they’d created in a corner. Then we pried open their jaws and I jammed the dewormer in with a sheep-sized oral syringe. (Let me say that the sheep do not appreciate parasite prevention efforts.)

As a rule, we start with the most docile beasts and work our way down to Blackie, the most evasive and difficult to wrangle. Blackie always burrows beneath the others, hiding his head and waving his rump in the air. It was this trademark move that led Martin to make a startling announcement:

“Oh my God, Blackie has balls!”

I freed the other sheep that I held in a head-lock and peered at Blackie’s backside. Yup, he was clearly well-endowed.

How had we’d missed this? All of our sheep were supposed to be ewes or wethers — castrated males. Somehow, Blackie has slipped past the emasculator’s squeeze.

Martin mumbled something about letting nature take its course and quickly retreated to the house to knit little cloven hooved booties. I planned a vet call, but life got complicated. And sheep balls slipped my mind.

Blackie acted ram-like — head-butting the other sheep — but spring rolled around with no little lambs. And frankly, we’ve owned Blackie and his “mates” for years with no change in number.

Which leads me to believe that Blackie’s shooting blanks. Much to Martin’s dismay.

It’s hard to tell if sheep commonly suffer performance problems. I googled “sheep impotence.” But most of the websites had nothing to do with livestock.

Who knows what Blackie’s deficiency might be?

But I’m glad for it.