From the moment I met this sheep, I knew that probably sooner than later we would come to a “D*mmit Charles!” moment and tonight that moment finally came.
Charles is part of the group of Icelandic “fiber wethers” we acquired last week from some friends who are retiring. Fiber wethers are typically kept around for their superior fleeces and a glance at this group makes it easy to see why each was kept—from deep, rich chocolate browns to inky blacks and silky soft bright whites, each sheep in the group brings some definite wool pizzazz.
And then there is Charles.Charles has neither a flashy color nor has an exceptional softness to recommend him. He is a plain oatmeal color with pretty average fleece. Oh no, Charles remained in the herd for his “personality”…of which he possesses in large quantities.
Keep in mind-Icelandic sheep, on an average day, are not at all like other sheep—-they know not of what you speak when you term something “sheep-like”. They are not followers, not dumb and quite often are happy to face the danger and maybe give it a jolly head butt, because why not?
And Charles is Icelandic sheep temperament writ large.He is highly intelligent, exceedingly bold and has absolutely no idea why anyone would follow a “herd” anywhere for any reason. He is the one who upon arrival and meeting cattle for the first time in his life decided to run straight at them just to see what would happen. I knew from day one that Charles was most certainly trouble.
But he also has us humans figured out—You can create all sorts of havoc if, in your spare time, you are a giant, cuddly teddy bear of a sheep. Charles loved being petted—LOVES it. He wants head hugs and belly scratches and ear massages even more than treats. He will literally stand with you for an hour, while every other sheep leaves, just for love…blissed out and happy as a clam to just be granted any sort of human touch. And he 100% knows that once you fall in love with his squishy sheep chonkiness, he has free reign to run amok.
Which is why it came as no surprise that Charles led the cavalry charge of sheep into the barn when I was trying to bring our milk cow in for the night.
And that Charles was the one who figured out the feed room door down the aisle was open.
And Charles was the one who stuck his head in the single most expensive bag of fancy equine supplement and refused to remove it until I literally drug him away by his hind legs (thereby pulling my groin in the process—did I mention he is magnificently fat? so, so fat)
And Charles was the one, who after being prodded back down the aisle and outside again, then mooned about sadly because I had not take the time to scratch his cheeks just the way he likes it.
So it only took about 10 days and this tubby loaf of a sheep has entirely won. He knows he is adorable, he knows I already love him and he knows that with that, I might yell “D*ammit Charles” five times a day but he entirely safe from freezer camp.
You can’t hate the player, you can only hate the game.