Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Kelsey Creek Farm Part One: The Sheep

I visited a wonderful place! Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue! Based on Kelsey Creek Farm's website, I wasn't sure I'd be able to see animals. Something on the website made it seem like the actual animals are closed to the public unless you make reservations and pay money. But much to my delight, the animals were all there for me to see! The sheep were the first animals I spotted, grazing merrily in the glow of cloud covered sun. 

They are semi-curious. Curious enough to lift their fuzzy heads up from grazing to look at me. But then they like to go right back to their mission which is to keep the grass shorn short.

This little guy was my favorite. He let me pat the top of his head.

These sheep have a good life. They have the sun, the grass and each other. I did feel sorry for them when a group of naughty children ran up to them and started yowling 'Baaa Baaa' at them. But hopefully, incidents like that are few and far between. The sheep took the insulting mockery of their language with aplomb and kept eating grass with sheepy dignity.

When I was younger and couldn't fall asleep, I would try the age old activity of 'counting sheep.' I would imagine a sheep, fluffy with wool like a spring cloud in the sky, dashing and leaping over a fence. Then, the next one, then the next. Behind the sheep, the sky would be a murky blackish blue with stars glowing and glittering. It never worked. But how did this practice even start?

I tried to solve this query via internet research but found only a few flimsy theories mainly tied to the thought that the practice of counting sheep is monotonous, thus leading to the practitioner of sheep counting to feel drowsy.

One theory delves a little deeper. Medieval Britain, shepherds had shared grazing land, so they had to make sure to count their sheep as they entered and exited the pastures. Maybe people found a lot of sleeping shepherds back in the day.

My theory was there was a young shepherd man who was a narcoleptic. People would find him sleeping all over the place: in pastures, on the top of hay stacks, on the top of wandering sheep, in stranger's cottages...everywhere! He got a reputation all throughout the land as being a hardy and talented sleeper. People thought that his propensity to sleep must be linked to his profession with sheep. All of those white fluffy creatures, slowly moving across green pastures like lazy clouds drifting in the sky. The gentleness of their eyes lolling any onlooker into a stoic calm. The way they bellowed reassuring 'baaaaa's' as they went about their day. The rhythmical twirl of their mouth and crunch and clank of their dull teeth as they gnawed upon grass. If any creature is going to help you sleep, it is a sheep. Insomniacs must have admired this sleepy shepherd. They must have thought, it is all that counting of sheep that does it. He counts all those sheep and falls right to sleep. 

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