Photo by Julie Siegel

I rescued Punkin from the Bluegrass Stockyards on October 30, 1992, the day he was born. I didn't know anything about sheep and didn't even know I liked sheep, but I didn't want something bad to happen to him, so I picked him up.

He lived in my bathroom for several weeks and was the sickest little lamb you'd ever seen. I'm not sure how many of his 9 lives he used up, but I think even his vet was surprised he made it. He did make it though and eventually moved out to the barn, but for the next 12 years, I could stick my head out the back door and call his name and he'd holler back to me.

In the beginning I just gave his wool to the shearer each spring.Then some friends suggested that I find someone to spin it and knit a sweater.I didn't know how to knit, but figured I could learn that, but knew I'd never figure out the spinning part, so was lucky to find a local spinner who was willing to help. She spun the yarn and I somehow got a sweater made.

Of course, I had so much fun knitting his sweater, I began to wonder if maybe I could learn to spin. Next thing I knew I had a spinning wheel, a bag of practice wool and lots of new friends who were happy to help me get started.  That's the nicest thing about the fiber world. You meet so many extremely talented spinners, knitters, weavers, crocheters, felters...and they are some of the nicest folks you'll ever get to know. I now have sheep friends all over the world.

So, we added sheep friends, then we added more sheep.  We acquired five Jacob sheep from Indiana. And then two more, including a ram, from Kentucky. Soon came the lambs.  Add a few more Jacobs from West Virginia, a couple Border Cheviots from Paris (Kentucky ;-), some Cotswolds and beautifully colored crossbreds from Nistock Farms and an interesting collection of bottle lambs.  

Aside from being a wonderful companion to us all, Punkin participated in parades, worked with local school groups and helped teach us all the true meaning of peace and compassion towards animals.  He was also the inspiration for the now internationally recognized Hug a Sheep Day.  I think he'd be proud of what he started.

Follow his "label" on the main page for more pictures and stories.


April Obersteiner said...

Oh, so Punkin started it ALL ~ thanks Punkin ! Your story is very heart warming. I can just hear ewe calling now... all the way down from the Big Barn in the sky. xo

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

What a wonderful, little story. Yes, I agree, Punkin would be a very proud and happy sheep if he could see his legacy today.


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