[lit-ideas] Re: Speaking of Sheep

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 15:23:10 -0800

On Nov 21, 2006, at 2:44 PM, Andy Amago wrote:
For David Ritchie, what does one do with the sheep in the wintertime?

Here the problem is not seasons but the ratio of grass to sheep. I know someone who raises lambs for people to eat. I asked why they killed them in the summer. It's because the cost of irrigating the field would be too high. Without water, the grass goes brown and doesn't sustain many animals. My friend with the Romneys has but three sheep on more than an acre. With a little commercial food each night and because we don't get much snow, the sheep are pretty much maintenance free all winter. It helps that they live on a slope and thus don't suffer from foot rot.

Regarding the goats being too stupid not to eat what kills them, that?s
more than faintly reminiscent of human behavior. Maybe it just proves that
we're the same as our cousins the goats, just a lot more lethal.

One of my favorite lines from Britannica is that "sheep move almost imperceptively into goats," by which is meant that they are closely related. Exploration of the metaphorical links among humans, goats and sheep are, I believe, still the most popular field of inquiry at our venerable sister institution, Mutton College.

David Ritchie,
Adjunct Professor of Foot Rot Studies
University of Romney Marsh
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