The following is a story about a ewe that doesn’t like to be sheared and will do anything she can to avoid it.
Te kuiti is a tiny town a little way south of Hamilton on the north island of New Zealand.
New Zealand is known as the land of the long white cloud and its stunning landscapes captured in all its splendour in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
While Te kuiti is also beautiful town it is best known for its award winning sheep.
One of those sheep is a three year old ewe named Molly.
Molly hasn’t won any ribbons ad she isn’t about to any time soon.
Not unless they are handing out ribbons for being the most cantankerous ewe on the island.
Because if they were Molly would surely be wearing a shit load of bling.
Soon after she was born Molly was rejected by her mother and left to the elements and she would have died on her first day in this world if her bleating wasn’t heard by farmer Bob.
He gently picked her up from the wet grass and carried inside the farmhouse where his daughter he and his two daughters fed Molly her first bottle of milk.
Everyday Molly drank bottle after bottle of the fat rich liquid and after a couple of months she was getting to be a little to big for the house.
Plus farmer Bob and his offspring were getting annoyed by Molly blocking the heat coming from the wood fire and leaving little pellets of joy all around the joint.
Molly has over stayed her welcome so farmer Bob leads her and puts her in a paddock with hundreds of other ewes and lambs
‘Holy crap’ mutters Molly ‘it is freaking freezing out here’ Then Molly hangs her head as it begins to rain.
The life of a sheep is sometimes not a whole lot of fun and sunshine.
Molly bleats throughout the day hoping that the farmer will come running and take her back inside to the warmth of the fire.
But when her cries fall on deaf ears Molly trudges to a corner of the paddock and sobs under the dark sky until she falls to sleep.
Molly has survived the first six months of life by the skin of her teeth and everyday she grows bigger and stronger.
She is no longer a lamb shivering in the cold and rain now Molly is now a strong kiwi ewe.
And she is also sporting a fleece of premium quality wool.
Molly eyes the other sheep with contempt as she struts around the paddock like she is best in show.
She thinks that because she was hand raised and has one of the finest fleeces in the flock that she is somehow special.
But she is in for a big shock.
Molly is minding her own business chewing on some grass when she is scared half to death by a dog snapping at her heels.
She doesn’t really know what is happening but being a sheep she just follows the other sheep into a holding pen.
Molly tries to hide at the back of the pen because she has a feeling that something bad is about to happen.
She hears a human approaching and her heart leaps maybe it is that nice farmer that saved her from a certain death and took her into his home?
But she soon realises her mistake and tries to flee but she doesn’t get vey far before she is grabbed and manhandled into a shearing shed.
She is put into a very undignified position by a rough looking shearer who proceeds to cut off her golden fleece.
Two minutes later Molly feels the shearers hand on her rump and with a slap she is pushed down the chute and back out into the sunshine.
Well I say sunshine but we are in New Zealand after all.
What I meant to say is overcast with a constant threat of rain.
But at the moment Molly isn’t interested in my weather reports because she is shivering in the corner of the holding pen feeling all naked and exposed.
She stares up to the shearing and makes a vow to never let herself be shorn ever again.
Molly is back in her paddock recovering from her ordeal when she has the ovine version of a brainwave.
What if she can somehow ruin her fleece and make it unworthy of being removed.
Then she could be warm and mellow all year round.
So in the following months as her fleece begins to grow out she rolls around in the mud picking up all kinds of burrs and thorns plus a good covering of dung.
She now looks and smells like something from a sewerage treatment plant.
So she is confident that when the dog herds her back into the holding pen that she will be left alone.
And sure enough a week later that pesky dog does return and the flock is once more herded into the pen.
Again Molly hangs out at the back and she watches as one by one the other sheep disappear up into the shearing shed until she is the last ewe standing.
‘Well well well what do we have here?’ one of the shearers mutters to his mate’What do you think bro? Maybe we should water blast her to get her wool nice and shiny ready for a clipping’
‘Or we could just shoot her right here and now and cut her into chops or maybe a nice brisket?’
Molly doesn’t know what water blasting or a nice brisket is but it sounds like it would hurt so she rubs herself against the fence and rubs off all the burrs and thorns and after a quick dip in the water through to clean off the crap.
She is once again shoved into the shearing shed and has another hair cut
Molly is wandering around her paddock and she is spitting chips.
Why do the shearers continue to take her woollen overcoat?
Don’t they know that it is fucking freezing out here?
Molly knows that she really shouldn’t say the F word but enough is enough.
Never again will she allow herself to be shorn again.
And this time she means it
Six months later Molly is relaxing in her paddock when she notices a cloud of dust coming from the front gate.
And soon enough the first of the utes arrive ‘Holy crap’ Molly runs around in a panic not nothing what to do when she hears MOO.
Over in the next paddock a herd of cows are standing around doing a whole lot of nothing.
Molly thinks for a second she takes a few steps back then runs as fast as she can and jumps over the fence.
She flies through the air like Steve MacQueen in the Great Escape and lands in the middle of the startled cows.
Molly smiles to herself an hour later when she sees the dog herding the other sheep into the holding pen.
‘Stick that up ya’ Molly says before she joins her new bovine friends as they eat grass and chew on their cud
But the good times don’t last long because early the next morning farmer Bob opens the gate and all the cows follow him toward the milking shed.
Molly knows that she is in deep doo doo and tries to act and look like a cow but she knows that she isn’t fooling anybody especially not farmer Bob who grabs her by the scruff of the neck ‘Come here u devil ewe’
Later in the year Molly once again notices the cloud of dust coming from the front gate ‘Holy fuck it is that time again’
She is sporting a flawless gag free fleece of wool and she doesn’t want to lose it.
She has been exchanging glances with a ram so she wants to be at her best.
What would a randy ram want with a ewe that was nothing but skin and bone?
She knows that if she is to defeat the shearers this time than she will has to come up with a wooly wooly good plan.
She is rubbing her itchy butt against a rusty bale of fencing wire when a cunning plan begins to form.
She nibbles on the rusty wire hoping that her fleece will turn into a good for nothing fleece of steel wool
She continues to chew ‘God I know I need some iron in my diet but this is ridiculous’
And after chewing for an hour her wool turns silver with a few rust flecks.
And not before time because the dog arrives and Molly follows the others into the pen.
But she doesn’t stop there she walks up right up the chute’Come on shear me you fuckers’
Two of the best shearers in New Zealand ‘Wazza’ Smith and Bazza; Jones look at each other in astonishment when a weird looking ewe arrives demanding to be shorn
Wazza being the head shearer shakes his head ‘This one is all yours Bazza I am going out for a smoke’
Bazza swears under his breath and grabs hold of Molly and prepares to shear her so he can go have a ciggy with Wazza.
But as soon as the clippers touch the wool a shower of sparks fly in all directions.
A few sparks land on a fleece of wool that is spread out on a nearby table.
At first nothing happens but then the lanolin in the wool catches fire and it soon takes hold .
Bazza and Molly both run for their lives and barely make it before the roof caves in.
And ten minutes later the shearing shed is reduced to nothing but a charred pile of rubble.
Molly survives but she isn’t happy.
She is singed and looks and smells like a forlorn crispy crispy critter.
What ram in his right mind would even look at her?
But then a wet tongue nuzzles her ear and the ram of her dreams is comforting her with tender kisses.
And even though Molly isn’t looking her best at the moment she snuggles up to her ram.
Her life is now complete.
BAA BAA BAA BAA BAA BAA