Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sounds of Shearing

Nothing is certain but death and taxes.  So someone said.  Taxes for sure.  Maybe death this December.  So Nostradamus says.  Well, I know for certain that every year I turn a year older, closer to death, and because of that, on my birthday, I eat ice cream for breakfast.  The older I get the more I eat.  Soon, I'll be needing more than two pints. 

Children will lose teeth, grow, eat and leave their socks around.  The seasons will change.  Paul Bunyan will cut down trees.  The weeds will grow in my garden, more than the vegetables.  The hydrangea tree by the pond will only bloom a few blooms.  My oven will always be dirty.  These are just the things I can always rely on.

And on the first Monday in May we shear the alpacas.  It's been that way since the beginning- whenever that was.  And it has never rained.  Until this year when we switched it today- a Tuesday.   But it didn't matter because it's still a really really dirty job, whether it's muddy or not.  I'm the one responsible for picking up all the fiber and separating it into plastic bags.  There are three parts to the fiber- the blanket, which comes off the alpaca first, the seconds (neck) and the thirds, which are the legs and face and head and tail and shit and pee and vomit.  Paul Bunyan holds their heads while Tom, the shearer, does his work.  He gets spit on and thrown around a little.  And it's dirty.  You get fiber in your mouth, up your nose and under your toes.  And the smell stays with you.  For a long time.  And there really is nothing you can do...but laugh.

I hope this video gives you a sense of how funny it sometimes can be:


  1. It seems a little stressful for them. I guess I would be screaming too with some gadget coming at me and Austin sitting on my head.

  2. hah. i just watched the video as i ate lunch in my office. i'm surprised nobody banged on the door to see if i was okay....

  3. I like the sounds of the second Alpaca....almost like she likes it ALOT...the noises are incredible....