In the late spring we would shear sheep, ahead of the hot summer weather. Quite often it seemed it was a rainy or muggy day. Wee took the wool to market.
We boys provided cranking power for the large shears. The shearing machine consisted of a set of gears atop a stand, which was about three feet tall. A flexible arm, through which a shaft passed, connected the gears to the clippers. Each sheep was caught and held up in a kind of sitting position while the shearer did his job somewhat like a barber. Cranking became tedious at times.
The unsheared sheep had an interesting reaction to the “bare” ones. They would attack and butt them. The clipped animals were, in fact, a strange sight.
A neighbor, Ed Stacey, was direct from England and had a large flock of sheep. Dad and we boys went to help him with his shearing. He and his wife spoke truly “English” and retained English customs and food. Her meals were a satisfying reward for our work.
Our family had a warm relationship with the Stacey’s, and we children greatly enjoyed Sabbath evening visits in their home. Years later, Xenia Lee and I had the pleasure of visiting England, by the generosity of our family.
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