Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All That's Left of Walter...

I was so excited to get my new little ram lamb, Walter! Oh, what a cutie he was. Most of my sheep are naturally colored, meaning anything but white. Which is nice, and I like it, but I'd been wanting white so I could do some fun dying. And Walter was white.

Walter was a young icelandic, and at the tender age of 6 months he knew exactly what he was there for. The girls insisted on a bit of courting first, though...they insisted on knowing him at least 24 hours before allowing him to do his studly thing with them. And once he'd made the rounds, everyone was content.

I had a ewe named Dolly who used to get out quite a bit, and Walter realized if he stuck close to her backside he could follow along in her tailwind. So before too long, instead of just Dolly out roaming my front yard, Walter was there, too. Walter, unlike Dolly, began to get irritated with the routine of getting loose only to be put back into the pasture. He began to object. When a ram objects, you're in trouble, even a little ram. And this little ram had horns which were growing longer each day.

One day Walter and Dolly were out grazing near the barn, but of course on the outside of the fence, when I went out to feed. I went to get some hay to toss to the sheep on the inside when I noticed Walter staring at me. It wasn't a pleasant stare; it wasn't even a worried "Darn, she's caught us again" stare. No, this stare was a challenge; a dare; a "Go ahead, make my day" glare that I was receiving. I had in my hand the top of the grain can, which was just downright lucky as Walter lifted himself up on his back feet, then did what I've only seen the sheep on National Geographic do...he tucked his chin down to his neck and thrust himself forward towards me!

That was that. I don't need a mean, aggressive ram, especially one that's just seven months old! New fencing was in order, and I made certain that all the girls had been bred. Then I called my friends at the slaughter house and made arrangements for Walter to go to freezer camp.

We'd never eaten our own sheep before that. City Boy wanted to see what pepperoni would be like, so we had that and sausage made. Darling found the whole thing rather amusing (warped child that she is) and called it Wausage and Walteroni. She'd offer her friends Walteroni when they'd come to visit, and since these weren't kids raised on a farm (it is to a farm, City Boy!), they'd often gag, and we'd never see them again after that. I think it became a bit of a game to Darling, to see how many friends she could go through before running out of Walteroni.

City Boy decided we oughtn't waste that lovely head of Walter's, since he had such nice horns. He wanted to find someone to clean it up, but turns out it's a do it yourself type job. So City Boy took Walter's face out back and hung it in the trees by his horns. Yes, it was his face. The hide was still on that head, and the eyes were still in the skull. Disgusting, really. I don't recommend this for the weak stomach crowd. In fact, I don't recommend it at all.

Anyway, I wasn't really sure exactly where Walter was, just that he was hanging from a tree. One morning I walked back there with the dogs, who were busy chasing a coyote. I heard a little noise behind me and, camera in hand, thought I'd turn to find the dogs and their little friend. Instead I came face to face with Walter! Yuk! His eyes had sunken back into their sockets, and the hide was still on his skull, but a bit mangy looking. Totally gross! Be thankful I was too freaked out to take a picture. City Boy was dismayed to learn that Walter wasn't decomposing as quickly as he'd hoped, while I was left I wondering how many years I'd be stuck with the image of Walter's head swinging from a branch in my mind.

Once I knew where Walter was, I was sure to avoid him when I walked out back. But that didn't keep Walter from coming to me... One morning I got up after a huge windstorm and found one of the dogs with something in it's mouth. I called her up to the door to see what she had; it was one of Walter's horns! I ran out back to the tree to see the only thing left, the other horn still swinging from it's rope. The skull was no where to be found.

And that's all that remains of Walter...two horns, a host of bad memories and a couple packages of Walteroni!


Beemoosie said...

OH my it ok to laugh?!

Tracey said...

Well, I hope so, lol! Wondering how many veggiematarians will go running and screaming after reading this...and PETA...oye...wouldn't they just freak out?

Anonymous said...


Andrea said...

I can SO relate! We had to do the same with our Baab (Bob) last year. He was a wether, and not really violent, but really a pain in the butt. We found we don't really like lamb. I'd imagine we'd like mature sheep even less. How was the Wausage and Walteroni? Might have to try that if we end up with another nuisance beastie. My lamb loving friends are happy now though, they got a lot of free meat!

Tracey said...

Andrea, I think it all depends on how you cook it. I'm a lousy cook! Chops aren't something we'll be making any longer, but stew meat is great, and ground sausage can be used in so many dishes! In fact, I like to mix bread, egg and onion into it and then form them into patties...scrumptious!

The Wausage we got was hard sausage; not my fave. The Walteroni has everyone raving! Costs extra for both of these, and really a waste to those who enjoy lamb; better to use the older sheep for this (and ground sausage as well.)

Rachel Whetzel said...

LOVE it. You made me laugh so hard!


CountryGoalie said...

Wow, your mention of the ram's head hanging on a tree just gave me unpleasant flashbacks to the Beast that Simon sees in Lord of the Flies. *shudder*