Donald is a young St. Croix hair sheep, playful and friendly. William, a retired thoroughbred jumper, has the nickname “The Philosopher.” He often considers the world before responding to it–a jay perched in the apple tree, a deer grazing the pasture, the neighbor’s barking dog. We also call him “Captain Fiddlelips” because he can open any door, any gate with his velvety lips. If I’m late getting home from work, he lets himself into the barn to go to bed.
In autumn when coyotes crawl under the fence and trot across the paddock to eat fallen apples, Donald stands under William’s belly to watch them. William is Donald’s safety, his point of reference.
Donald experienced his first snow a few days ago. He frisked and gamboled, tossed his head and chased me around the paddock. We had a good game of tag. He’s naturally polled, so horns are not a concern. He does have a tough head, though, as my dog Argos discovered.
Argos and Donald had a game of chase on. It was all good fun until Donald headbutted Argos in the ribs. Argos yelped and now keeps a comfortable distance from Donald.
Occasionally, when William becomes a bit too pushy, shoving Donald this way and that, Donald will stand on his hind legs and give William a headbutt on the kisser. Seems to set things square between them. Little Donald is coming into his own this winter.