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Gotland Ram Seen Running Down Main Street!

posted in: Gotland sheep, Uncategorized | 13
Friday morning, I received a phone call from Ron, our livestock transporter. He had spent the past three weeks in intimate quarters with our new flock of Gotland sheep, as he meandered across the United States with them in his livestock trailer. He was calling to say he was sitting in the village only 6 miles away from our farm. We had purchased 3 ewes and two rams from a farm in Oregon, and Ron’s job was to see to their safe arrival to Grand View Farm.  Ron uses an email group to communicate with all of his clients along his route, so I knew ahead of time that he would most likely arrive before the weekend.
Unable to sleep Thursday night, the excitement of finally meeting my new sheep kept me wide-eyed all night. Ron’s call came around 8:00 am. We decided it best for my husband to meet him in the village and escort him and his trailer up to the farm. At 9:00 am my husband returned…without Ron. He could not get his van and trailer up the first steep incline out of town-we would have to use our farm truck to shuttle the sheep from the village up to our farm. With the week’s storm, we had to dig the truck out of a snowbank. 
Email to group: “Ron is at Washington, VT. Everything is white and temps about 30 degrees, so very slick. He couldn’t get up the mountain and had to back down a quarter mile on ice. Now they are using a pickup to shuttle the sheep to their new home. As soon as that is done, he heads across the mountains to pick up the mini horses.”
Neighbor and husband unload the first two Gotlands

Though most Vermonters tend to be self sufficient souls, needing little and asking for nothing, I am not originally from the north, so I feel justified in calling on neighbors for help.  I felt we may want an extra set of hands for the transfer, and so I called a neighbor up the road to come along with us. We had two separate groups to bring up to the farm, a group of two and then a group of three. 

We brought the group of two up first without a single problem. We easily loaded them into the back of the truck, drove them the six miles up the mountain to the farm, and then walked them from the truck to the barn-easy. We told the neighbor that we really did not need him as we thought and offered to take him home. I think he was having too much fun though, and he insisted on seeing the job through until all sheep were in the barn. We drove back to town to pick up the last three sheep.

First group transferred without a hitch.

All went well, until the ram, still in the trailer, saw daylight and a small escape route! Evert, our Gotland ram, took off, running down Main Street of the village!  Along with our neighbor, my husband and I set off in pursuit of our sheep, chasing him while the little village went about its business. We ran behind the white steeple church, behind the parsonage and post office, and then back towards Main Street,  into the parking lot of the Town Hall.  We had the town pastor, the wife of the general store manager, and the town clerk involved before it was all over.

Can you see the escaping ram?

We finally cornered the ram on the porch of the Town Hall (the white building in front of the white van). The town clerk and I blocked him at one end of the porch and our neighbor blocked the other end. With a diving leap, our neighbor pinned him against the wall! He kept saying, “did you see that? I caught him! Did you see that?!” As my husband and I walked the ram back to the trailer, my husband asked the town clerk to please not write this up in her annual town report for all to read on Town Meeting Day. 

While we drove the sheep up to the farm, Ron posted this message on the email group:  “I got the sheep delivered via pick up shuttle up the mtn including an escape by one of the rams – visualize a Gotland ram running down Main Street in a small NewEngland town  with three people chasing after, and you have the picture! They finally caught him on the  patio of city hall and brought him back to the pick up for the last part of his journey from OR to VT.

After that little glitch, we loaded the ewes on first, and then the ram. He must have decided that it was easier to ride in the truck than to run alongside all the way up the mountain to our farm. The whole way up to the farm, our neighbor talked about what a great time he had. We all felt unified that morning-after all,  isn’t that what bonds us one to another-lending a hand and conquering what seems impossible? We laughed about the good stories we would have to tell in years to come.
Home at last!

I posted a message to the email group so Ron would know the sheep were safe and sound: “Woo Hoo!! We have our sheep in the barn! Ron is such a good sport! Thank you Ron again for your service. You’re awesome!” 

Ron’s response-“It was a pleasure watching all you young agile people chase the ram down Main Street of Washington, VT-one of the more exciting events in my animal transport career!”

All is calm in the barn, and we are getting to know each other. Our neighbor came down Saturday morning and asked if things had quieted down a little since Friday. Grinning from ear to ear, I knew he wanted to remind us that it was HE who caught the ram in the end. (Many thanks to Jim!)

Getting to know one another …
and learn who their new shepherd is.

Wouldn’t you like to welcome our new sheep to our farm?!! Everyone leaving a warm welcome comment will be entered into a drawing to win one of our “Gotta Love Gotlands” cotton tote bags. Drawing will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21 via Random Picker. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

Congratulations to RMK-the winner of our Gotta Love Gotland tote bag!

13 Responses

  1. Jody

    Congradulations on your Gotlands. I was breeding Gotland and Finnsheep for 5 years and they are wonderful, amazing sheep. Their greys are the nicest I have ever worked with ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Rogata Owca

    Welcome on Grand View Farm beautiful Gotlands!
    They are wonderful and their fleece is so nice. I would like to have some on my farm.
    Good wishes for You all.

  3. Andrea

    Congratulations on your Gotlands!!! They are beautiful!!!

  4. Anonymous

    Having lived in Vermont with sheep and now just north of the Oregon border in Washington, I’ve enjoyed the journey with you. Great visual of nabbing the ram at city hall. A real Vermont story. Glad they’re safely home.

  5. Linda Darrow

    Wish I had been there! Sounds like a wonderful end to a long trip! I can’t wait to meet them in person. So glad they all made it safely.

  6. Unknown

    Glad all turned out well in the end. Foolish ram, he is lucky to be living at Grand View! I look forward to seeing them next summer. Best to the family!

  7. Sylvia & David

    Goodlings! Hollywood pays LOTS to portray stories like this! Very epic, this Gotland journey to VT! Hope they soon find new friends with the existing flock :- ) Best wishes for successful “introductions”!!! Your Calif Veggie Farmer Family

  8. Tombstone Livestock

    Hey if you have sheep it saves money …. look at all the exercise you got without having to buy a gym membership….

  9. RMK

    Welcome Gotlands! That image of a scampering ram in the village snow with everyone giving chase has all the makings of a Christmas card design for next year! :~0

  10. Emily

    Why do I miss all the fun?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Sheepmom

    Congrats on the new sheep! I follow Ron’s group and read about the “escape-apades” from his end. Great to see everyone where they belong and settling in. Have fun!

  12. Sheepmom

    Congrats on the new sheep! I follow Ron’s group and read about the “escape-pades” from his end first. Fun to see the characters in real life. Have fun!

  13. FeltersJourney

    Well done for catching your escapee ๐Ÿ™‚
    They look lovely sheep, I’m sure you will have lots of fun with them and their fleeces!