Thursday, February 19, 2015

Year of the Sheep

We're entering
Year of the Sheep. There's plenty of information available about astrological matters related, I'll not add to the clutter. Instead, a couple of sheepish old photographs from husband's vintage stash, others from his camera; then a link and taster to a nice short story concerning a sheep herder's wondrous experience (no, not that famous biblical one).

Disinterested Ram

Man and two sheep

Baa baa, multicolored sheep.
Lucky Ewe

  2 from our collection of Artesania Rinconada animal sculptures

Short story. Are y'all siting comfortably? Then I'll begin....

"Lambing Season".

First published in Asimov’s Science Fiction,2002 (nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Short Story and a Nebula Award for Best Short Story), written by Molly Gloss (born November 20, 1944). Ms Gloss is an American writer currently best known for historical fiction and science fiction. The story is re-printed in Clarkesworld magazine, and available to read at the website HERE. There's an audio version available too.


.........She had about 800 ewes, as well as their lambs, many of them twins or triplets. The ferocity of the Churro ewes in defending their offspring was sometimes a problem for the dogs, but in the balance of things she knew it kept her losses small. Many coyotes lived on Joe-Johns, and sometimes a cougar or bear would come up from the salt-pan desert on the north side of the mountain, looking for better country to own. These animals considered the sheep to be fair game, which Delia understood to be their right; and also her right, hers and the dogs, to take the side of the sheep. Sheep were smarter than people commonly believed and the Churros smarter than other sheep she had tended, but by mid-summer the coyotes had passed the word among themselves, buen’ carne, and Delia and the dogs then had a job of work, keeping the sheep out of harm’s way......

..........When she had come about halfway down the hill she lost footing and slid down six or eight feet before she got her heels dug in and found a handful of willow scrub to hang onto. A glimpse of this movement—rocks sliding to the bottom, or the dust she raised—must have startled the dog, for it leaped backward suddenly and then reared up. They looked at each other in silence, Delia and the dog, Delia standing leaning into the steep slope a dozen yards above the bottom of the draw, and the dog standing next to the Sputnik, standing all the way up on its hind legs like a bear or a man and no longer seeming to be a dog but a person with a long narrow muzzle and a narrow chest, turned-out knees, delicate dog-like feet. Its genitals were more cat-like than dog, a male set but very small and neat and contained. Dog’s eyes, though, dark and small and shining below an anxious brow........


mike said...

Happy year of the sheep (or ram) to all! Not the most auspicious according to some:|main5|dl9|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D615553

With the new Moon yesterday in the final minutes of Aquarius, the Sun now in Pisces, Venus and Mars in the last of Pisces (same degrees the Iraqi war started SO long ago) and both about to conjunct with the Moon in early Aries...a swirl of as above, so below is upon us all.

My beloved constant companion, GiGi, fell ill with diarrhea and vomiting yesterday, worsened into the wee hours this morning, but all seems OK now. She's eating and we've gone on our routine walk. So, not the best start to these astrological changes, but has ended (I hope) well.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Awww poor wee GiGi, please give her a hug from me. :-) She must have snacked on something not quite right yesterday, without you seeing her doing so, perhaps.

Chinese astrology - or at least the only part of it that's popular in the West - always seems to me to be just too broad to be meaningful. Heck, I grumble about persons described as "an Aries, a Pisces, a Taurus"...etc. so "a sheep-year person" would bring on an extra hefty!

The "as above so below" swirl you mention seems to have brought on an "allergy episode" for me, and more mildly, too, for anyjazz. I haven't had a dose as severe as this for a few years (sneezing fits, nasal passages block etc. and general feeling of nasal blah).
I have to take a Zyrtec generic daily, have done so for years. Oklahoma doesn't like me much, it seems; the feeling is mutual. :-/

mike (again) said...

Last November, I had about four days of sneezing fits...unusual for me...then a tickle in my throat for a day and I was sure allergies were upon me. Went to bed that night and my nasal passages instantly clogged, which meant mouth-breathing only...not conducive toward sleep. That marked the beginning of my cold, but of course in hind-sight, my cold started with the sneezing. My sister in Kansas developed identical symptoms and finally called it "the cold" last week.

So, hope you and anyjazz aren't succumbing to a cold, but don't be surprised. A cold...allergies...toss-up as to which is worse. Here's atcha for a speedy recovery, either way.

Twilight said...

mike ~ We both had that cold-ish thing you describe, around November too, decided it must be some kind of peculiar virus - lasted about 10 days.

Thanks, the sneezing has subsided today, I shall try a night in bed tonight, after the last two two on the sofa.

Tree pollen is high in our area just now - though I haven't been outdoors for more than a few minutes - it must to be everywhere. Air pressure changes does it to me too, and we've had that arctic band down on us for a few days - maybe that was the culprit. Oh joy!

Is GiGi still feeling better?