Later in the afternoon, we were presented with an opportunity to have our sheep shorn. Our sheep were in full fleece for the festival and would certainly need shearing before summer. This seemed like a good time to have it done.
Our sheep needed to be moved from one end of the barn to the other, about 150–200 feet. This was a piece of cake for the sheep that had been halter-trained and nearly impossible for the other four. You would think they were being led to slaughter from the way they responded. Fortunately, at 40 plus pounds, the expedient of picking them up and carrying them was the perfect option.
As they were being sheared, one of the bystanders, who had been looking at our sheep earlier, approached with an offer to purchase the fleece from one of the sheep. This caught Ray unprepared. He had never considered such a possibility and had no idea of how much a fleece might be worth. Karen was similarly unprepared. We turned the question around and asked the customer what the going price might be. She allowed as how she would be willing to pay 10 dollars per pound. That sounded reasonable to our uneducated selves, but we had no idea how much the fleece weighed. The customer said she would take the fleece, go find a scale, and weigh it. One pound; 10 dollars. Our first wool sale!
It also turned out that we had a buyer for one of our wethers. Dinkums, as he came to be called, had attracted Brenda who lives nearby in Maryland. We were prepared for this possibility. Completing the transaction was complicated by a missing checkbook and empty ATMs, but those wrinkles were eventually ironed out. Now we had only six sheep left to bring to Massachusetts.
As the festival wound down, we start making preparations for shipping our sheep up to Massachusetts. Tom Colyer, the president of the Massachusetts Federation of Sheep Associations, had kindly offered to provide transportation for our sheep back to Massachusetts, but he was not leaving until Monday morning. The sheep could not stay in the breed display barn because the pens there are disassembled immediately after the festival. However, we could move the sheep to an adjacent barn that has built-in pens that did not need to (could not) be disassembled. This time we were a little more successful in leading them to their new quarters.
We left the fairgrounds as the sun was setting to spend our last night in Maryland before driving back to Massachusetts to welcome our First Sheep in Massachusetts.