As threatened by the owner of The Barn, Michael Hamman, has acquired a sheep, likely the only one to take up residence in the City and County of San Francisco. On Sunday I accompanied him and his girlfriend Shirley to the western edge of Sonoma to pick up a week-old lamb. The hills around the farm were a bright green from the recent heavy late winter rains.
The job of this lamb is to tend the huge plot of grass that surrounds The Barn, and, I guess, serve as a stand in for a dog for Michael.
The weather was misty and we struggled up the slick muddy pathway to the sheep house where the lamb and his siblings huddled together. There was a lot of discussion about which one to bring home. The white ones were cute, but there’s something appealing about having a black sheep considering that most of the people who live on our edge of town — Hunters Point — are or have been considered to be the black sheep of their respective families at some point in their lives.
Finally, after a bit of deliberation, Michael chose the black one and loaded him into a live animal carrying case at the back of the panel van for his transport to San Francisco.
Michael joked that our new resident is appropriate for San Francisco. He’s been “altered” meaning castrated, so Michael calls him an LGBT sheep and has purchased him a purple collar. This “altering” also means that he’ll be more mild tempered and more likely to bond with humans that yearn for other sheep.
Once at The Barn, the lamb seemed a little confused by his surroundings, skittish with his feet on the slick surface of the deck and looking around for his siblings.
There was a lot of discussion about what to name him. Michael and Shirley prefer Shaun the Sheep, after an animated feature they saw. At first I wanted to call him Blog Fodder, as I’m sure I’ll be writing about him in the months to come. Now when I exit my space at The Barn, I’m likely to find a lamb in the hallway, or on the deck, at least for the next six weeks when he must be bottle fed, stay indoor unless chaperoned and, as a result of captivity, wear a very humiliating, specially altered diaper.
I’m not particularly fond of the name Shaun, or the spelling, so I’m going to continue to call him by his breed name — Romney. Romeny, the Republican sheep. After all finding a lamb in the city limits of San Francisco is about as rare as finding a Republican.