It’s that time again, and I hardly slept last night anticipating the challenge of shearing the goats. I planned ahead and got my electric shearing machine repaired last week, then stayed up into the wee hours of the morning watching YouTube videos that made shearing an angora goat look as easy as slicing butter. I spent an hour in the morning setting up my workshop with every tool I could guess I might need, including a little tube of super glue in case of a cut I couldn’t stop from bleeding.
When I took a deep breath and switched on the shearer, Eddy squirmed and tried to bolt in fear of the obnoxious buzz, but he was securely chained into the halter on his goat stand. I lifted the first handful of hair and prepared to slide the shaver smoothly along his skin. Thunk. It must have missed those videos because it made no headway at all. I tried over and over, but both Eddy and I were too nervous and edgy to keep it up. In the end, I dulled every scissors in the house painstakingly hand-snipping all that hair off. It took me hours.
When I finally released Eddy into the goat yard, Ely did not recognize this new little white goat and immediately challenged him to a duel. They wrestled and tugged on each other with their long curved head-weapons, but eventually Ely figured out that this was his same brother who shoves him out of the way to eat from the breakfast trough, and they went back to their normal social hierarchy.
By this time, I was out of sharp objects, so we took a break and dropped all of them off at the local sharpening shop while we went for a quick lunch. When I got home, I was determined to give that shearer one more try and re-read the troubleshooting instructions. I tightened up a knob and voila! It started cutting. It still took me a couple of hours, but I was able to turn Ely into a silvery smooth handsome devil. I’m tempted to go back and smooth out Eddy’s coat now that I know what I am doing, but I am so tired and achy from this job and it took a long time to clean up my mess so I think I’ll just let them both start growing out again for the next six months.