ARCHIVE:
07012011

From the Sheeplog Experts...

Chauncey

Chauncey

TOPIC: "An American Sheep Story"

My ancestors came over on the Mayflower. You remember how all the animals were chosen for the trip, two-by-two? Wait. That was the ark.

Okay, I don’t think my ancestors came over on the ark, because the ark didn’t get all the way to America. It got stuck on Mount Ararat in Turkey when the floodwaters subsided. So my first ancestors started on the ark, multiplied in Turkey and later boarded the Mayflower thinking it would take them to distant shores filled with, well, May flowers.

The first American sheep fed off the land despite the best efforts of Pilgrims to shoo them off their farms. Eventually, the sheep paid back the American people handsomely, because it was sheep who created the American flag industry.

My ancestors were among the first to volunteer to be shorn for wool to make thread for flags. So appreciative were the nation’s founders that Betsy Ross’ parents named her after their prize sheep, Little Miz Bets. When Betsy came up with her original flag design, Little Miz Bets and her eight siblings were shaved naked and their wool dyed and put on spinning wheels.

Those nine sheep passed many a cold Massachusetts night exposed to the elements, but warmed by the sound of Betsy’s humming as she sewed the first flag.

Their progeny for generations now have found inspiration in their motto: Freedom isn’t free, but flags are really sheep.

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