Posted by: scribe9 | February 4, 2010

Our flock

New Zealand is known for its sheep. No wonder—with ten sheep per New Zealander, that’s over 40 million sheep. And there are almost as many sheep souvenirs as kiwi souvenirs for sale.

We’ve been in New Zealand for over three months now, so we’ve had time to collect a flock. We now own seventy-five. We have four herds of eighteen each. They are very cheerful, living on ceramic coasters, and show a bit of diversity: each herd has seventeen all-white and one black-faced sheep.

We have two larger sheep who live on the deck. The larger, white one is Christy; the smaller, black one is Welly. They are named for major cities to the south: Christchurch, on the South Island, which is reputedly more English than England itself; and Wellington, down at the southern tip of the North Island, which has the twin distinctions of being the national capital and the windiest city in this very windy country. We bought Christy and Welly at the garden center that’s just a few blocks away. That day the center had a run on sheep; it sold six.

 Our seventy-fifth sheep is the most comfortable, living on and in a pillow (it’s a fuzzy bas-relief). It doesn’t have a name. Before the nine-year-old daughter of dinner guests fell asleep on our sofa, she folded a Kleenex over its eyes; maybe it’s more lifelike than I thought.

New Zealanders are known for their cultural cringe—feeling less sophisticated and accomplished than the British. Maybe they’re just feeling sheepish.



  1. […] candles and Chrissy and Welly (if you’ve forgotten them, you can get reacquainted at She’s also interested in both beds, has a daughter who’s setting up her own place, […]

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