Dear Curiosity Journal,
Fat flakes fall on the ewes and they appear unbothered, eschewing shelter, letting the snow pile up on their backs, and becoming more camouflaged by the minute. I envision the snow crystals suspended above their skin, unable to penetrate, chill, or dampen their day. The goats do not share the sheep’s enthusiasm, as they lack the bulky insulation of an ever-thickening coat. They stick to the most sheltered corners of the barn and burrow deep in the hay in an effort to create a similar effect, but they don’t look nearly as content as the ewes. I ponder the charm of snow falling on wool and wonder, at what point in human history we decided we wanted to wear it ourselves. Was it a curious observation, not unlike mine here today, which led to our longstanding relationship, the shepherdess and sheep? A quick search yielded the following, “Sheep were domesticated 10,000 years ago in Central Asia, but it wasn’t until 3,500 B.C. that people learned to spin wool. Sheep helped to make the spread of civilization possible. Sheep production is man’s oldest organized industry. Wool was the first commodity of sufficient value to warrant international trade.” These are bold, disputable statements, but it’s fascinating to consider how these flocks have influenced our human flow. I’m mesmerized by these wooly companions and feel honored to be their keeper.