Dear Curiosity Journal,
While in the paddock with Rameo, I stay watchful of his behavior (although it might not appear as such in this selfie). Every sheep farmer I’ve ever consulted has given me the same vein of advice about interacting with rams, “Be careful”, “Watch your back”, “Don’t pet them on the head” (because it can encourage head butting), “Never trust an in-tact male” etc. I glance over at him, looking so sweet and handsome, smaller than all of the other animals, wondering if I will see this epic aggression everyone is referring to. So far, he’s been a perfect angel and I’m already resisting the wish to keep him forever. Although, Rufus and I have noted that he watches me with a severe intensity, with a bit of a fiery eye, not at all like the soft gaze of the ewes. Just then, as I was tossing hay into the “baby pen”, he walked up to me and stretched out his neck like he wanted some hay. This has become our little routine. However, this time, he ignored the hay and leaned into my hand, like he wanted me to pet his head… Ignoring wise advice, I couldn’t resist. Hesitantly scratching his head, I remembered Rufus’s last words to me, “Don’t let him shin drop you”. As if he read my mind, he gave a boisterous skull shake, backed up two steps, and lowered his head. I hopped up onto the round bale, shocked (when I shouldn’t have been shocked) at the immediate response to touching his head. Message received. Can confirm, petting a ram on the head encourages head-butting. I guess I was just curious and had to see for myself. I’m thankful that he’s a little guy and I have a quick escape route.