In the last six weeks, we’ve lost two sheep from the Thompson-Neely Farmstead flock: Lightning Bolt and Linsey. Both enjoyed lives longer than the average life expectancy for sheep and were beloved by the rest of the flock and their caretakers.
The park’s Farmstead Manager, Ross Heutmaker, wrote these touching words about Linsey and Lightning Bolt.
Lightning Bolt was a wonderful, happy sheep. She was one of the grandmas of our flock, always watching over the group with a calm but vigilant demeanor. Even in her old age, she was spry and quick when she had to be. She was loved by all, getting along well with the new ewes as soon as they were introduced. Even the rough and tumble young wethers knew to respect her, and never jostled her away from the hay feeder.
She had an especially strong bond with Abigail. The pair could often be found ruminating together in the cool shade of the barn annex, calmly watching the younger sheep and goats as they hurried to the next blade of grass. Often, they would peek out from the barn door if they heard a human approaching.
Lightning Bolt looked forward to her daily grain appointment and would saunter easily to the same stall door each time I arrived to feed her. She understood the routine and would let me know she had eaten her fill by leaving the bowl to stand all the way at the back of the stall.
Hers was a calm presence that will be missed around the barn, by her fellow sheep, the volunteers that cared for her, and the sponsors who supported her. I am glad that she was able to live out her days in peace here at the Farmstead.
Linsey was not with us very long at the Thompson-Neely Farm, but she left a lasting impact with her calm and comfortable presence. She always moved at her own pace, even if it meant she was the last to get up from the shade of the walnut trees to move across the pasture, or lingered with one of the caretakers rather than following the flock.
She was such a sweetheart that she couldn’t be enticed to move with grain. She cared more about cuddles and back scratches and hanging out with her sisters. When she passed suddenly, all of them gathered around her for a kind of last rite.
Linsey is survived by her girlfriends from the Daniel Boone Homestead, her new friends at the Thompson-Neely Farmstead, and her sister Sarah, who mourned her loss by lingering in the last spot where she lay but has stood strong and continues to lead the rest of the gals out to pasture each day.
Life at the farm will go on, but we will all remember sweet Linsey-Woolsey.