Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6 ... of sheep and sheep and cupcakes...

Before we ambled up that mountain that I wrote about yesterday, our tour guide Billy, told us about an agricultural fair that was happening just 5 km down the road. He told us that if we were relying on the folk that were waitressing us, or B & Bing us, we weren't really ever going to meet any authentically Irish folk and that going to the agricultural fair would give us a peek at the real McCoy. So we went...

Who knew that there were at least 20 different kinds of sheep. There were men there testing them for what I assumed was durability or strength, checking teeth and ears, and rubbing the fur between their fingers. There were prizes to be awarded for the best sheep in each category - blue faced sheep (I'm serious), dread lock sheep, crinkle wool sheep - I was fascinated. There was a first, second and third prize for just about everything. There were horses - some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, their owners walking them proudly in a large sweeping circle while the judges did their thing. Under the big tent there were muffins, breads, cookies - all qualifying for a prize. Honey and I both enjoyed an award winning cupcake. There was hand made jewelery, quilts, knitted things - on and on it went.

Near the back of the tent was a board - it had tacked on to it colouring book pages - children had coloured the pictures and the picture of the rooster won first prize. I can't tell you how touching I found that to be. They were honouring everyone, young and old, and even the animals that offered them sustenance, companionship, livelihood.

Before we left we met a man who had this amazing dog - it looked like the first dog you see in the Purina slow motion commercial - youtube it, it's great. We spent time talking to him. He told us his wife wanted to enter their pooch in the contest, the Dog Show contest - that's where she was now, arranging it. He thought it was hilarious, he was being all bashful and shy. We asked if he had groomed his dog for the occasion and he said no the pooch always looks like that. It was nice, friendly, inviting, lovely...

I'll never forget the colouring book page of the rooster, with a big first prize ribbon on it. The child in me felt very honoured.

But really - I loved the sheep! Get a load of the curly-que! I can't imagine what this weighs on the poor things head!

And check out the little guys "fur" below. I bought a scarf for Mrs. Mooka and it's exactly the same wool! Crazy!

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