Shear excitement as sheep takes center stage at Soule event

May 18, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Seven-year-old William Earl of Middleboro wasn’t sheepish about sharing what his favorite animal was at the annual Sheep Day Saturday, May 18 at Soule Homestead Education Center.

 “All of them,’’ he said.

 There were certainly plenty of animals to see at the farm, including goats, chickens, ducks and geese.

 But the stars of the day were the sheep. The wooly critters even had a chance to get haircuts _ officially known as sheep shearing _ as visitors to the event watched.

 Shearing sheep takes good physical condition to handle the animals in a way to keep both them and the shearer safe, Aaron Loux, who has been doing this for more than 20 years, told the audience.

 Although the process might look uncomfortable for the animals, there is no pain involved, he said, and the sheep ultimately benefit he said. “There’s a couple of minutes of stress and she’s all set for the year and more comfortable,’’ he said.

 Sheep shearing was not the only activity on the agenda. Visitors could listen to music, browse through vendor booths and explore the farm. Crafts and games were available for children.

 Kathleen Duggan Jessop had a long history with the farm. Thirty years ago, she shared, she helped to renovate the farm on the site.

 She returned to the festival after many years away so that her daughter Catherine Foley could share the experience with her own children. The family “wanted to see a farm,’’ she said.

 Julia Beddoe, 10, of Bridgewater, was a fan of the sheep. “They’re really fluffy,’’ she said.

Her menagerie at home is considerably smaller, she said. “We have one fish.’’

 Five-year-old Lucia Tummino’s favorite aspect of the day was a familiar sentiment. “I like the little animals,’’ she said.