By April the goats are very shaggy.  Their mohair fleece is certainly long enough to cut; Misty’s gone totally rasta. It’s only the threat of a cold spell that stops us from shearing — actually, it’s clipping; we use a pair of hairdresser’s scissors.
mistygate
Last time, in October, we left Vesle alone. We cut twice a year, but she was shivering last autumn and we were worried she would be too cold during the winter. Now she has a full year’s growth and she looks like a bearded collie.
1st-clip
She usually goes all floppy and Ghandi-like when we try to do anything to her — a dead weight — but today she just stepped right up.
cutting
You can see her wool has got seeds and bits of hay fastened in it; I’m sure it itches.
grass-in-coat-copy
Though Vesle was keen at the start, in the picture below you can see the battle of wills that has been going on since she stepped into the salon. Ms Passive-Resistance thinks she’s winning. Even so, her haircut was completed in under an hour — that’s pretty fast going for us (the world record for sheep shearing with mechanical clippers is held by a New Zealander, it’s under two minutes/sheep).
ves-looks-defiant1In this picture you can also see the length of the wool. One year’s worth of Vesle’s finest mohair, it’s nearly eight inches long, or 20cm.

Now comes the odd bit…
vesle
…When she’s clipped, Vesle changes from being a fat little goat into this waif:
by-gate
She’s tiny without her coat; only slightly bigger than Topsy.
vesalmtops
Size isn’t everything. Vesle had a tough basic training from her larger peers, almost literally a survival course. A stronger-willed goat would be hard to find.
vesleface

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