#1 in a series of stories about the sheep, & the processing of wool.
Intro: Gramma’s Yarns
There is a time in stories and dreams when little lambs may ponder wool. They are covered with it, grow with it, and many times dress up with it. And so this story of lambs is also the story of wool.
Weavers and sheep, sheep and lambs, lambs and spinners and dyes, have helped each other for ages on end. And so the tales grow. But what does a young lamb know of these things? And how would she learn?
Her gramma told her.
In South Pasture, green and breezy with tall, waving grasses, Grandma Filene gathers the youngsters around her. But SnoBelle hangs back. The eldest of the lambs, she watches from a short distance. Gramma’s stories aren’t real. Aren’t they? Tall tales, just “yarns”. Aren’t they? She watches them for a few moments, silently. Longer moments, thinking hard. Then, I gotta know, and she bounds over to the flock.
“Ohhh, Baaaaa, and I have many yarns, and tales of yarns, of wools, of sheep and the games they play, and most of all of color.” Gramma Filene begins.
Color? thinks SnoBelle. What’s color? She looks around at the soft, woolly bodies here – whites and creams, blacks & greys, tans and browns. Why, Ringo even has all those shades blended together. Natural sheep colors. But what does Gramma Filene mean by “color?”
Anyone who knows SnoBelle soon finds out how curious she is. “Why”, “How”, and “What about?” are usually her first expressions.
Gramma Filene continues. SnoBelle watches her great, great, grandmother, spellbound by the stories she is telling to the circle of lambs at her feet.
Uncle PopEye will be coming back to visit again,” she tells the lambs. “He’s always got a green belly. I wonder why?” She smiles and rolls her eyes up to the sky.
In unison, the lambs all gasp, “Green!” in playful surprise. They gambol and leap, spinning cartwheels in the air. But they really don’t know. They look at each other. “What’s green?”
“And some of your mothers just might turn blue. Do you know why?”
“Oh nooooo. What’s blue?”
“Ah, well, that’s ‘Yarn Number Two’.”
“And then there’s the secret to color. Some colors work; some don’t. I wonder why?” She rolls her eyes again.
SnoBelle crinkles her forehead, trying to figure out what Gramma is talking about. The other lambs look up and down and all around, but no one knows.
“And you’ll see others, too. Cousins and friends each with their own kind of wool. There’s Ms.Angie and Gert, angora’s their coat. And the Bunni twins hop in, too. They like to sit right by the wheel when their wool is spun.”
“The wheeeel,” cry the lambs in a teasing squeel. But they stop and look at her. “What wheel?”
“Just wait ‘til fall.” Says Gramma Filene. She starts to hum and grunt, and grunt and hum as though to some lit’l tune in her head. Then turning around, she walks away towards the lower pasture.
“What was that about?” thought SnoBelle. Wools and weaving, colors and spinning ??? I must find out.