Goat Shearing Time!

It’s that time of year when the Mom Person tackles the goats! And us dogs lay around and watch and laugh.

We have 2 angora goats, Henry and Mr. Jingles. I have talked about them before. Here. and Here. Angora goats grow mohair. If you have a mohair sweater it came from a goat. If you have an angora sweater, it came from a rabbit. Go figure. The goats get sheared twice a year. Spring and Fall.

Now after the clippers do their job and we have all that mohair — what to do next?! Well, it has to be washed and carded and spun into yarn. It’s a lot of work! Whew!

And I tell you all of this because that’s what we’ve been busy with. And,  I want to tell you about a book that we have called A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Anita Lobel. It was published by Scholastic in1986.

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The book is based on a true story about a time during the war when stores were closed up and no one had any money. But a little girl needed a new coat. So her mom figured out another way to get Anna her coat. They gathered some stuff that they could use to trade and went to visit a farmer who had sheep. He said that they could have some wool, but would have to wait until spring when the sheep would get shorn. In the spring they got a big bag of wool. (Not 3 bags!) They took the bag to a lady to have it spun into yarn, and had to wait until the summer. They wanted to dye it red and had to wait until the fall for the berries to be ripe. Then the yarn had to be woven into cloth and sewn into a new coat. But by the following Christmas, Anna had her new red coat!

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This is a really lovely story – made even more so by the fact that it’s a true one! It’s about patience and resourcefulness. Things we need more of in this world. Anna had to wait a whole year for her new coat. And she didn’t whine one bit! I wish I could be that patient.

I love this story. It’s happy and uplifting and suspenseful. Will Anna ever get her coat?! And the illustrations are just perfect for it – soft and comforting. Everyone smiles through the whole book. Even the sheep! You should check it out!

And here is a gentleman attempting to become the fastest shearer in the world! (It takes the Mom Person about an hour to do one goat.)