The shearing deadline was met, sort of. And the hairy fifth…

by Kit Munro

The hairy fifth to enslave the State,

To enslave the state, though against his will,

Shall be that idiot whom all despised.

 I, Claudius Robert Graves

Another days shearing. I left the South African theme for a while. Today I have been working/listening my way through I, Claudius by Robert Graves. I, Claudius is a history of the reign of several Caesars –including Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula– of the Roman Empire. It is told from the perspective of Claudius, an accomplished historian, so Graves wrote it as though the Roman historian was writing it.

Claudius did not have much going for him:

I was a very sickly child –‘a very battleground of diseases,’ the doctors said –and perhaps only lived because the diseases could not agree as to which should have the honour of carrying me off.

Poor old Claudius was ridiculed by those around him and probably the best advice he was ever given would not have improved this:

…exagerate your limp, stammer deliberately, sham sickness frequently, let your wits wander, jerk your head, and twitch with your hands on all public or semi-public occasions…

Poor old Claudius did not have much going for him, but he did have a little…

I finished shearing the main mob of ewes today while listening to I, Claudius. The deadline was the 10th of October. This deadline was for finishing the shearing, not the audiobook.

So en masse the sheep  looked like this before I started…

Now, after I have finished, they look like this…

Oh and the reason the deadline was the 10th of October?

That is when these Ewes start lambing:

Although nobody told this guy. This little tacker was born a day early.

The pink stripe was to mark him out. I suspected his mum had abandoned him. When I came back later he was all alone, no sheep near him. Nobody loves him. He may end up as a pet, or maybe another sheep can be tricked in to adopting him.

From humble beginnings eh?

I found my copy of Robert Grave’s I, Claudius here. If anyone knows of another place this audiobook is available please let me know in the comments below. [update I, Claudius is also available at the Book depository: Thanks Indiedyer]