A Brown Ribbon by Kate Poitras

A Brown Ribbon

The clock on my phone reads 10:32 AM as the plane descends into the cold Maryland laneway. I get off this cramped, closed off airplane as fast as I possibly can. Hoping I did not miss my ewes class at the North American International Livestock Exposition, wishing I could still be there to show my sheep one last time before she went to South Dakota with her new owners. Yes, I am happy they wanted one of my sheep, to help improve their breeding program. I am so proud of all the accomplishments my sheep has made this year.

She is a bred and owned and has my prefix in her name on her paper, CLOVER HILL 15, and we called her Destiny however, her name will no longer be Destiny. The registration paper on my sheep will now read CLOVER HILL 15 “ELDORA” as her new owners decided to name her. This aggravates me a little knowing that my sheep that I had named would no longer have the very special name I had picked out for her. 

Safari finally loaded on my phone. I go to she show’s website, click on the livestream link, and the video pops up with the caption JUNIOR YEARLING EWES. I get excited, this meant I had not missed  my sheep’s class. I see her, she walks into the ring with the same ring presence she had all year when I showed her, her head held high, pacing each foot to match the person who is showing her, just like always. I sit in the airport gate waiting for my flight to begin boarding with the most anxious feeling inside of me, I knew it would not go away, not until my sheep had been pulled into her final placing in the National Show competing with the best of the best. The judge excuses the bottom half of the class, Destiny is still standing, top 20. The judge excuses another 5 sheep, top 15. He starts placing his top 15 with 15th being pulled first. One sheep, than another, and another, and another, and another, top 10. I am nervous, nervous for her, nervous for her new owners, and just nervous. Destiny was surrounded by the best of the best, she was in top 10 at a National Show. 

The judge pulls two more in, and then she was pulled. 8th place, tears fill my eyes as I watch my  sheep walk into 8th place with her head held high and her feet perfectly matched to the person who is showing her. 8th place, 8th place at a National Show, 8th place. My sheep was 8th place at a National Show. I am crying, tears rolling down my face, crying. Tears of joy, and happiness, and pride roll down my tired face. Who knew an 8th place, brown ribbon, could make someone feel so proud? But I do… 


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