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The First Birthday Book of Laurel, Duchess, Tessie, and Ginger

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Item Number: FBBLDTG
Manufacturer: Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. ®
The First Birthday Book of Laurel, Duchess, Tessie, and Ginger

The sheep at Burcham’s Farm were very fascinating to me. They were amusing and intriguing because each of them had a distinct personality and I got to know them during the twelve years that I photographed them.
Laurel: (silver) always checking to see if I was bearing gifts of apples, popcorn or carrots.  Had white spots on the end of her nose and chin, very sociable.
Tessie:  (white) graceful, lady-like, very gentle, mild personality, and had beautiful blue eyes.
Ginger: (sandy-taupe) gentle at times, but her personality would flip to aggressive by stomping her foot in disapproval.
Duchess: (chocolate) had a wild and sometimes aggressive nature.  She wasn’t very trusting and displayed distain on several of my photographic visits to the farm.  Jeanette had once mentioned to me that Duchess was a little wild.

Duchess would stand off from the other three sheep and grunt as she stomped her foot demanding that the sheep cease munching on treats and follow her to another area of the farm. Laurel got sick and died in April of this year. Tessie became so sick that she had to be put down in June; just months after the death of Laurel and Ginger. After the twins would shear the sheep I would take the fleece home and clean it, scour it, dye it, spin it, and card it.  

On the cover is an acrylic painting that I created of Laurel, Duchess, Tessie and Ginger.  They were waiting for treats and lined up on a winter’s day in February, 2009 when I went down to the farm to photograph them. I’m still knitting and carding their wool, but there will never be sheep in my life like the Romney sheep that belonged to Jeanette and Janice Burcham.  It took me two years to teach myself how to knit. Knitting their wool yarn was therapeutic and a wonderful challenge to teach myself the craft. So every time I wear one of their warm, colorful, mufflers on a cold wintery day, I remember how much I loved them and how very much they gave to me without even realizing it.  In all of the years I knew those sheep I never, ever heard one of them say baa!
-- Beverly Hughes
The First Birthday Book of Laurel, Duchess, Tessie, and Ginger

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