Consequently, she has sheep on her refrigerator door; sheep on her hand towels; and sheep on the fireplace mantel. She even has a framed picture of a woman feeding sheep in the snow � and I've seen her look longingly at it as if she could turn back the calendar.
Tears well up in her eyes when she recalls the long hours spent in the barn waiting for lambs to be born. Me? I don't care if I ever smell lanolin on the hoof again.
Besides all that, she has taken to watching the Animal Planet channel on television to get her kicks. I don't dare interrupt her as she experiences each animal episode vicariously. I think she even hides the remote so I don't change channels.
Saint Francis of Assisi has nothing on her. She loves birds and bees and creepy-crawly things, too, but she especially goes for the furry kind.
For instance, there are a couple of bunny rabbits in our back yard, and I wouldn't be surprised if our next Visa bill includes a sack of pellets for the cottontails.
I tell her that they eat the neighbors' flowers, but she doesn't care. "They are God's creatures, too," she says. "And when they're hungry, they nibble things they shouldn't. It's just part of nature, that's all!"
(I make a mental note: Don't plant any flowers that rabbits like!)
Getting back to the sheep again, I also wouldn't be surprised to find a couple of Shropshires in our lawn. The only thing I've got going for me is the city ordinance against animals on a town lot. Besides that, the downwind homeowners might complain!
I guess I shouldn't feel bad, though. My wife doesn't play bridge, nor does she "shop till she drops." She should have a hobby, even if I don't agree with it.
(Why can't she make a quilt or take up needle-pointing?)
Come to think of it, however, I should be very careful about suggesting a hobby for Phyllis. I could wind up with sheep on my quilts or lambs on my needlepoint. Maybe I should advise her to take up auto mechanics, then she would really be stretching it to give in to her ovine urges.
Needless to say, I'm doomed to have sheep in my life "wether" (pun intended) I want to or not. I should just adjust to it.
Each time she gazes out at the grass-covered vacant lot behind our house, I wonder if our move to town was the wisest thing to do. She misses the country life more than I do, but then I had little involvement with her animals. Could be that's the difference!
Oh well, she has her two indoor cats � Baxter and Bailey � so I shouldn't worry. They give her something cuddly to pet while she watches Animal Planet, and they're better than sheep on the sofa!
� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz