In a week of animal losses we must make room in our hearts to mourn the death of Shrek the Sheep. Why? I don't know except that Shrek did what a lot of us would like to do. He left the farm, hid in a cave, never got a haircut or did any of the other expected sheep activities and wasn't found until 2004. He had been on the lam for six years. First of all, you gotta wonder how in New Zealand, where most of the living things are sheep, the disappearance of one or even of a hundred would be noticed at all let alone attract national attention. I guess that just shows that Shrek was one amazing sheep.
At any rate and for whatever reason, he became a New Zealand celebrity. He was flown to the national parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, to meet Prime Minister Helen Clark. When he finally got his hair cut he immediately lost sixty pounds. Sixty pounds of fleece. I know how he must have felt because that's how I feel about a week before I finally get around to calling Linda Baker at CCC Hair Company for my irregular fleecing. Except that Shrek's fleecing was televised throughout New Zealand and it's rumored that the number of people who watched it almost matched the number who, in New Zealand, watched the funeral of Princess Diana.
And in this week of animal losses, Shrek died of old age. His funeral will be held in Takapo, New Zealand. The date has yet to be announced.
John Perriam, the guy who owned Shrek and from who Shrek apparently ran away, says that Shrek was just an ordinary sheep who happened to run away and hide for six years. He does add that Shrek had an unbelievable personality, that he loved children, and that he was really good with the elderly in retirement homes. A sheep in a retirement home. Okay.
Josie Spillane, whose charity 'Cure Kids' benefited from the sale of Shrek's wool, said that the lives of dozens of children were better because of Shrek.
That's about all any of us can hope for -- years of doing just what we please and in the end being remembered for good.
And if a sheep can pull that off perhaps the rest of us can also.