Joanna here, wandering into historical byways of no particular use.
You know the phrase, “I’ve done my research and now you’re going to suffer for it”? Comes up when somebody – an author for instance – is so pleased with what she knows that she lays ALL the facts on the poor Reader. So the Hero and Heroine stop on their elopement to consider the history of casting church bells in the bell field.
With me, right now, it’s sheep.
I’m working on a scene in which there are sheep in the distance. Unimportant sheep. Sheep without any plot role. Sheep that may not even get into the final draft.
So I’m going to lay some random historical sheep facts on you because I have them.
Sheep are fortunate among domestic animals. In recent millennia their economic value lay in their milk and fleece and not so much as sheep stew, which gave some of them a long and toil-free life. Ewes earned their place in the Bronze Age economy as long as they kept sporting the curly white and having lambs.