The Journal of Queen VictoriaThursday, October 21, 1868
At a quarter to twelve I drove off with Louise and Leopold in the waggonette up to near the “Bush” (the residence of William Brown, the farmer) to see them “juice the sheep.” This is a practice pursued all over the Highlands before the sheep are sent down to the low country for the winter. It is done to preserve the wool.Not far from the burnside, where there are a few hillocks, was a pen in which the sheep were placed, and then, just outside it, a large sort of trough filled with liquid tobacco and soap, and into this the sheep were dipped one after the other; one man (James Brown, my shepherd, the elder brother, who came up on purpose to help) took the sheep one by one out of the pen and turned them on their backs; and then William and he, holding them by their legs, dipped them well in, after which they were let into another pen into which this trough opened, and here they had to remain to dry.To the left, a little lower down, was a cauldron boiling over a fire containing the tobacco with water and soap; this was then emptied into a tub, from which it was transferred into the trough. Avery rosy-feced lassie, with a plaid over her head, was superintending this part of the work, and helped to fetch the water from the burn, while children and many collie dogs were grouped about, and several men and shepherds were helping. It was a very curious and picturesque sight.
* * *
Comments and disagreements are welcome, but be sure to read the Comment Policy. If this post made you think and you'd like to read more like it, consider a donation to my 4 Border Collies' Treat and Toy Fund. They'll be glad you did. You can subscribe to the feed or enter your e-mail in the field on the left to receive notice of new content. You can also like BorderWars on Facebook for more frequent musings and curiosities.
* * *