Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Building Fences and Shearing Sheep

Poor boy! There was no more merrymaking for him inside the stockade, where, nearly all the time, a number of idlers could be found ready to wrestle, leap, or run races. He wasn't strong enough to build the whole fence; but he could lay the worm, which means the bottom rail, and he could also drive in the stakes; or checks. Before shearing time came we had a splendid pasture from which the live stock could not stray.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

As soon as the weather grew warm it was decided that all the sheep should be sheared at the same time, each family setting about the work with their neighbors until it was finished.

We girls drove the animals down to the creek, where the boys had great sport washing the long wool, which was exceedingly dirty and filled with cockles and other burs. As the poor beasts came up out of the water nearly frightened to death, their legs were tied together, and then the shearing began.

The whole number of sheep belonging to us of Boonesborough was not above thirty, therefore the task was readily finished in one day; but on the next and the next, and many another day, I was kept busy puffing the burs and bits of wood from the wool.

After this, however, the work was not so disagreeable, for I dearly loved to card the fleece into rolls for spinning, and the buzz of the wheel, when mother allowed me to do the double-and-twisting, was like real music. I should not boast; but Jemima has said again and again that her mother often held me up as a model at such work, and it is indeed true that I could do it quickly and well.

And now I have come to what might have been a most terrible disaster but for the mercy of God, as mother says.