The other day I wrote about the joy and excitement of seeing a friend you haven't seen in a while and running to hug them so hard it almost hurts. Today I experienced the animal version of this in the form of sheep. Every summer we visit an outdoor, sculpture park on the island of Tjörn, which is where my husband's family has a lovely, summer cottage. The sculpture park is called Pilane and artists from literally all over the world feature their works here. The sculpture park shares it's outdoor space with an ancient, Viking burial ground and a herd of the cutest and funniest sheep you've ever met.
The first year I met these sheep they were not particularly friendly and would run from you or get very nervous and squat down to pee when I tried to pet them, which in turn would frighten me, which served to further frighten them. It was quite hilarious actually. The following year the sheep had become more tame and would allow you to walk up and pet them and in the years that have followed they have become increasingly more friendly. Today they came running to me and my friends and practically climbed into our laps trying to get near us. Several of these adorable gals and fellas came up and surrounded me, leaning their heads against me, sniffing me very intensely and even gently nibbling at my fingers.
I gave them hugs and scratched their heads, while my husband found one that liked to wag its tail when you scratched its back near its tail. Another one leaned her head back with her eyes closed as one of our friends cuddled and petted her. It simply warmed my heart from the inside out to see them and have the opportunity to pet them. The sheep of Pilane made me happy today and will always hold a special place in my heart.