A wild and woolly time

There is humor, and then there's the wit displayed last week by employees of Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn. When they arrived early Friday to open the gates to the public, the first to enter wasn't a man or a woman or even a schoolchild, but ... a sheep. Since the zoo is in a heavily congested area near a major highway, it's doubtful the animal would have been attracted there from an area farm or from someone's backyard. Beardsley has a sheep pen, but its inhabitants are an endangered breed into whose midst it wouldn't do to mix the visitor. So, what to do with it? Well, first, employees alerted the news media to the critter's arrival. Since then, they've kept it in quarantine, and a trace was put on its registration with the state Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, staffers have been taking turns joking about the situation. Quipped one: "I considered putting her to work ... cutting the grass." Another said, "She got in without paying admission; I guess you could say we were fleeced." Because the ewe can't tell them where she came from, Beardsley director Gregg Dancho said the zoo is dealing with "the Silence of the Lamb." The search is on for a girl with a shepherd's crook, a frilly blue dress, and a bonnet over her curly blond hair, he said, and "If Little Bo Peep doesn't show up ... we may [give the sheep] to a farm."

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