At the beginning of the month, I sold five of my young cross-bred ewes to a woman downstate. Yesterday I received a backlog of mail from over the holiday, which included a notice from my bank that the woman’s check had been rejected for insufficient funds. The check was re-submitted and rejected again. I have now been fined and am out the $400.
I feel like a fool. A naive, trusting, stupid fool.
Last summer, when I realized I had to downsize my flock, I vowed I would do my best to find my girls good homes rather than taking the easy way out and sending them to slaughter.
With that goal I advertised the ewes on Craigslist at a very low price and even offered to keep them (and feed them) an extra month so they would be bred when going to their new homes. I would not break even on the deal but in my sadness, profit wasn’t a priority.
This woman agreed to buy all five in September. She wanted them to stay on to be bred. I am not a total idiot — I asked for and received a deposit. This check cleared without a problem.
The woman’s email communication was erratic, and she did not pick up the ewes until early November. Still, in our single telephone conversation before pick-up day we had clicked immediately. She is one year older than I and had grown up in a neighboring Connecticut town. We had laughed over our similar journeys from tennis whites to muck boots. It did not occur to me to object when she brought out her checkbook to pay the remainder after we had loaded the ewes in her truck.
I was a fool.
I have emailed her twice, to no response. I’ve tried to convince myself that the bad check might be an accident. However by now she has surely heard from her own bank. I try to find excuses: maybe she has been out of town? But then who would be caring for the sheep? I find myself wondering if dear Bean, Smoky, Briar, Snowy, and Chai went straight to a slaughterhouse.
I have the woman’s telephone number and am steeling myself to make the call. I shrink from unpleasant interactions. I hate to use a telephone in the best of times. Ugh.
I just feel sick.