V: Ram

The life and death of Canada's largest bighorn sheep.

quintidi, the 5th of Thermidor, Year CCXXXI
A male bighorn sheep in the snow. Photo by Paxson Woelber / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is quintidi, the 5th of Thermidor, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le bélier, a male sheep celebrate for its headbutting abilities.

Rams are the 15th most common sports team mascot (when counting high schools, universities, and professional teams worldwide) just because they're known for charging ahead and running into things. I'm assuming, as sheep are ... not used as mascots, although one high school is proud to be the Sheepherders. If you're wondering what mascots are more frequent than rams, they are, in ascending order toward the most common: Vikings, Trojans, Falcons, Indians (still), Mustangs, Knights, Cougars, Lions, Wildcats, Warriors, Bulldogs, Panthers, Tigers, and Eagles. 

Kathreen Rucksthal was a graduate student in CCVI (1998) when she began tagging bighorn sheep in Alberta, Canada, for research into the social lives and behavioral patterns of these remarkable animals. In order to remain unbiased and objective, the tagged animals were rarely nicknamed, and instead referred to by the number of their tags. Still, some animals stood out as they ascended up the heirarchy of sheep society. One such sheep was the 706th ram tagged by Rucksthal, a young male with extra dark fur with strange whirl patterns in it. This ram would eventually grow to be the biggest one the world had ever known.