Is Curly the second coming?

Curly the Sheep catching rays in last week's heatwave
Curly the Sheep catching rays in last week's heatwave

Curly the Sheep could be the second coming of a mythical animal which held the key to Ossett’s wool industry.

As reported in the Express last month, the ram was rehomed at an animal sanctuary following a fundraising drive by people in Ossett, who found him abandoned in a field off Queen’s Drive.

And some believe Curly is the manifestation of a mythical sheep spoken about within the town, called the Naked Sheep of Ossett Town.

The myth talks of a sheep being found lying completely shorn on an Ossett road by a poor cloth merchant hundreds of years ago.

The merchant took the ailing sheep home, covered it in the only blanket he had, and called upon the town’s weavers for extra scraps of cloth for cover.

The next morning the merchant found all the scraps had vanished and the sheep had grown a full new coat of wool. And the weavers made beautiful cloth from the fleece which earned them handsome sums at market.

The merchant covered the sheep with mungo and shoddy every night, and each day found the same results.

For generations, Ossett woolmakers gave gifts in gratitude to the sheep for making the town prosper.

Curly is currently staying at the Roleystone sanctuary in Shipley, where he narrowly escaped an arson attack last week.

His former carers in Ossett gave him food and shelter, much like the merchant in the myth, for about six months before he was transferred.

Shaun Womersley, who built Curly a shelter next to his home on Queen’s Drive, said: “The myth rings true but in some ways Curly was the myth reversed.

“His coat was really long and knotted, and when it got really hot in March I thought I would try and trim it with some scissors.

“It wasn’t ideal, but he seemed to like it.”