November '21

November '21
Merino wool

The Story

Voltaire, the best-known French Enlightenment writer, suggested that a man is to be judged not by his answers, but by his questions. In that spirit, we brought up a crucial question that is all-too-often dismissed: “What socks would sheep wear if sheep wore socks?”

We might as well end the November story here since, according to monsieur Voltaire, answers are irrelevant. We could sign off by noting that this month’s sock supply comes from Merino sheep wool, the “crème de la crème“ of warmth-retaining materials. Lastly, we would credit the ovine ruminant for inspiring my rumination about questions.

Unfortunately, Voltaire’s opinions have not always been enthusiastically accepted, so we will, after all, allow ourselves several declarative sentences “in lieu“ of questions. Sheep would opt for colorful socks, since they have an especially keen eye for red, green and yellow. Please look, if the November socks reflect that spectrum. Don’t feel bad about having to shift your focus from these lines to your socks to check; humans only possess about half of a sheep’s 330° visual field. Yet that is not a perk to be envied – it has been necessitated by evolution for prey animals.

Some would say a sheep would show no interest “vis-à-vis“ woolen socks. I dare disagree. The over ten thousand years of human-driven ovine breeding turned sheep into such efficient producers of wool that many a breed (including Merino) would metaphorically boil in their own fleece if not sheared regularly. This makes the production of wool vital for sheep.

Out verdict was clear. A pair of yellowish-reddish-greenish socks is perhaps not what sheep dream of (after they are done counting sheep). So, we leave it up to you to make two judgements. Was Voltaire right that questions overshadow answers? And do sheep “en masse“ have good taste in socks?

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