Saturday, June 24, 2006


Frango was born three months ago. He was a good-looking little black ram lamb. His mom only had one lamb this year, so frango felt like he was special. He could eat on both sides of his mommy's udder when he wanted , there was always warm milk there. As he grew, he learned to play with the other ram lamb. Some of them had sisters and some had brothers. One or two of the little black rams were their mommy's only boy too. Frango's mom had lots of milk, and she wanted to be with Frango all day. If he was busy playing on the hill side with the other lambs, his mommy would call short baas. Come here....where are you?
Frango was bigger than most of the other boy rams, and as they played in the big meadow across the creek, he began to fight. Frango was a fast fighter. He cocked his head and his beautiful horns to one side, then charged the other ram lambs. Frango was sure he would be the biggest and best ram of the year. Maybe he would learn to walk on a halter, and travel to shows. Someone would surely want him for a breeding ram. He had a white face and black circles around his eyes. His polished horns were white with little black stripes running through them. Oh, Frango was on top of the world.
Then one day, frango cocked his head at one of the big rams near the meadow. Even though Frango felt he was safe on the other side of the fence, the big ram charged him. Bash....the little ram staggered backwards. His head felt funny, there was a strange sensation as something ran into his eye. It was warm, and it made frango blink. He tried to shake his head and make it go away. The warm thick red flowed over frango's eye and down his chin. As he ran to find his mommy his horn dangled and hurt.
Now he was really scared. When he got to his mommy he tried to butt her udder and drink some milk....but his horn hurt more when he tried to butt, and as he shook and ran in circles, he began to be afraid. What had happened to his beautiful horn? Would it mend itself? Frango couldn't see his horn, but he knew it felt different , and he was ashamed. Later he tried to get some grain at feeding time, but the other sheep kept hitting his dangling horn. The shepherd lady grabbed frango and held his poor aching head under the water faucet. She washed off the red thick blood that held his eye shut. She kept saying...too bad, that's too bad.
Frango felt worse, maybe his horn wouldn't look the same. A few days later when he ran through the bushes, his horn fell on the ground. It was split in three places, and all of it fell off. Leaving poor frango with a stub. The flies didn't bother frango's place where his horn had been growing. He was lucky, but he didn't want to fight back with the other boys any more.
Soon, the shepherd lady started grabbing the other little boys. She had made a new pasture on the other side of the fence. He tried to run, but she caught frango too. He didn't want to be in this new place without his mommy. Frango baaed...his mommy baaed. All day his mommy ran into the barn and back out calling Frango to come with her to eat. Frango kept running back and forth next to the new fence.....please, mommy, come and get me. The other new boys behind the fence were play-fighting with each other.....but Frango didn't want to butt heads. He knew he was bad looking now, with his black stump sticking up. The shepherd lady didn't teach him to walk on the halter. He wondered what would happen to a little ram that had a busted horn. Late that night, Frango's mommy started to push on the she pushed the chain holding the gate shut moved.
Finally Frango was free. He joined his mommy and they stayed side by side all night. His hornplace didn't hurt any more...and his mommy let him drink lots of milk. Frango didn't know why, but he was happy. In the morning, the shepherd lady came out and found all the little ram lambs were back with their moms. she grabbed lots of ram lambs and lifted them back over the bad fence. The other ram lambs baaed for their moms too. Frango got caught....he dreaded being inside with those rough boy rams. They chased him away from the barn. He had to duck, because he didn't have another horn to fight with anymore. Frango's mommy kept calling. All day she called come out. Frango couldn't get out any more.
Later, the shepherd lady put halters on the black ram lambs and dragged them across the creek. They set their back feet. They wanted to stay in the barn where they felt safe. But the shepherd lady put them in the big fences with the big rams. All the little boys had to learn fast to run and duck. The big rams didn't like those little boys coming to eat the tender grass. All the little rams had to hide all day in the bushes and eat scraps of weeds and leaves when the big rams weren't watching. Frango got put in the back pasture too. His horn was growing a little, but it would never be pretty again. He would never get to go to the shows, or be a chosen breeding ram. Sometime in the fall, he and the other black and grey rams were put in a trailer to go away.
At least Frango had some other ram lambs with him, as they began their great journey towards their unknown.

copyright june 2006


At 8:17 PM, Blogger Gail V said...

Oh Mary ellen,
these stories about little ram lambs are so sad. But I like your writing them anyway. Kind, intuitive writing.


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