Monday, April 02, 2007

lambs and more

We have discussed yuglets before. then there are sokkets too. All moorit....all to tell them apart?

One of these lambs doesn't of these lambs isn't the same. Actually, one of them is from Captain, two from Hopalong. Can you guess which one?

Remember me? I'm the nut-case who is letting ewes breed right here in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Well, at least we have grass this time of year. I remember one spring in Wisconsin when I ran out of hay for the third time and let all 30 lambs and moms out of their jugs at the same time on the same they could go find some grass. Imagine lamb races with moms screaming that they have lost their lambs...and babies screaming that they have lost their moms at the same time.

Well......I'm better now.

On the other hand, I seem to have a fatal flaw....which compells me to put perfectly good shetland ewes into pens with perfectly good shetland rams. This stupidity culminates about this time of year....when I lose a lot of sleep, trying to be in all places at once so I can wipe the little lambs faces off when they finally arrive in a heap on the ground.

I remember my own REAL children falling into certain physical harm....bending necks and limbs into twisted piles at the bottom of stairs. Horrified, I would run to see if the child was breathing or dangerously damaged.

Well....that is nothing compared to the splat of a tiny lamb hitting the ground in a heap of sludge and goo, from the miles high rump of a distracted mommy sheep. In the dark, it is hard to figure out if there really is a head....let-alone find it and make sure it is now breathing.

What ME worry? Haa!.....only because I have had many distracted sheep who lack medical skills. Mommy sheep, if you watch take their time discovering if the lamb recently fallen from their plump hind-end is a ram or ewe....they would much rather lick endlessly at the lambs rear or the goop on the ground....not the head. Of course, maybe mommy sheep actually find out faster starting the cleaning at that far end of the head. But this aging shepherd likes to wipe nose and chest to get the good air in and the bad goop out.

So now you understand my mental affliction which wakes me from a semi-sound sleep each night during what some people like to call Christmas two....and walk in the gloom of night....hopefully around the reptiles.... to the barn. When there, I quietly peer around corners, and try not to stampede the ewes out of the barn. Listening for the quiet scratching or...if I'm lucky the grunting of a wet lamb trying to get out so I can climb in with a towel...or my sleeve or the shirt off my back.

Sometimes it works....somethimes it doesn't. But, here I am, aging shepherd...trying it again.


At 2:12 AM, Blogger stephen rouse said...

Wow! Spots everywhere! Congrats Mary Ellen! So it begins again! I hope you find time to grab a nap in there somewhere!

your pal,


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