Monday, April 26, 2010

The Back Story

When I moved the spotlight over the pasture at 4:30 yesterday morning, I found a ewe standing alone, bleating. She'd obviously lambed, but I found no lambs by her side. Another swipe of the spotlight revealed the problem. Her lamb was in the other pasture. Apparently, it had slipped through the slats in the gate. I retrieved the lamb and, carrying it low to the ground, walked backward toward the barn. Most ewes follow when I carry their lambs like this. This one stood in the pasture and called. After depositing that lamb in a stall in the barn, I went back to the ewe who continued to bleat and call. Again I spotlighted the field. There must be another lamb out there, but it wasn't responding to its mom. Then, I saw Llambert, the guard llama. He was lying in the pasture, looking quite unconcerned by the night's events. Then I spotted it. Two eyes reflected from Llambert's barrel. When I went to him, I found the missing lamb. It was curled up on Llambert's coat, warm and dry and contented. Apparently he saw no need to respond to his mom's calls. I scooped up the lamb and carried it to its mom. Satisfied, the ewe followed me and the lamb back to the barn. As I looked at the two lambs, I wondered what had happened in the night to separate the ewe from her babies. The ewe was no novice to motherhood. This is her fourth lambing season. Drinking and eating hay, the ewe offered no response to my queries. I would have to make up my own tale of her nighttime adventure.

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