Today I sat in sixty-degree sunshine and watched my baby lambs race across the yard with Pippi, our herding Moodle fast at their heels. Charlie and Daisy galloped in big circles on the grass and played dodge and catch with us when it was time to come inside. But as soon as we nabbed them they chewed on our chins and earlobes and fell asleep in our arms before we got back to the kitchen where they lay still, next to the leftover warmth of the radiator, each with one of the others ears in their mouth.
I have headed back out here to the porch to catch the last of this sweet spring sunshine. I am almost too sleepy to enjoy it. We were up at 2 AM giving bottles since Daisy was too sleepy to eat properly before bed and at just four and six days a missed feeding with no easy mama access can spell disaster. Then we were all up again at five when we heard the hysterical bleating from the kitchen. I raced down wondering what had happened and found Charlie screaming “Baaa baaa meeeh meeh…which translated roughly into, “OHMYGOD I am bleeding to death”
He has a docked tail and he had scuffed it with his hoof and the little wound had reopened and scared him out of his little lambie wits. It didn’t hurt though when I dabbed and cleaned it and coated it with Neosporin, so he is just a run of the mill overreactor like everybody else around here. He will fit in nicely with this bunch.
The night before I woke up hearing the clip clopping sounds of little hooves in the library. Benjamin came home late and neglected to reattach the little gate at the kitchen. So the kids went exploring. I found them in the library chewing up a purple candle, (their mouths are still smeared with a kind of fading pink), and looking pretty delighted with the results.
Then later this morning when I got to my business appointment I kept noticing the stale sickly scent of old milk. It was apparently on my shoulder or maybe in my hair.
We go a little crazy up here in the winter. I have never wanted sheep. I still don’t want sheep exactly. But these two sweet lambs are not sheep. They are our little lambs. And we delight in the little wooly curls showing up on their spindly legs every morning. When you come into the room they greet you with a sweet little baaa and when you give them a bottle they look up at you with milk drunk eyes and their body sort of snuffles and purrs and I start imagining that we better get some fencing out there pretty soon. Benjamin asked today what is so special about lamb anyway that makes people think they need to eat these dear little creatures. He said this as Charlie nuzzled his chin and fell asleep with his cheek buried at he base of Benjamin’s throat. Benjamin, I might add, has always loved lamb.
An hour ago we were chasing the little wildcats out from under the porch where they had discovered the special delicacy that is apparently the Satellite cable. In that moment Benjamin said we need a book about livestock. And I mentioned that this would be good practice for the cow. And Eli wondered if the cow could please have a calf. And I said of course how else will we get the milk to make the cheese?
Fostering sounded good….And of course it really isn’t my fault. The winters are enough to drive you crazy up here.