The day after my adventure with Cyril and The Cast Sheep, I walked up to the farm to see the new arrival. Margaret was delighted (and relieved) that the unfortunate ewe had not only made a full recovery but delivered a strapping, healthy girl-lamb too. She was less delighted to be woken at 1am by the incessant bleating of a baby whose mother wasn’t yet providing milk. (Lambing-pen CCTV streams pictures and sound through to her bedside). She wearily got out of bed, threw on some clothes, stumbled to the barn and tube fed the baby. Thankfully, after that one early morning mercy dash, the mother began producing milk and is now suckling her lamb normally.
The ewe seemed much happier than when I last saw her.
But as much as I wanted to give her a big hug, memories of her personal hygiene failings stopped me in my tracks.
Margaret wasn’t kidding when she said that the lamb was big. Little wonder that the pregnant ewe had been unable to get to her feet.
I’ve seen Margaret’s new lambs many times over the years but my personal relationship (so to speak) with this particular sheep made a familiar scene all the more cockle-warming.
Two other sheep and lambs are currently under shelter. Next door, a slightly unkempt ewe gazed over
her own snoozing youngster. (Who didn’t mind in the slightest having his nose rubbed by a grubby, gardening finger).
But smashing as the other lambs were, there was only one I had really come to see.
She even put on a little show when, for no discernible reason, she started to leap about.
Just for the hell of it. Because she could. And actually I felt a little old and staid.
I can’t remember when I last jumped up and down simply for the fun of it.
Perhaps it’s time I did; make it part of my daily routine. Whilst my knees are still up to it.
All lambs are ridiculously cute and eminently squeezable,
but you’ll forgive me if I think that this one is especially so.
Before I left, I shot a short film. It’s the first time I’ve used my current camera for filming – so it isn’t the greatest artistic endeavour. And incidentally, no I didn’t add the background soundtrack. Margaret plays Classic FM to her lambing ewes. It calms them, she says. Genius, I think. (The music, should you wonder, is Shostakovich, Festive Overture Opus 96).
Anyway, for what its worth, here it is: