A Happy Ending

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.

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The ewe seemed much happier than when I last saw her.

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But as much as I wanted to give her a big hug, memories of her personal hygiene failings stopped me in my tracks.

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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.

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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.

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Two other sheep and lambs are currently under shelter.  Next door, a slightly unkempt ewe gazed over

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her own snoozing youngster.   (Who didn’t mind in the slightest having his nose rubbed by a grubby, gardening finger).

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But smashing as the other lambs were, there was only one I had really come to see.

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She even put on a little show when, for no discernible reason, she started to leap about.

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Just for the hell of it.  Because she could.  And actually I felt a little old and staid.

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I can’t remember when I last jumped up and down simply for the fun of it.

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Perhaps it’s time I did; make it part of my daily routine.  Whilst my knees are still up to it.

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All lambs are ridiculously cute and eminently squeezable,

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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:

 

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47 thoughts on “A Happy Ending

  1. Sheep are my favourite farm animals too – they make me feel happier than anything else when they jump with all fours of the ground. I don’t know why, because they are probably also the stupidest (maybe that’s why they can jump so high? No brain?) Pigs are a different story – you are right David.
    Thanks for letting us all take a look at the sequel.

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  2. What is it about lambs and sheep, Dave, that’s so loveable’? I’ve often thought if I were lucky enough to have any livestock, to participate in the maturing of any farm life, it would have to be sheep. Chickens, nah. Pigs, yuck. Cattle, no way. I like the peaceable sheep.

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    • I’m rather fond of pigs, Faisal. Wouldn’t mind a couple of porkers snuffling about. I spent some of my childhood on a small farm which had pigs. I used to ride around the farmyard on one big one, much to my delight. Not sure Health and Safety would approve nowadays, Sheep do have a habit of dying very easily which might put me off keeping them and as much as I love Cyril, I wouldn’t describe him as peaceable. But then I was trying to boss him about so all respect to him really. D

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  3. Aw!! They’re a very lovely breed of sheep. I love the shaggy fringe on their foreheads. We saw the first lambs a few weeks ago near Bath and they gamboled for us. I feel like I should do something like that on the first real warm day of spring at the plot – a bit like Eric Morecambe and his ‘Bring me Sunshine’ dance. Not sure I’d want to have to explain it to an A&E nurse though. A few years ago we saw a lady in a park try to leap one of the play park toys. She was of an age where she should have known better. As we were walking towards them she ran and leapt and inevitably fell flat on her face. She was fine, a bruised ego more than anything. A salutory lesson that perhaps we now have more in common with a sheep which can’t right itself than an energetic lamb. 😉

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    • It is a little surreal but very welcoming after a muddy walk up through the fields. I’d quite forgotten that M does that. Good piece of music too – I had to go on-line and check the play-list to identify it.

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  4. Thinking of her spending all night with her four feet in the air before lambing and producing a bouncing baby lamb is an impressive feat. I’m sure Margaret must have forgiven her with being a bit late with the milk coming in. You can be forgiven also for being biased, even though all the lambs look so cute. Amelia

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  5. Beautiful and what a sweet face the lamb has. My grandparents lived out in the Mojave desert and there were many sheep ranches there. Because of the climate and dryness those sheep stayed very white….but still stunk to high heaven.

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      • The Mojave desert though dry, does have a massive underground river. It’s some of the best alfalfa growing country. It’s shade that’s in short supply and the heat of summer can reach 125 degrees. Cattle are moved at night when it’s cooled down.

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  6. Awww, so cute.
    Very impressed with Margaret’s dedication. We lived on a sheep farm for a bit, so I too saw a lot of lambing. It is a very humbling experience. But I can also hear now just what the shepherd of our acquaintance would have made of Lamb Cam to the bedside!!

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  7. So will the next post be about the lamb moving in with you? Maybe being the garden mascot?
    I like the idea of playing classical music to the sheep to keep them calm but that sounds quite energetic music.

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  8. Clearly these sheep have cast a spell on you. I’ve never seen such naturally grubby looking creatures. But yes, the lamb is cute. I reckon she was moved by the stirring music (nice addition,by the way). Don’t go doing yourself an injury – your back isn’t up to it.

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  9. I love seeing the lambs jumping and springing about here, sadly their lives are usually very short because the farmers have sheep for milk (in my area almost all the cheese produced comes from sheep’s milk) so the lambs are just a by product. they are sold as meet at a very small size, delicious of course but 4 people could easily eat a whole lamb! I’m glad that your lamb will live a bit longer and be in such lovely surroundings.

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    • I generally buy hoggets off Margaret. These are year old lambs and are that more flavoursome. I don’t buy spring lamb for that reason – much better to wait for autumn lamb, I think. They will have had a good summer, feeding on grass (rather than just milk), have been well tended and lived in a great setting. They won’t know the latter especially but at least I do. Dave

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      • Even though their lives are very short, they are at least quite natural here. They don’t have their tails docked like lambs in the UK. Almost all other animals live indoors (l hate to think what their lives are like, but the sheep are out most if the year.

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  10. All’s well that ends’s well – she certainly produced a big ‘bouncer’ -the last two shots are what makes lambing worth all the anxiety. The story’s ending could have been a lot worse.

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