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Delight and Things

a little peek at what delights me

This may sound stupid, but… as of yesterday, I feel like an empty-nester.

This past spring, three of the sheep died, leaving baby lambs as orphans. My boyfriend’s dad brought them home, called me up, and put me in charge of raising them. About three weeks later a fourth joined the little flock.

I told myself I wouldn’t get attached. But then I started noticing they each had quirks, habits, likes, dislikes – in short, personalities! And it’s hard to not name something that has a personality. So we ended up with Scout (after the tomboy main character in To Kill a Mockingbird), Rambo (due to his size and deep voice), Focus (who had trouble focusing on his bottle at first), and Tiny (not so much named by personality but by physical appearance).

Focus and Rambo

Anyway, they’ve spent the last four months hanging out by the house. They’re quite entertaining – they baaa at you when you speak, they prance around and kick their heels, they chase the cats, they head butt your knees when they want a scratch, they take any chance they get to eat my garden. And, like a dog would, they get excited when you come home after work. They know the sound of the ute and come running when you pull up. And I realised – damn – I got attached. No, not just attached, totally smitten. I am the equivalent of a crazy cat lady, but with lambs.

So two weeks ago Scout and Tiny managed to relocate themselves to one of the mobs of sheep and have been happily out there with them since. No big deal, I still had the other two at home to chat to when hanging out the laundry. Until yesterday, when Jamie and I drove them down to the yards to vaccinate and tail them, and then put them out in the paddock. But as they followed me up the ramp to the back of the ute, and held them in our laps as we were driven out to the mob of freshly weaned lambs that would be their new family, I began to feel a bit like a mom dropping her kids off at school on the first day of kindergarten.

Fortunately, they didn’t seem to be too phased by the change and as of this morning were happily grazing with the other lambs. And although it’s hard to pick them out of the 200ish other lambs there, they’re pretty easy to find when you look in the rearview mirror and they’re running after the ute with their tails wagging.

The three original lambs when they were little

It am fully aware that it’s a bit ridiculous to be upset by weaning my lambs, but I guess I felt like I was their mom, and this is my first experience in watching ‘kids’ grow up. I will admit I felt a little bit proud of them when they were out there, making new friends… so I’ve decided to accept the fact that I’m a bit of a crazy lamb lady and hopefully put it to good use again next spring. Until then, I’ll just have to take 5 minutes every now and again to go and give my sheep a scratch on the head in the paddock.

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