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Friday, May 21, 2010

Skinny love and the Farmer's birthday

“Come on skinny love just last a year… “
Imagine you have a tummy ache. You are doubled over, and it hurts to move. About a week after the lambs were let out to the pasture, I noticed one little lamb that was hunched over like this. She couldn’t seem to find her mother, and just spent the day following one honorary mama after another, stealing milk. This was exhausting and she wasn’t taking in the calories to support her activities. In the evening, she would drag herself back up to the barn and collapse in the corner.
One morning, I found this lamb in the barn by herself, after everyone else had headed out to the field. She didn’t have the energy to move.
“Stay right there, Skinny Love,” I told her, and went back to the house to mix up a bottle of milk replacer.
When I returned, she was right where I had left her. “Ba-aah” she sang, as if to say, “I’m still here.” But as I approached, she jumped up, bolted out the door and took off toward the pasture. I had to chase and tackle her. That first time, I think I got about 75 mls into her.
I got in the habit of sneaking out early in the morning to catch her before she left the barn. In the evenings I waited till the sheep all came in for shelter, and snuck up behind her.
Day by day she became stronger. After about the third day and sixth supplementary feeding, her back straightened out. She was no longer hunched over with hunger.
“Come on skinny love, just last a year,” I sang, and she turned to look at me. And took a tentative step toward me. Reeeached out her neck and sniffed the end of the bottle. And then bolted. I leaped and tackled her. She took 300 mls.
I suppose I could grab her, lock her up in a stall and train her on the self-feeding bottle. But I want her to be out on the field like all the others, eating the fresh grass shoots and lying in the warm spring sun.
The hobbledy-horse still comes running over to me whenever she sees the bottle, so I usually let her finish it off.
This is the time of year when the smell of blossoms is hanging in the air, even if you can’t see the flowers. I was on walkabout around the pasture the other day, collecting balls of fluff, wool tags and discarded lamb tails, and the scent of honeysuckle, apple blossom and lilac was heavy on the breeze. Unlike most farmsteads, we don’t have many flowering trees. I think we should plant some.
This is also the time of year when I am trying to come up with an original way to celebrate the Farmer’s birthday.
One year I took him to see kd lang at the NAC. She was amazing. Last year I think I took him to Blue Rodeo. This year, I’m stumped. I have a few ideas but nothing concrete yet. The only thing I know for sure is that he needs a new manure pitchfork. That would make him happy. So I’ll get one of those at TSC (The Sexy Cowboy store) and put a bow on it.


Anonymous said...


Pearl said...

glad that wee lamb has you to feed it. Hope your husband has a great birthday.

Anonymous said...

很精彩的部落格 期待你的繼續加油........................................