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the lost shall be found

Posted 4/14/2011 8:18am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

It is like a brand new world outside this morning.  So lovely to have a break from the rain.  It seems that with every rainy day another half dozen lambs are born.    This morning when I took my walk in the warm sun through the sheep paddock, I didn't find one new lamb.   I imagine the next ones will arrive on Saturday with the rain.   The lambs that are here are definitely enjoying themselves.   The older ones have already started forming little adventure gangs that dash about in groups, giving some of the more anxious moms cause for alarm. 

On one of my recent lamb walks I observed ewe number R146 anxiously trotting around the pasture baa-ing feverishly for her lamb.   I watched as she went from lamb to lamb, sniffing behinds and sometimes getting buffed by other ewes.   I couldn't watch without wanting to join the search. This panic at the possibility of a lost child is apparently not only universally human, but perhaps simply universal.  I know her lamb.  It is strapping and healthy and usually by her side.   I tried to discretely join the search by quietly scanning each group of lambs with my binoculars.    Just as her bawling began to reach a new level of panic, I spotted it.  It was sleeping peacefully, totally oblivious to its mother's distress.   I walked just close enough to cause a ripple of alarm among the lambs and send them running for their mamas.   I would have liked to stomp over and scold the little guy, "didn't you hear your ...."  Silly thoughts.  Even with children it is a questionable response.   They will learn soon enough the world is not exactly the safe, warm, peaceful pasture they may feel it is.

Someone recently asked me if it is true that pigs love mud.   All I can say is, it appears they do.  Our old chicken run is now home to the growing gilts and barrows and thanks to the wet weather, they have rooted it into a serious mud lot.   We were hoping for some tillage so that it would be ready for planting corn in mid-May.   Instead we got excavation.   They are happy little excavators though.  I think they have a project in mind for the yard -- a pond perhaps, maybe a rain garden.  Whatever it is, it is in constant transformation.   When it is time for their mid-morning coffee break, they head inside the dry shed to nestle down in a heap of pig and take a nap.  Not too bad a life if you ask me.  Good work.  Good sleep.