Sometimes I wonder who really rules the roost here. Our animals are pretty much free to live out their lives as they choose after all. They are, I admit, fairly pampered, but with each passing day become more amusing.
Well, I’m sure the amusement goes both ways, so perhaps I’ll relate the recent interlude with the sheep. Arguably it’s a little embarrassing – I obviously could do with a course in animal husbandry. But then our animals here are never going to be eaten, they are just our companions, so we will probably just muddle along the way we are.
Some months ago Ramekin the ram was returned to us. He was never ours you see, and so the farmer who owned him took him away elsewhere for several months. This time when he came back, he was obviously no longer in his prime; his coat was poor, he had a bit of a limp and generally looked very unwell indeed.
The farmer told us we could keep him now, and I was so happy just to have him ‘home’ with us. The downside for me was that this would likely mean that lambs would soon arrive in due course. I hate lambing season – one or two seem to die despite my best efforts to save the poor little mites. I’m told it’s the way of nature, but I loathe it.
Robert however, watched happily our ewes’ expanding girth and called in the shearer. Yes, he said, they must be shorn before those lambs were born.
Well, a week or so ago, the time came for the shearing. I never go to watch, as the sheep always seem to be so unhappy about the whole process, and often end up with a scrape or two. I stayed inside and baked instead.
When the men came back to the house – surprise, surprise. Ramekin was pronounced as being in tip-top condition again, though obviously not quite in all departments. The sheep you see were not pregnant at all – their expanded girth was because they are so fat and content and as a result, their wool abundant and excellent quality.
The men were disappointed, but for my part I was ecstatic. Thankfully, there will be no little lost lambs this spring. The farmer told us we now have the right number of sheep to keep the grass down in our paddocks, so none need to be moved to greener pastures, which is exactly how I like it.