Saturday, September 17, 2011

a not so dead sheep.

On thursday wayne came home from work and was doing his lap of the farm to check things over.

He discovered a mother sheep lying flat on her side and its young lamb hanging by its side. When he got closer the lamb took off in fright and rejoined the herd. The mother was incapable of moving.

He picked her up and stood her on her feet as she tried to regain her balance but she just fell down, puffed, exhausted and terror in her eyes. she looked as if she had been there a day or so as the earth was rubbed smooth where she had been laying. He tried twice more, but nothing could get her up.

There are tons of weird sheep illness out there, so who new what this could be. When they usually go down, they stay down.

Wayne said If she's still down tomorrow after work I am going to have to put her out of her misery.....

I hate it when he has to do this. He hates it when he has to do this.

The next day Mana and I went over to check this mother and her baby....she was still down. I tried to work out which one was its lamb. We would have to make a pen by the house, get some milk formula and rear this bubba till it was old enough to rejoin the herd again.

When wayne returned from work on friday his first words were.... "Is she still down"?

Yes hon, she's not going to get up, she looks horrid.

He says..."god I hate to see animals in pain..."

Me too hon. Me too.

He went off with the knife. Tense in his shoulders, a resolve in his step.

Crap, crap, crap.

I hear the ute rumble across the paddock, trying to ignore the visions flashing in my head.

I make the coffee and in ten minutes he's back.

How did you go hon?

"It stood up" he said.

It what?

"It looked like it still had some go in it, so I stood it up and held on to her for a few minutes and then let her go....her legs wobbled and then straightened and off she went and then the lamb came forward and banged into its teat and they ran off together."

You see Wayne NEVER gives up. But he also won't stand for things being left in pain either.

And that sheep I reckon she was pretending to die, just so she could take a break, breath again, take stock of her life and get back to herself.

I know how she feels sometimes.

And when she saw Wayne approaching with that knife in hand, she thought noooooo, give me another chance. I can do this. I want to feed my baby, I want to eat again, I want to live my life.

And so she did. I saw her walking today with her little lamb, amongst the herd, nothing to show for her mock trauma but the dirt smudge on her side.


  1. Awww...brave little sheep!
    We had had a wee farm we felt and did the same. It was dry cows and how we loved those little beasties!

  2. So glad mama sheep got back on her feet... :)

  3. Oh what a great story - with a happy ending. I remember when my parents had a small holding - and stuff happened to the animals it was awful. Eventually they gave up with live stock as they couldn't bear the trauma. I'm glad your story was a good one - with a positive message. Its amazing how something like this can make us think of all sorts of things about life.

  4. I was stunned that the mother sheep got up too. So maybe miracles do happen. I had that poor mumma sheep buried. Yes, the underlying storey's are always the way I see life.

  5. Wow. WOW. I know how the mum sheep feels too, as you do.

    Love this post. XO