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Ewes In Tall Grass

Posted 7/19/2011 8:24pm by Eugene Wyatt.

I walked to the center of the ewe flock's 12 acre paddock; the sheep were nowhere to be seen.  It was eerie.  Where were they?  I thought of domestic dogs gone wild driving them through the fence or of tobacco chewing rustlers herding them up a ramp onto a semi.  Being unable to find something sets fly the imagination. I stopped and  began to sing my sheep litany: "Cheep, cheep, jong cheep. Jong? O jong..."* certainly not as melodic as plainchant but it is a song they know well.  Faintly—to my relief—I heard the "baa" of a ewe 50 yards away to the north, I walked in that direction but I couldn't see any of the sheep until I was upon them.  And surprisingly it wasn't in response to me the ewe had baaed, it was to her newborn lamb.

It seems that five months ago, plus or minus a day or two, a ram jumped the fence and bred the ewe and maybe even others. I won't know how many new lambs I have until the ewes eat the grass down; then I can see the flock as a whole and get a better count.

The lamb was healthy—the ewes have plenty to eat—mother is making ample milk and is quite attentive to her baby.

*Sheep, sheep, young sheep...

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Two days later, we find the newborn lamb in question; and in question he is: this is the first time he's seen a human, strange beings we must be to his fresh eyes. 

I took this photo with the camera of my iPhone as I walked through the flock on this 97° day; the sheep were in the shade of a tree—they'd eaten the understory—where they camp on hot afternoons

Blessedly there was a good breeze blowing that kept everyone cool.