Waiting, Waiting

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No more lambs yet.

I am so anxious to have as many lambs as possible arrive before we leave for Florida that I find myself standing at the sheep stall, gazing at the ewes for twenty minutes at a time. Is this one breathing funny? How puffy is that vulva? Why is she staring at the wall — is it the start of labor?

My ewe Lily looks so bulbous (above) that I put her in a jug beside her mother, Blackberry. My hope is that these two will be the next to lamb.

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But I’m perfectly aware that it could easily be one of the inexperienced maiden ewes in the big stall. Blackberry is almost seven years old and Lily almost four. Having carried multiple sets of twins in the past, they both look ponderously gravid, whereas the maiden ewes, probably carrying singles, are more often from the Princess Diana school of pregnancy, perky and lithe right up to the moment they give birth.

So I stand at the sheep stall, watch, and worry.

Meanwhile Geranium’s two ram lambs are healthy and strong. They have been tagged, docked, and castrated, and released into the large stall to begin to learn about the wider world, including strange ewes who butt them and the safety of the lamb creep.

Geranium is a perfect mother. Yesterday she stood at an opening of the creep, pawed the ground, and called to her sleeping lambs. They both woke and staggered out obediently to feed. What a good girl she is.

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