Unfortunate Footnote

I must add a sad footnote to this morning’s post.

I reported that Licorice had a set of twins, because that’s what I observed at chore time. Then, after returning from the Good Friday liturgy at our parish this afternoon, I was able to make a more thorough examination the sheep pen. In the far corner was an object that appeared at first glance to be afterbirth…but something about it didn’t appear quite right. It was darker than usual.

Looking more closely, I recognized the shape of a black lamb’s body. It was much smaller than Nera’s two surviving lambs, and its limbs were crumpled into odd angles. The umbilical cord was still attached. Given all of the evidence, I’m almost certain this lamb was stillborn and never took a breath.

It is terribly sad, and the first time we have ever had a stillbirth, but I suppose it makes for a timely Good Friday reflection. Particularly because this is a death from which good will flow almost immediately: triplet lambs don’t get as large as twins or singletons — a third sibling must share the same limited amount of milk (unless we bottle-feed one of them, which is a huge and time-consuming hassle).

So, at least the two survivors will now have a better shot at reaching their full growth potential. Life ends, life goes on.

Farm life is wonderful, even when it’s sad.

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