To farm is to embrace a lifestyle of great joys…and great sorrows. And, more often than not, the joys and sorrows are intertwined and inseparable from one another.
Recent posts have detailed the great sorrow our family experienced with the decline and death of our sheep flock’s matriarch, Dot. But wrapped up in that sorrow (in fact, arguably, the cause of it) was a great joy: Dot’s lamb, which we named Ellipsis.
The little Dot-Dot-Dot has not only survived. She has thrived. And she’s clearly adopted me as her surrogate parent. She lives with the other sheep in the barn, and plays with the other lambs, but when I appear she drops everything and runs to me. Because she knows what I’ve got.
Even after the feeding is over, she finds ways to squeeze through fences and gates to tag along as I take care of the other chores. Sometimes she’ll even follow me all over the property. I don’t really mind, as it’s some consolation after losing Dot. And I know she’ll grow out of it.
Most amusing was Saturday evening. We had some friends over, and had planned to grill a big platter of lamb chops. Ellipsis spotted me as I fired up the grill, and broke out of the barn. She followed me all the way to the house, just like the dog did. And then, once I had the platter of chops, she and the dog followed me all the way back down to the grill.
As I put the chops on the grill, I assured her that this would never be her fate. She gets to stay with us as a breeder for the rest of her life.
Which, we hope, is as long and happy and productive as her mother’s.