The days go by and the lambs are still arriving.
Sometimes it is a quiet and organized delivery day, and sometimes not. When it works well, the babies are born happy and healthy and the sweet loving Mum (ewe) follows you into the stalls.
Everyone settles in to the new soft hay. Lambs are looked over and given some vitamins, and the doting Mum settles into her mothering role. Just like a Norman Rockwell moment, all is well.
This week, the twin births seem as common as a single and the noises in the stalls are as familiar as any baby nursery you may visit (sans the nurses, the little soft blankets, and the rocking chairs of course). But these hay beds are clean, warm and soft. The Mums are content, and there is happy noise.
Noise is a constant here ~ the muffled grunting, sounds of big bodies repositioning against the stalls, and quiet chomping of alfalfa, and of course there is the "Maaa Maaa".
The "Maaa Maaa" is the constant sheepy-noise that bleats in different octaves all around you.
I didn't realize how different the these girl's voices are. It is a literal choir of bleats, and sometimes it shocks you to hear the deep baritone sing out, "MAAAAA".
But there is another noise that you can hear underneath all of this barnyard buzz, it's the sweet little "eh eh eh eh", the sound of the new born babies. It was a noise very new to me. Just think of a tiny little engine that just won't start? "Eh eh eh eh"
For most new Mums they answer back in concern (or curiosity) and there is this little conversation that goes on out in the barnyard:
"Eh eh eh eh" (the just-born-baby, shivering wet and trying out his new voice)... "Hey, where am I? What is up with this mess, I can't see with all this snot in my eyes...Are you my mother?"There are times however when the Ewe decides that perhaps she changed her mind about this whole mother thing. Perhaps it just isn't a good day or maybe it was just a bad case of stomach cramps? Or perhaps lunch just arrived and its hungry-time? (Okay, to be fair, Farmer says it is usually a new yearling-ewe that doesn't understand what is going on and needs some extra help.)*"Maa Maa" (the Ewe, with a serious look of concern/interest/question) "What the heck? What are you? Now what am I suppose to do?"*(This little conversation typically goes on for a while until the lamb is picked up by the Farmer and the doting Mum follows her baby into the safety of the stalls.)
At times like this, when it is a yearling issue ~ it just isn't convenient for her to be listening to that little lump of wet and messy legs on the ground and she will go back to doing what sheep do best...hanging out with the girlfriends and getting some lunch.
Well, when this happens...delivery day is a different story.
Here is one example. See that lonely little pile of wet baby and no Mum?
Hard to tell which one is the guilty-looking Mum?
The good Farmer B. moves the munchkin into the open area and waits for Mum.
Then it is a waiting game. Either the Mum comes to the rescue, or she doesn't. The little broken engine just keeps "eh eh eh eh" and "eh eh eh eh" ~ and all you want to do is run out there and hold that poor wet thing.
But you don't. You watch, wait, and listen.
Mum shows up. Farmer is pretending to not see her, they don't like the attention ~ it makes them very sheepish (sorry).
They talk for a bit, and the mother-heart starts beating (bleating) again, she can't help it...he is so darn cute with those knobby little knees.
And here in Lamby-Land, it all ends *a happily-ever-after*. Well, not always, but it sure did on this day.
In Grace and Peace always,
in the busy barnyard of life,