My life is never boring. This morning, between household chores, which this vacation week have included moving furniture to spring clean the floor underneath, exchanging winter wear for summer clothes (a task that entails unloading my one storage closet and doing umpteen loads of laundry), washing down walls and polishing windows, I had to feed the lamb that lives at the farm next door.
I've known the farmer all my life, and his wife and I met when we were expecting our firstborn sons eons ago. I now rent my lovely Hollyhock Cottage from them. They've given me garden space at the farm just a short walk through the secret path from my cottage. J and I exchange recipes and baked goods and soups, we're always dashing off somewhere together, and we even co-host a blog. We also care for each other's animals when one or the other of us has to be away. Today was my turn to feed the lamb.
Clip Clop was born a few short weeks ago. His mother, an older sheep, did not survive the birth and none of the other new mothers was willing to take on an extra babe. So, J got a baby bottle and some replacement formula, bundled the little critter up and took him into the house to keep him warm while she fed him every half hour or so. The sound of his little feet on the tile floor earned him his name.
Now Clip Clop is old enough and sturdy enough to live in the sheep pen but he still needs a bottle every few hours. Normally J takes him out for a cuddle along with his bottle but he's hard to pen back up. To make things easier for me she made a space in the wire door of the sheep pen just wide enough for Clip Clop to poke his head through. He heard me coming and ran to the door, bleating. It was no trick to get the nipple in his mouth but keeping it there was a matter of perseverance. Lambs are born knowing they need to butt with their hard little heads. He sucked for a moment then jerked his head, sending the milk flying into his face. I grabbed his chin, inserted the nipple in his eager little mouth and we'd start all over again, him butting and bleating and me hanging on. Eventually most of the milk was in his belly.
I've two more loads of washing to hang on the line and lots of garden work to do. Still, hanging out with a lamb on a windy spring morning beats pulling weeds any day.