Monday, April 11, 2011


I am completely awesome. There is no doubt, at least to me!

Yesterday started out, usual. Usual for us here at the ole rancho. Shelly ran off to piddle the morning away. She swears she's doing dog chores (feeding, watering, scooping poo) but she must be kissing puppies way too long. It takes her and the hired hand FOREVER to finish. She had to work on the greenhouse, her excuse! Upon her return to the ranch she gobbled down a sandwich, barked off a few orders to me (I don't know what those orders were, I NEVER listen to orders) and scurried around collecting tools. After reminding me several times to print off an invoice for a fence client, I told her several times that it was already printed off and on the table, she rushed off to finish the fence. Or so I thought. After about thirty minutes, the little blue trucks comes rumbling back up the driveway. I was standing on the porch waiting on Banshee Dog to finish her "after lunch business" when she rolled out of the truck with lamb in hand. I think my facial expression must have been audible! I hate lambs in the house. Goat kids are different, I like goats. I don't like sheep. Sheep smell, they don't snuggle and...they smell. Shelly explains that it was fine except that the mama ewe couldn't be found. The ewe was in a run with some other ewes and babies. I could understand if the mama ewe was in a six acre pasture with forest and a river running through. I sometimes think that Shelly sees a baby that is five or six feet away from it's caregiver so she plots, runs in and scoops it up before the mom knows what is happening. She was all a tizz, sputtering about how the baby's mom just didn't care, she didn't know who the mom was, and the lamb was so skinny. She pleaded with me to make up some colostrum and bottle feed it until she returned home. I asked what would happen when she came home. It's moments like these that I need to remember to run and grab something to record her responses. I SWEAR she told me that we would go reattach it the ewe when she returned. There was no reattaching anything in my future. Instead, she piddled at the fence job. I know this because I had to drive right by the fence she was supposed to be working on. It's on the way to the bus stop, I had to pick up the kiddo after school. Instead of working she was, leaning on her shovel and talking to a friend of ours. It didn't look like the hired hand was working either. He wasn't leaning like she was but it was plain to see, there was no working. She was working so hard at not working that she was able to see me driving on the hardtop and could refrain from leaning just long enough to flash a smile and give me a wave. As I was returning from the bus stop, about 20 minutes later, it didn't look like anyone had changed positions. She was still leaning. When she returned to the ranch, an hour later than she had promised, she rushed off to let the In-Law's dog out and then to unload the new aviary from the trailer. No mention of the bummer lamb. I grabbed her long enough tell her that I was going to the barn to milk and then to put the chickens back in the coop. I asked about the lamb and suggested she bring it to the barn. She gave me a puzzled look, as if to ask why would I want the lamb in the barn. After a few fleeting seconds of what I can only imagine was dead air in her brain, she donned her jacket and ran off. I scooted the lamb into a kennel, the kennel that we seem to permanently have for just such occasions and zipped down to the barn. I fed my broiler chickens, milked the goats and played with the new donkeys. I was getting lead lines on the donkeys when she and Bean pulled up in the little blue truck. Both girls clambered out of the Toyota and headed to the barn. There was no clambering by a bummer lamb. I asked about the lamb. Shelly gave me that puzzled look again with no verbal answer. She headed down to the stall where the lamb was found. As she was peering in I asked, "Is everything okay?" Shelly always answers my questions, most times I just don't pick up on the telepathy. I wandered over and peered in the stall as well. Outside, about halfway down the run I see a ewe stand up with some bloody ick hanging from her hind end. I suggest to Shelly that this is the lamb's mama. I also suggest again, that we bring the lamb back. If we could get the lamb to nurse then the ewe with pass the afterbirth without too much trouble. Shelly shook off my suggestion again and followed me into the run to get a closer look. She wasn't trying to pass afterbirth, she as having a lamb. The nose of the creature was protruding from her backside, no feet just nose. She would periodically stop and squat during her contractions. Still no feet just nose shown from the ewe. I instructed Bean to go and get me some gloves from the truck and Shelly to help me catch the sheep. We managed to trap her in the stall and Shelly straddled her in an attempt to keep her still. I squatted down and checked out the baby. I feared that she had been laboring since the morning, right after the other one was born. The lamb was still alive, suckled on my finger. I slipped a finger in around the head of the lamb to check for feet. No feet with in an finger distance. Not a good sign. I slipped more of my hand in, found the shoulders and worked my down looking for the lambs legs. Both legs were WAY back. I pushed as much of the baby back in and managed to find one leg and was able to pull it forward. After several attempts, with and without Shelly barking instructions, to find the other leg I gave up. I waited for the ewe to contract and gave a tug. The baby delivered completely. The mama ewe flopped her head down, exhausted. Bean brought a few towels in and dried of the baby. The baby, a girl shook her head and flung slime all over me. We placed the lamb near the ewe's head and she right away started licking and grunting at the baby. After placing more straw in the stall, a heat lamp, some food and water for the ewe, and cleaning up the baby towels we FINALLY headed back to the house. I suggested again that we take the bummer lamb down and reattach it. Shelly was having NONE of it. The bummer lamb stayed, slept in the kennel, screamed every two hours for a bottle and stunk up the room. Sheep smell! This morning I asked Shelly why she never dons the purple gloves and sticks her hand into the nether regions of animals. I didn't get an answer. Instead a I got a kiss, a happy birthday wish and a new metal detector so that I may explore the ranch.

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