Responsibility deferred

My alarm went off at 4 AM, I loaded the stoves and was out the door by quarter past. Before I go any further let us recognize that we all have moments when we simply don’t care to do what it is we know we’re supposed to do. And so it was, as I walked toward the truck, that I had one of those moments yesterday morning. What I should have done just then, given that we are in the throes of lambing, was to get a flashlight and take a walk out to the pasture to check on the ewes and for lambs that might have arrived during the night. It was cold and dark and I wanted to be at the YMCA when its doors opened at five. If I had taken that walk and a ewe had indeed lambed or was in the process of doing so it would have derailed my morning. Much to the protestations of my conscience I started up the truck, switched on the high beams, and maneuvered to scan the headlights across the flock. Sheep eyes produce particularly stunning reflections when lights are shone at them and as I finished a slow scan to the left I noticed the very bright eyes of a ewe. I knew it was a ewe because the brilliant reflections came from about knee-height off the ground. Just as I was about to pull onto the driveway I noticed the blink, blink, blink of another pair of eyes, but these were quite small and only a few inches off the ground. Oh my, I thought, that’s a very new lamb. What to do? I knew what I should have done … I should have gone out to check that everything was ok, dry the little one and trim and disinfect the umbilical. On the other hand, I could see that the lamb was on all fours, surely it could wait another couple of hours. I deliberated … and pulled onto the driveway and made my way to town. Upon my return I discovered that Aster had singled. Joanna came out to help, determined that the lamb was a little girl, trimmed her umbilical, and gave her an ear tag. Several hours later #1394 was relaxing and taking in the sunshine.


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