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I wrote a story today to read at knitty city, said the Shepherd,

Or rather a story happened today to tell at knitty city and this is the story.

The sound from the pasture was a familiar one. A ewe calling to her lamb. Baa baa baa. A little higher pitched than usual. A little more insistent, but familiar. Baa baa baa. A second ewe joined in. Baa baa baa. "Whom are they calling", I thought.  There are no lambs near them at all. And none running as lambs do like to run when there mother's call. Almost all the flock were in the south pasture, the ones next to where the two ewes were. I had not let the sheep grazed there this early spring to allow the grass to grow to be more appealing to them when I was ready to rotationally graze the flock. Baa baa baa. No lamb came running to the bleating ewes. Mystified I walked closer to the fence dividing the pasture from my gardens. Still, no lamb came rushing to its dam. The two sheep butted heads and stamped their feet at one another. One was tiny, newly shorn a yearling, I thought. The other was a big wooly sheep with a pink braided ribbon around her neck. A lamb had been shorn a couple of weeks ago with a pink ribbon around her neck as well. I was certain that this lamb belong to the mother who was making so vehement a statement in the pasture. But older ewes have been known to freshen twice in a year. I went closer. And then I saw it. A tiny newborn lamb, still unable to stand. His body covered with the yellow wet fluid that indicates his mother had a difficult birth. Both the yearling and the other ewe tried to lick its face and back to clean it. Then they fought, or at least the big full-fleeced ewe fought the yearling. And the yearling would duck and dart away, only to run back to the lamb. Suddenly he struggled and, pushing first, one front leg, and then the other slowly stood up. I walked cautiously over to him and scooped him into my arms. The big woolly ewe tried to trip me. Around and around me she dashed. Doing her best to crash into my knees and make me fall. Around and around. The yearling followed us both as I walked slowly to the big barn. She blatted and looked intently into my eyes as I turned back to see if she were still behind me. I remained to be uncertain which sheep was the mother. Holding the lamb securely in my arms I climbed over a stonewall near the barnyard, hoping against hope to be quicker than the big fluffy sheep most immediately behind me. Baa baa baa. She tried to knock me down. I was too fast for her. I hurried to the lambing room in the great barn where a mother sheep and baby lamb could be kept secure and dry until the lamb was big enough to go outside. The big ewe, suspecting a trap was hesitant to go inside.  I put the baby inside. The big wooly ewe barreled her way through the open door and into the warm dry shelter. The yearling followed. Instinct born of experience suggested to me that the yearling, whose anxious eyes went back and forth between me and the tiny lamb standing alone in the middle of the floor, was the mother. A close look assured me that she had enough milk for it to nurse. The older ewe wouldn't let me reach under her thick fleece to see if she had a developed udder. I grab the big wooly sheep and with all of my might forced her out through the door and into the barnyard. Baa baa baa she said as she ran off.

The yearling stood staring at me. The lamb walked over to her. I put a pail of grain in front of her. She ducked her head into it and ate. The lamb tucked himself under his mother and nursed. I watched them both for a while. The yearling had given birth to her first lamb.

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