Lil' hooves


The wind pelted my face as I walked to the barn.  There may have been shards of ice compounded inside each blow whipping by,"Whew...it was a cold morning," I said to myself.  I looked  to the east.  With the time change the sun wasn't cresting the Pryors yet but the heavens had lifted and I could feel dawn brewing.  It was a little after 6am, a smidge earlier than I had been going out.  As I opened the cold metal gate latch I felt I should be moving faster, and then I saw her.  I definitely should've been moving faster, with good reason.  There she was, pearly white with tufts of fine wispy hair around her eyes and ears, and a rumpled up 'almost' wool coat covering her pink skin.  Her mama had done a good job licking her off quickly on this windy cold morning, and she had a little more to do yet.  But all in all the spindly legs and little hooves held her weight, she was a good size, and bright eyed.  Mama made her 'gurgling' noise at me and kept working away on her little one.  I talked softly to mama and baby.  I told her we had to move into the barn and I wasn't taking her baby away.  So as I coaxed her out of her covering, I felt the newborn lamb's beating heart under my hand as I held her.  "So precious, so sweet-a soft moment in life on this morning," I thought.  Funny how all I could think about was the wind and the cold as I walked to the barn, and now it hadn't crossed my mind since I saw those big eyes peak around the corner when I lifted the gate latch.  She had all but said to me, "Ta-da!  Here I am!" 

I laid her softly in the jug filled with fresh straw and her mama immediately went back to 'checking' her over.  The overhead light's glow cast a soft welcome upon the two newcomers.  Placing a leaf of alfalfa in the corner, I rubbed the mama's nose and said, "good girl".  Next I needed to get the cord taken care of, nutrition, colostrum supplement and water, but first I had to run to the house and tell the boys.

As I pushed open our front door I saw my oldest son putting his socks on sitting over our floor heater.  "Did we have one?" he asked.  "We did!" I said excitedly.  "Come see."  So together we braced ourselves against the wind, and the now sunrise gave us a little extra light.  She looked at us as we interrupted her nursing and smiled with her eyes.  "I think we should name her Sally," my son said.  "I think that's a fine name...Sally it is," I said.

© 2018 by Jean Petersen

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