I named one of the orphan lambs Puddle and Puddle would sleep on me at lunch time and suck my finger. Puddle was a Ram and had a black beauty spot on his lip. I liked Puddle a lot and we had a deep connection but when my cousins daughter came to visit she held Puddle and Puddle slept on her and sucked her finger and when I asked her what she had called him she said “Haggis”.
I put my hand into the sheep trying to find the lambs elbow - it was confusing in there and I said that I couldn’t work out what I was touching. My cousin grabbed a lamb from close by and lay it on the straw in the same position as it would be in the womb. I couldn’t connect the lamb I was looking at in the straw to this lamb I was touching inside the sheep. The cervix kept clamping around my wrist as I tried to push through to get to the elbow and the sheep moaned at me to hurry up. Sometimes when you touch nothing all day apart from the objects you own it is easy to think of yourself as just one thing in one world but as the puddle of afterbirth I was kneeling in soaked through my waders and into my trousers I knew I was several things in several worlds and the only thing more slippery than the elbow of this unborn lamb is my knees kneeling on the earth.
The Machine Milker
school dinner cake
The start of the machine that puts the rabbit back on the right side of the fence.
My education in the shed went in many directions but a good lesson was learning the difference between straw and hay - the way I learnt their uses was: “straw - floor, hay - neigh" (as in the pony (neigh) will be happy after hay). Every few days a big bail of straw was brought into each big pen in the shed and we would spread it around using pitchforks - every time this happened I would say: “you can’t beat clean sheets”. Every 24 hours the sheep would eat eight bails of hay and the strings that held the bails together was kept to be used again. When I got home from work I would stand on the step outside our house and take my bra off and give it a shake; straw (and hay) would fall to the floor; Phoebe asked how it got in my bra I said I’m not sure but It happens every day.
Hay and Straw
My cousin texts in to radio 1 regularly. A few times a week in-fact. I never knew anyone actually did this. Surely it is a waste of money?! I found him texting into the ten minuet take over one Monday morning - he had a lamb in one hand and his phone in the other - I told him to defiantly tell radio 1 that he was a shepherd as I think it’s his USP. I asked what he had requested and he said a dance track and I said “cool”. I hoped they would pick him but deep down I knew they wouldn’t and they didn’t despite him telling them he is a shepherd.