Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Monday, December 28, 2009

For a Friend....

I hope ya'll had a great holiday - we enjoyed some pretty good times together and the kids were thrilled with their knits gifts - all of which I will show you but not today. Today, I'm just here for a minute because I'm feeling sort of quiet right now. Yesterday, we said goodbye to a very dear friend - our cherished and ooberly friendly herd matron, first named #2 by Thing 3 so many years ago when she came here and he could not yet read and remember lots of names so we named all the ewes by the tags they wore from their old farm home and later named "Miss Marple". We found her passed peacefully in her sleep.

Goodbye old girlThe worst part about losing an animal is pretty much every part of it. I think we humans naturally want to accept responsibility for the deaths of our animal friends - it's part of the dance we sign on for when we choose to accept responsibility for the care of creatures who are vulnerable without our tending. But, this particular one really hits home in the heart place, if you know what I mean. We're not entirely surprised - there were little things we noticed late in the summer. Little things that marked that age was starting to catch up to our old girl. Usually first at the grain or hay, it started to take a much longer time for her to come in from the field, etc. We intervened some - giving her some vitamin supplements and making sure she got that 'extra' loving spoonful of food and drink but we knew what it meant - her age was finally starting to catch up to her.

#2 was an amazing lady. She escaped certain death a few times - one of which being the time she was separated from the herd at our old place during a storm and got lost in the woods. We searched for days - cried our eyes out, and were sick to our stomachs at the thought of her wandering out there, alone. After a few days - we sadly gave up hope and mourned her certain loss. Later on the afternoon of the fourth day, we heard a bahhhhing coming up the driveway. Coated in mud, twigs all matted in her curls, and obviously dehydrated, exhausted and hungry - #2 came shouting down the driveway and we all just stood and stared in amazement/gratitude/tears.

She was the leader, undeniably of the herd. The babes listened to her commands even over their mums, and the ewes knew who to consult if there was a decision to be made. She was also the most personable ewe in the herd - the sort of go between between the ewes and the humans - making sure we all stayed on the same page and kept things running smoothly. I don't know how we'll manage without her now, I really don't. I do know, though, that I sit here with tears running down my face and a hollow feeling wondering if I'll ever stop missing her bright eyes, her friendly nudge at my hand asking for a pet - and her unfailing knack for tipping a coffee cup out of your hands and then innocently suggesting that now that your hand IS empty, there's a need of a scratch just behind her ear...yeah....right there.

She lived well. She taught us much. And she rests, now.