Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Coming Home

When coming home from any trip, I always hate the last few miles. That's when I anticipate all the things that might have gone wrong on the farm or with the pets I had left behind.  Might the house have burned down? Are the cows out? Did the coyotes attack the sheep even when safely in their house pasture? Did one of the cats get sick? I put those worries out of my mind until those last few miles.

This time everything looked fine when we first arrived. Our cat kids were healthy and anxious to go outside. but wait, some of the sheep weren't in their safe pasture but in the main pasture and the cows had been in the house pasture... We quickly went out and got the sheep back in, got the one remaining calf back out and counted our lucky stars that no lambs had been killed by a coyote and the cows hadn't gone downstream.

That was until we couldn't account for the ewe lamb that had been needing treatment for skin abrasions before we left. I wasn't sure she wasn't there. Three of the sheep had been hiding under the fallen down barn timbers, but Farm Boss thought he got them back out. He wasn't sure she was not one of them, but he didn't recognize her in the ones he saw. Since he had business meetings, he left.

More or less I convinced myself that afternoon that she was there even though none of the sheep I could see had skin abrasions that looked recently healed. When Farm Boss returned home, he went back out and this time he found her-- still under that old fallen down barn with no intention of coming out. That meant she had been there all day and who knew how much longer. He said she will come out when she's hungry and thirsty. I said, with her personality, she will die there.

So we both went back out, him with a rope that he took with him when he crawled under those fallen timbers to get it around her neck while I hoped it wouldn't collapse further. Shouldn't we have put jacks under there first?  Then he had me pull her out while he pushed. Once we got her out, we saw that she had torn open those healing abrasions, acquired some new ones, had a fever and looked in pretty bad shape.

That means three times she has basically given herself up to die. Can sheep be suicidal? This one sure seemed that way. Anyway he has been treating her wounds again. She's eating and seems to be recovering, and this time she won't go back out of the pen until she is totally healed. I don't know how many other ways she can try to kill herself but three is my limit!

The flowers are still pretty here as for awhile it was wet, warm and humid, very unlike typical weather for the end of September. I didn't complain about the flowers but was glad to see the humidity go. When we were out trying to get the little ewe out from under the barn, I had burning sweat running into my eyes. That was not so much from the exertion as that humidity. My job now is blowing leaves off the flower beds, driveway and lawns near the house. I could do with some dryness for that job.
More Montana and Yellowstone photos are coming but they really do take time to put together in some logical sequence; so it might be sporadic for the next month.


Annotated Margins said...

My mother attempted suicide four times before she finally gave up. Now I think she's determined to outlive everyone, just so she can gnaw on their bones.

Every time I come home from a long trip, I always expect to find that the house burned down.

Annie said...

What a funny suicidal lamb! Glad everything else was OK and hope the lamb is too.

I start thinking about all the things that could be going wrong the minute I leave the place, good for you that you hold out until the last bit of your trip home!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I hope that little lamb is okay Rain.

I think about the same thing; but I was amused at how different your concerns about coming home are from mine...and my little boring life.

robin andrea said...

I think animals know when they are sick, and they behave the only way they know how. They hide. It's probably a pretty good defense mechanism, if they find a place where their predators can't find them. Poor little lamb, doesn't know that you are there to help. She's lucky to have you.