Have you ever gotten up in the morning and wondered how the day would end? I haven’t often wondered, but today was one of those days that was going well and now … well … Mark is going to sleep, and I’m sitting here bawling my eyes out still. I didn’t know I would feel this bad by the end of the day when I got up this morning.
I have had a busy life of late and haven’t written down any memories for myself here in some time as it does take some time to get pictures together and decide what to write and proof read it and get it all set and then publish. But right now, I really don’t seem to care about sleep or much of anything, so thought I would write instead. It would seem more appropriate if I was writing with pen and paper though as the paper would be full of tear stains and show better my feelings.
I was warm in the blankets on the couch and saw that it was 3pm. I’ll wait to go take care of the animals. I thought. It was a bit early, but oh how I wish I had gone then … now. At 4:30 – who knew time could pass that quickly – Mark came in and just said, “I have bad news.” Not thinking anything too much, I asked the question and he said, “There’s a sheep dead in the pasture.” My first thought, “Who is it?” But of course, he didn’t know.
Well, I quickly changed, grabbed a skirt that didn’t matter what got on it and ran out. Mark was by my sleeping baby and said, “It’s a boy.” I got close enough to see his head and just said, “Oh, John.” Long extended John. A cry for my poor baby. He was just gone. No sign of anything having gotten him. No foaming at the mouth. No cuts or tears. Nothing, He was just laying there eyes wide open and gone.
Can you imagine how I wished then I had gone out at 3pm. Maybe I would have seen something or could have at least been with him.
Well, what to do at this point? My first cry was I wanted his wool and what better way to practice shearing than on a dead sheep. No worries about cutting him or controlling him. So we got him to the barn, and between us we got some shearing practice in. Then it was – where were we going to bury him? So he now lies on the ridge but can I just say that digging in our clay is a hard slog. I would have gotten a bit deeper hole but Mark had had enough. So it was bring him out an lay him to rest. Well, it got dark so he is buried, but tomorrow we will make his grave a bit more secure, and I’d love to plant something on it. I did go ahead after Mark went in and haul some logs out there and lay them on top just to be safe until we could finish it up well tomorrow.
I will miss the little booger. He dearly loved feed time and would do whatever it took to get his head in the bucket before I put it out. He was my only sheep that would jump up on you if there was a chance of food. he was a friendly sort and would come and see you when you went out.
John and his brother James were my first two babies. I picked them up when they became orphans and bottle fed them. They were such sweethearts and my first loves. Soon after Sarah also joined them in the backyard, and I was bottle feeding three at once. I loved it all. Even the early mornings and the late nights. I had a bottle in each hand and one between my knees as they would down them and then go out and see the big world beyond.
It has been a rough patch here. Remembering that it was November last year that we had to put Sam to sleep. (My dog that is in the second picture.) Then we have lost another ram a few weeks ago. That is a whole different story and there was a chance he would die that day. He was a mean ole ram that I wanted to put in the freezer, but Mark liked. Alas he didn’t make the freezer, but soon his skull and beautiful horns and fleece will be what I have left of him. I did cry over the crazy boy in the moment but really haven’t missed him as he was a bigger handful than I could handle.
But boy will I miss John. Can I just add he had great wool. Will miss it for the years to come. Also as the saying goes – A Sheep is born looking for a place to die. If I were to pick which of the twins would die first, it would have been James. He’s never been in great form or shape. Always a bit lesser than all the rest. But he has a heart of gold and such sweetness. The saddest bit today was him coming by and seeing his brother. He was even baaing out there. He never baas. I think he was calling for his brother and needed him. Alas James, all you have is me now. Brother is no longer there to help you through life.
February 24, 2017 – December 16, 2018