I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole, but it’s actually full of sheep, not rabbits.
In June, Emerson got two baby lambs, Chip and Pip. They were completely adorable and we all fell in love with them. All was right in the universe and nothing could possibly go wrong. Does it sound like a bad part is coming? Well, it is.
About a month ago, something (we suspect our neighbor’s dog) came onto our property and attacked the lambs. Both Chip and Pip were badly injured. Chip recovered from his injuries, but after a several weeks of taking Pip back and forth to the vet and staying up all night with him, sadly, he died.
Pip happened to die when Bill and Buck were out of town camping, which meant I was left with the grieving and what to do with the body. The vet said, “You can either take the body home or we can dispose of it for you.” I said, “What exactly does that mean — dispose of it?” He said, “Well, the auction yard picks up all our dead animals and they take care of it.” (I wondered how just how many dead animals do they have a week? Maybe I should’ve checked for some diplomas at this place.)
The auction yard is a horrible place where sick cows and horses are sold for dog food, so I decided to politely refuse their offer and bring Pip home and bury him myself. When August, Emerson and I got to the vet we were all crying and the doctor wanted to cheer us up, but didn’t know how so he said, “He’s all ready! I double bagged him for ya!” Seriously, not helpful. So I loaded a very live Chip into the back of my car with a very dead and double bagged Pip and we drove silently home. Then, because my gravedigger (Bill) wasn’t home, I spent several hours with a shovel digging a very large grave. It was true prairie living — I might as well have been wearing a housecoat and a kerchief around my head, singing hymns while clawing the Earth with my hands. Dear Jesus! Whys I so alone on dis here farm?
After we laid flowers on Pip’s grave and said a few words, we were left with a big question. What do we do with Chip? Sheep hate to be alone, so Chip slept in Emerson’s room for a week until he completely encrusted it with sheep shit and sprayed it with urine. Finally, I found a companion for him.
Chip loves Miss Fluff and the feeling is mutual. Miss Fluff, however, is terrified of people. I didn’t realize this at first and let Miss Fluff and Chip run around the whole property. When it was time to get them back in their enclosure, Miss Fluff wouldn’t come anywhere near me. I spent an hour trying to catch Miss Fluff.
An hour of my precious alone time.
By the end, I was covered in sweat and yelling at Miss Fluff. “Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve taken away an hour of alone time from a homeschooling mom! Can you possible understand what a hour of alone time means to a homeschooling mom? It means everything! It’s life itself and you’ve taken it away from me!!! You better shape up right now! I can dig graves, you know!”
That evening, we had friends over for dinner and we innocently asked them to help us catch Miss Fluff. They ran around in the dark forever, tripping and falling in holes trying to catch a strange sheep until they finally went home and vowed to never accept another dinner invitation from us again.
Emmy and I eventually got Miss Fluff and Chip back into their enclosure and that is where she will stay until she likes us. And we’re nice, really. I’m especially nice as long as you don’t take any alone time away from me.
The good news is Miss Fluff has started to trust us. So far, she will sniff Emmy if Emmy is not looking directly at her.
This is known in the farm world as sheep progress.
And that is my sheep history for today.