February 23, 2012


Where there is life, there must be death close by. For who is fed, and given life, without the death of another?

Yesterday morning, Audit experienced the death of her first lamb.

When I went to feed the sheep, I noticed Audie's suddenly rather rectangular shape, and took a look under her tail. At first, I couldn't tell what was happening. As we were all about to go on the Morning Walk, I asked folks to come on over and take a look with me. Others confirmed that it was an emergent lamb!

A rather rectangular Audie!

So we went on our walk. Upon return, I found that the lamb did not seem to be alive, and that Audie was having some trouble pushing it out.

I attributed the difficulty to the fact that first-time mothers have a harder time, as they figure out what to do. It also looked like this lamb was quite large, and so that may have added to the difficulty. It is not uncommon for first-time ewe mothers to have a single, larger lamb instead of twins. However, this one was not alive at the time of birth.

I got Sarah and Ruben to help hold her, and encouraged Audit to push by gently tugging on the lamb. Within a minute, it was all over. Audie hung around her dead lamb the rest of the day, licking it and brooding.

Audit and her stillborn boy

I wonder what goes through her head at such a time. Does she understand, somehow, that the lamb is dead? Does she know it is hers (perhaps by scent)? Does she get sad? She certainly looked dejected and mopey, but how would I know?

So go the days of a steward of life. Death dances with us always.

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