Saturday, May 26, 2007

Now I know What UNCLE means !

Benny here, and this Uncle stuff is more work than I thought. They all say Benny, you are such a wonderful Uncle....Benny you are so strong and patient....

Well, THAT should have have tipped me off...strong and patient, indeed. UNCLE MEANS BABYSITTER !!

So I hear the Crone Shepherd giggling the other morning....and running for her camera. But I don't want pictures of this, so I spring to my feet. Becca says Benny, you haven't sprung to your feet in 4 years - lumber to your feet, yes - the lambs spring, I spring, you struggle.

The Crone comes back and says Rats - he moved, but I know what she wanted - she wanted evidence of me babysitting .

Benny, you are so strong and patient......

The whole herd gets up in the morning and since THEY have cut our rations with no food in the morning, we have to go forage for whatever we can find.

Benny, it is spring and there is grass everywhere.... Becca, pellets are much more easily digested for those of us with special fleeces.

After I go out and eat, with lambs bouncing everywhere, the herd looks at me and I go lie down to chew my food more thoroughly and they plunk a couple of lambs next me. Then they go back to the pasture. The Crone came out this morning and laughed, and went back in for her camera. Why is it that everyone wants to put a picture of Uncle Benny babysitting on the frig ?? I got up and went to the pasture where the Moms were and after a few minutes the babies followed ME. Fortunately, they spotted their Mom and no further embarassment ensued.

Because I don't have a digital camera, the Crone sneaks pictures into my blog. If a picture of me babysitting shows up, its a fake ! I am a dignified sheep with special fleece and the babies will certainly appreciate my wisdom as they mature. I am NOT a babysitter.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This Uncle stuff is WORK !!

Well, the work was in watching the next set of nephews being born. First Amy, their Mom, spends the whole day wandering back and forth in the pasture, away from all of us. I want to go help, but Bob says no, that's the way it is with moms. Suddennly, in the late afternoon, she starts walking and then running, dragging something behind her (not a baby) and baaing and won't stop. We are sheep, so we join her, and the shepherds try to get her to stop.

I don't think we were much help, because when one sheep yells and runs, we all do....its a sheep thing. The shepherds finally got us all in the back yard, caught Amy, laid her down and shooed the rest of us out. That's when the work started - we grazed, and paced, and listened. The Big Guy held her head and calmed her down and the Crone went to work trying to figure out what was going on. Amy was so tired that she just laid there. The we heard the Crone say " I see 2 feet and a nose - Alleluia" and she did something she calls scrubbing. Then is was kind of scary quiet with Amy grunting, the Big Guy talking softly, and the Crone working hard. She said "he isn't breathing well yet" and then there was a lot of other stuff going on...then we heard a cough. Pretty soon the little guy was up by his Mom's head and the Big Guy lifted her head so she could lick him off. But that took a long time cause she kept having to rest. Then the Crone says " Thank Godde ! another nose and 2 feet !"

Becca - don't we all have a nose and two feet on the front ? Becca sighs - yes, Benny, but not all lambs come out that way and its trouble. Oh.

Then the Crone scrubs again and pretty soon there is another little guy hanging upside down while she rubs him. Then a little cough, and then everyone is breathing ! I thought I was going to faint from the stress.

So then he goes up by his Mom and the Big Guy lifts her head. Amy is cleaning them off and the first one gets up and strikes out on his own. He's only 20 minutes old !!

The clean up starts, and the Crone takes the babies into the grass area they call the jug. Becca - why do they call it the jug ? Don't know Benny, but we were both born in one.
Then she goes back and helps Amy to her feet, but Amy is pretty confused. Her babies call and she heads toward them and the fence closes.

The shepherds and the Grandma, who got to watch it all, sit down and watch for a while as the babies get up and around and Amy cleans them up some more.

Becca - shouldn't they eat ? Who will show them ? Eating is IMPORTANT !! Benny, just relax - the shepherds will help if needed.

She is such a know it all, but she was right. The Crone helped the little guys find their food and their tails just went nuts !!

Benny - your tail does that sometimes when the pellets arrive. Does not. Does can't see your middle, let alone your tail.

There is a pretty big mess all over - blood and goop - and Amy is trying to clean it up, but she is very tired. Then the biggest raven I have ever seen swoops down, and starts to help clean up. Amy protects her babies and the raven does a pretty good job. This was one BIG bird.

Later the shepherds came out and gave Amy a shot - she was too beat to notice - and poured something on the lamb tummies. And that was that.

I am exhausted - I hope we are done with this - my heart can only take so much ...

Benny, your heart could take more if you weren't so fat. And you know that really big ewe with attitude ? The one who pushes you out of the food bowl ? She is next...

I need a break - I am a delicate guy ...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Recognition of Leadership

One of my admirers - a Jack Russell named Mouse - has written to say that her true talent has at last been recognized. The neighborhood dog shrink evaluated her pack and said that she actually was the Leader of the Pack.

I am so envious - true talent is so seldom recognized, and it is just now that my diplomatic skills are being touted. Becca says - what exactly is the difference between dippy and diplomatic in your case, Benjo ?

However, I would like to advise Mouse not to underestimate the power of the one she calls the Feeder. That is similar, I believe, to our Shepherd, and you don't want to offend those who come bearing food. It can take a nasty turn, I'm afraid...

So, Congratulations, Mouse ! I know you will rule wisely, especially on a full tummy !

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Babies !!! I'm an uncle !!

Last weekend, the shepherds did a goat rope (moving sheep around) and I don't know why they call it that because there isn't a goat living here. They took Butthead's girls away from him because they were getting really fat and slow - the girls I mean - the shepherds are a whole different matter - food in Scotland must have been good. And then they put the girls with us and Bevis (Buddy) back in with Butthead. The girls are standing together and the big one is glaring at us, so Bob says - "Benny, go make friends." I suppose I am the best choice because I am a very special sheep, but she didn't look friendly. So I amble (Becca says waddle) over to sniff and greet. The shepherds look and point and say "Four big sheep ? Oh, Benny has gone over to break the ice..."

Well, they pulled this off barely in time. The next night the Shepherd Crone is shuffling around in the middle of the night looking at the girls, then the sheep midwife shows up at 0400 and checks them out. The next afternoon, the Crone goes down for her nap after checking again, and the midwife shows up at 1300, pulls out her little box and says grab the lambing bucket and get out here. The Crone shows up 5 minutes later with a bucket, they take the first little guy into the place they call the lambing jug and his Mom follows. All is in good hands, because the other 2 preggers ewes start to graze. Funny thing, though, Butthead goes out to his ram toy and starts beating his head on it. Wonder if they let people Dad's do that ?

So I am an uncle and we are all very excited. The babies got to come out today with their Mom and she doesn't let any sheep get very close. But she'll get used to us or they'll send me back to be the diplomat. I am SO good at this stuff....

Thursday, May 3, 2007

WiFi fixed again !

So, the shepherds take off for Scotland and the WiFi connection lasted two weeks. What is it with IT in this place ??? The house sitter is very nice, the food keeps arriving, but no one can fix the "system?"

So they get back, the system is up, and while I'm cleaning lamb poop out of my hooves to get to work, they come out and start cleaning the barn, chicken house and ram/ewe shed. Shooed out of my office ( such as it is), I have to wait in the rain whilst this all gets done. Fresh clean straw appears and it smells so nice ! Then we get to watch the entertainment as they clean the ram shed and Butthead herds his girls around, occasionally taking a run at the shepherds. He gets a faceful of vinegar from a spray bottle and backs off, only to try again. Dummy - he really can catch the Big Guy unawares now and again, but when they are working together, he hasn't a prayer. Besides - whats the point - he hurts someone and no one is around to deliver food...ACK !! What IS he thinking ??? Bob ! Becca !! Talk to him !!! This is Serious !!!!

Becca groans - Dummy, what happened while they were gone ? A wonderful variety of people showed up to feed. The shepherds have us covered by incredible neighbors....not like you could starve in a week or two. Or three.

So they are back and they didn't bring any strange sheep with them. Like the Scottish Blackface above. Bob is muttering something like "stranger than what, Benny ? you ? not likely..."

A prophet in his own country is never appreciated....