from the west

Winter and Saskatchewan left behind, I’m home. Indian plum, narcissi, crocus, snowdrops, hellebore, rhododendron, and yellow plum are all in blossom. This morning, I pulled my first lamb.

I rose early, ate, and headed out with my daughter, to help J. with lambing; with three hundred down, another three hundred to go, lamb and ewe cry spills from within the barn for the next two weeks or so. I’m getting ready to go lambing on a croft on the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland this April and want to learn as much as possible, so this morning, J. taught me to pull a lamb which was stuck mid-delivery. I’ve seen it done hundreds of times, but this was the first time I have actually reached into a ewe, with forefinger and index fingers, and found the lamb’s front legs and head, and with J.’s coaching, gently tugged, then pulled, the lamb to life.

poem from TheYear/Quintet copyright smsteele 2007

What a huge sense of satisfaction and pleasure we felt as we watched the lamb shake and breath to life, there on the clean bed of straw, this early March morning.


2 thoughts on “from the west

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