Spring started and finished on the same day here as we had some glorious sunshine in the morning only to end up with persisting rain by nightfall!
Lambs always make me go weepy, so this week’s challenge has me reaching for the tissues at a memory from my Uncle’s farm over 50 years ago.
As a child, I was always curious to know how you could tell the difference between a male and female lamb.
My Uncle told me it was to do with the way they walked, the females tended to keep their knees together whilst the males were a bit more gangly.
For years I believed him and even now, I am always looking anxiously at the newborn babes getting to their feet to see how they totter.
Uncle had turned to sheep farming after his sow went mad and killed all her babies.
From what I remember, he didn’t have a large flock, but one year he was blessed with several multiple births. However, it came at a price as some lambs were stillborn, and other mothers died giving birth.
Uncle had the heartbreaking task of skinning the dead babies and putting their skins on the bodies of orphans in the hope that the mothers would accept them to rear as their own.
It worked in a few cases, but not all, and one ewe found the carcases of her offspring and simply lay down beside them.
These days, everything seems to be done by artificial insemination, nothing is left to chance, and multiple births are intended as the norm.
We see those charming waggy stumps of quivering tails as lambs suckle from their mothers or skip in the green fields, seeing it as a sign of spring, and smile.
Sadly, it is also a sign of New Season Meat in the shops.