Some lambs get a rough start to life, for one reason or another.
Billy Madison’s troubles are due purely to lack of intelligence. Her mother The Cheat has plenty of milk and a mild temperament, the sort of sheep who would continue to chew her cud if a spaceship shooting lasers landed in the pasture right beside her. The Cheat looked death in the face when she was a lamb herself and lived to tell the tale, and since then, nothing has bothered her very much. Her lambs come in sets of twins or triplets each spring, and she continues to chew her cud as they bounce about and nurse and nap. While other ewes stamp and circle and get very upset while their lambs are being checked over for health, The Cheat chews her cud without issue. All will be well. She has seen death, darlings, and has achieved a most enviable state of Zen.
Until now, her lambs have always been a healthy and sprightly lot, meeting all of their milestones at the proper time. But then she had Billy Madison, the dullard twin of this year’s pairing, and death would have collected her if humans had not interceded with a bottle. The software installed in her fetal programming about Food Source appears to be missing some rather important sections. The bottle has been a success, however, and she is putting on weight. She’s sweet and friendly and cute, there’s just nothing upstairs, and she considers my jacket to be made of NOM.
There were 38 lambs total this year, and 35 of them need nothing but their mothers and the pasture to run around. Of the other three, death collected one when his mother sat on him. Then there is Billy Madison, who has four mommies, three of whom are human. The last problem child of the herd is Peehead. I know. That’s a terrible name. I didn’t come up with it. Feel free to suggest a new one.
At first, Peehead appeared to have the same trouble as Billy Madison. She just couldn’t figure out WHERE to nurse. Here? There? She chose to nurse from the back instead of the side. Nursing from the back is awkward, and while she got enough to survive, it is not enough to thrive. To add to the problem, her mother pees on her head as she’s nursing. And so Peehead is a little white lamb with a yellow head.
She never grew weak enough to be caught, which would make the decision to bottlefeed easy, but her twin brother kept growing and growing until he was twice her size. Then Good Shepherd Lady Friend saw that this problem is of larger scope: Peehead’s mother is rejecting her. As Peehead approaches the side of the udder, her mother butts her away. It is normal for ewes to do this with others’ lambs, but not their own. Peehead is not like clueless Billy Madison; she’s actually quite smart. While her mother happily nurses the twin brother, Peehead creeps in to steal milk from the back. But what indignity: to spend your days sneaking milk from your own mother as she takes a leak on your head. Today Peehead was put on the bottle, where she downed ten ounces like it was the most glorious thing ever.
Upon seeing the picture below, I pointed out to Lady Friend that she is in the perfect position to pee on Peehead. She called me sick. Tomorrow I’ll give her the morning bottle and try to think of a kinder name than Peehead the Lamb, but I’m afraid it just might stick.