Never release a book during lambing season. Lesson learned.
Never release a book during lambing season. Lesson learned.
There are many milestones in the life of a young sheep. Walking. Eating. Jumping. Eating. But today we celebrate our little rejected lamb friend Ke$ha, whose mother took a spite to her just after birth and refused to let her nurse. Ke$ha had to stealth nurse from the back, which led in time to a lemon yellow tinge to her wool from a daily golden shower delivered from her Mummy Dearest.
But little lemon Ke$ha has grown into a proper sheep who eats grain and grass and nibbles daintily on Lady Friend’s fingers. Ke$ha and her mother give each other distance in the herd, having never gotten over their initial stumbling block in the bonding arena. Over time, Ke$ha’s wool has become white again, and while she is smaller than the other sheep her age, she is a happy and healthy little soul.
And here is a picture.
I know, I know.
It’s horrible to continue calling her Peehead. A little lamb struggling through a life of travail with a mother who pees on her every day, a lamb who has to live in the shadow of a favored brother who is twice her size though they are twins. She should have a name to reflect her tiny, soldiering spirit, something strong and hardy like Pallas Athena. But that is too grandiose a name in a herd of sheep whose names are the numbers tagged on their ears. I don’t know how 77 and 38 will feel about having to share grain with the patron of Athens, but I imagine there will be jealousy issues and inferiority complexes aplenty.
Or what about a name like Lucky? But it seems somewhat twisted to overlook the unlucky circumstances of the estrangement from her sheep mother to focus on the lucky circumstances of milk replacer and humans who supply it. She isn’t particularly lucky; she just has an attentive shepherd. Her twin brother is the lucky one, because when he comes to nurse, his mother does not butt him hard with her head and hustle away. The name Peehead is at least accurate if inelegant.
Peehead’s wool has become so saturated that she has turned yellow over half her body. Only her rump is still white, and I desperately want to give her a bath. But she is a shy lamb who would not appreciate a good scrub, unlike the other bottle baby Billy Madison who I could swing around overhead like an airplane through the pasture and she’d wobble dizzily and bounce after me for more. Since I can’t wash her and her mother will not stop peeing on her, Peehead is going to look like a lemon drop before long, and while that sounds sweet, Lemon Drop for a name is only a refined Peehead.
Here is a picture of two-toned Peehead, being fed by one of her human mommies, all of who refrain from peeing on her as she eats. We hope to set a good example for her sheep mother, but at this point, she remains unimpressed.
While gazing at this picture, Peehead reminded me of a certain singer. Every time I watch one of her music videos, I am overcome with the urge to give her a hot bath and a flea dip.
The grungy similarity is uncanny.
The lamb now has a better name, one that will not make me flinch to call over the pasture. Sheep flock, meet Ke$ha.
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.
What I SHOULD Be Doing:
1. Walking on the treadmill.
2. Doing the dishes.
3. Figuring out where I’ve misplaced my phone THIS time.
5. Taking my magnesium supplement to knock me out.
6. Writing a post for Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS.
7. Sorting through a massive pile of emails.
8. Hunting for articles on Dealing With Your Narcissistic Boss.
9. Coming up with another reason to delay jury duty.
10. Solving world hunger.
What I AM Doing:
1. Posting a lamb video to Pandaloonery.
Cutest little lamb EVER. BOING BOING BOING!!!
Good thing survival has nothing to do with fitness, or this little lamb would be DOOMED.
When a lamb starts to fail, one suspects the following:
A) The mother has little/no milk.
B) The mother dislikes it and won’t let it nurse.
C) The lamb is being out-competed by stronger siblings.
D) The lamb is ill.
In this case, the lamb just couldn’t figure out WHERE to nurse. A mystery! The udder is back there, yes, but how does one approach? Her twin sister had no problem figuring out where to set down the landing gear for nursing, but this one did not, and so began to fade away from malnourishment. I named her Billy Madison after one of my favorite movies.
Here she is: