Monday 4 May 2015

Shoals of sheep

A while ago, I investigated the contents of a shop-bought cake that was bright yellow: the colour of a lifeboatman's sou'wester.  It takes a chemical cocktail and a team of extremely competent food-engineers to make such an unnatural, but inevitably delicious, thing. I was surprised by joy on Friday to see that the widest of our flock, known as the Sheep of State, had delivered a bright yellow lamb [R] into the world. Oh ho, I thought, the radon has caused a mutation and we're seeing the start of a new species of cetartiodactyla . . . I shall name it Ovis flavus.  Then hubris got the better of me and I thought I'd name it Bobovis souwesteri. A short while later the sibling of this strange new creature dropped to earth in much more normal colours and within 24 hours, with a good bit of wash-and-brush-up by the SoS, the yellow had entirely disappeared.  I guess we have two more ordinary yellow-pack Ovis aries; although I will say that they are a fetching shade of white and pale beige, which is shared by none of their cousinage.

We'd like to think that we are nearly finished the lambing but we have three more ewes still XXL and according to the scanner-man, that's a pair of twins and two singletons. That's probably correct, although the SoS was scanned as a single and delivered two. Three of the ewes that went with the ram failed to take but three of last year's hoggett's contrived to get pregnant and two of them delivered a healthy lamb. The other surprise, the first, was unaccountably still-born.  What we know about is that we have 16 lambs which are now coursing round the field in a shoal of lamb.  Sex ratio not quite a wonk as last year but still off in the wrong direction 11M:5F.  Having undelivered parcels means that we are doing shifts during the night watch getting up every 2-3 hours to see if anything is happening. This is normal at our age as one of other of us is up taking a leak on that schedule, so not too onerous a task unless the lord is taking a leak at the same time and it is hosing down outside. TMI TMI they cry, can't he just stick with the sheep?

We have visitors from abroad, Prof. E. and Dr. C. from Cheekpoint U., expected this morning who will be giving us some advice about what to do next.  As it was a full moon last night, the tides might cause a bit of a heave in one or other of the last three hold-outs and we'll have some wet lambs to show them.  No promises, though.

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