Monday, March 30, 2009

Lambs Head Revisited

I was 17 and my father had left me in charge of the farm while he was running around the world. He told me I was a responsible teenager and left me the '78 puke yellow Chevy with a new engine and some money to buy sausages and orange juice. I was in heaven; a big house in the middle of nowhere all to myself for six weeks with o.j. and sausages and friends and parties and the like.

I woke up one morning to feed the sheep before heading off to school. I immediately found a yearling ewe with the head of what looked like a lamb hanging from her backside and quickly herded her into the big barn that still lacked paint and had a chicken coop in the ceiling. I called the vet and together we ascertained the situation and decided on the proper course.

He said I had to find whatever way to extract the dead lamb and then syringe 50cc's of propylene glycol into the uterus after the delivery.

I hung up the phone and strutted to the barn. Nobody would stop me from being a grown up today. And I had a good excuse to be late for school.

I flipped the yearling ewe on her side and tried to push the cold, choked head back into the mothers body as the feet were still inside keeping the lamb from coming out. Her own feet flailed stiffly and helplessly in the air. It didn't work. I procured the bow saw from the shop and returned to the frightened ewe, threw her down again and proceeded to sever the head of the lamb enabling me to push the bloody stump of the neck inside where I found the two front legs and proceeded to drag the terrified young mother around the barn whilst extracting her dead baby. The lamb was quickly disposed of and the yearling ewe was released after the required shot of propylene glycol was administered.

I saved her life.

And I wrote my own note explaining my tardiness to school.