We have been feeding the 4 pets in their pen while doing field training this week, and 4 others that we have been topping up in the same field, much to Peewee, and the hamster twins dismay...
As you'll know from last year's pictures, feeding lambs can turn into a wrestling match with tiny hooves in the tops of your wellies and a general entanglement of little bodies, as they fight for attention......... not what you would expect from almost fully grown sheep.
Last night to my surprise, I didn't have little hooves in top of my wellies, but rather larger ones down the elasticated waistband of my trousers! Not little heads bobbing round my knees, but one almost at the same level as my own! Peewee had got so frustrated with seeing the lambs being fed with bottles that she wanted a piece of the action herself....... So I gave her a bottle to see what would happen.
She started to chew the teat, and then was joined by the hamster twins, Curley and Dottie.... they too had been bottle fed last year......... and clearly none of them had forgotten! They all jostled for position, almost knocking me of my feet, with the lambs scattering for cover... rather than yelling at them, I rubbed their chins until they all settled and calmed down.... Who would have known that adolescent sheep could behave like this?
Tonight, after giving the 8.30 bottle feed in the barn, I walked up the field in the twilight to find Peewee, to give her an individual handful of nuts..... after munching them, she walked back down with me and when I got to the little stone bridge, she turned round and galloped up the field, leaping the trough on her way.... I continued to the gate and turned round, to see where she was, expecting her to be with the others... There is a beautiful gazelle skip that lambs do when they are happy...... Peewee skipped from 3/4 the way up the field, and over the stream to be by my side at the gate.... I gave her a final love and then she turned tail and did the same thing all the way back to the top, stopping to look while I got into the car to come home..... She really is extraordinary!