Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sheep Drama

What an afternoon.

It started about 30 minutes before school let out. Our friend, Erin, came by with a lamb to put in with Lucy Belle while she gets weaned from her mama.

We have side by side pens in the barn, so no big deal. Ewes go in one side, lambs in the other, everyone sees each other and everything is okie dokie.

I picked my kiddos up 10 minutes before the final bell and hurried them out to the barn so they could see what is going on. We "quietly" sat on the bleachers to observe and discuss what is happening.

What we observed was Lucy ramming the gate between her and the ewes, almost getting stuck in the gate, almost getting through the gate, and loud bleating.

We were quite panicked by this sight. Will she hurt herself? Will the ewes get hurt as they also try to get to Lucy? And then... Lucy somehow managed to get the gate open and into the other side and straight to her mama for some comforting mother's milk.

The mom that I am wanted to just let them be. But they are not my sheep. I texted Erin and she advised me to work at separating them. 

School is out now, and my students are on the bus to their homes. Who will help me? Miss Murphy was already gone. Lucky for me, one of my students heard what was going on and begged (but it did not take much) his mother to let him stay and help me and my son try to figure this out.

Now it's 3:15. The two boys were pretty quick at getting both lambs back into their pen (after some initial funny moments and a strategy session). 

Everything fine? Nope. Lucy went straight back to ramming the gate and jumping and terrifying us. How were we going to keep them all safe and not spend the night in the barn?

My student had the idea that we could put chicken wire across the gate, and then Lucy wouldn't be able to get her head through. His mother, very kindly, offered to go to their shop and get some, it was only about 4 miles away.

While she was off on that errand, the boys tried to keep Lucy and Black Bob (I think that is his name--oh he is sooooo cute) calm and not fighting the gate.

(My big helpers, Wil, my son on the left, and my student on the right.)

(Mom and daughter looking at each other through the gate. Separation Anxiety.)

We (my students' mom and I) spent 20 or so minutes securing the wire. And then adding duck tape to the jagged edges. I felt like I was baby-proofing for the lambs. The boys were off playing by now.

Lucy was now climbing the chicken wire, half jumping to get to her mama. What now? Calls and texting to our circle of sheep experts and we decide to put ewes into a different inside pen. Not right next to lambs, but within sight and sound.

After all this, it is 4:40. I went into the school to make final preps for tomorrow and the boys continue to play. It was 5:00 when I called Wil to get his things so we could leave.

Here is the cute Black Bob.

The other part of the drama is that the donkey and the sheep have not been getting along. One of them goes after the others' food, which is not a problem until you start keeping the other from it while you gobble it all up. And that is not how Walton students and staff treat each other. It has been hard to watch. Eyore's owners are going to take him back home tomorrow and I hope that everyone can have good memories of this time together. 

I wonder what we will find in the barn tomorrow morning...
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  1. I love your Blog, Alyce. I think Eyore will be missed, but NOT the conflict.

  2. Thanks! So far Eyore is still at school, the kids really love him. And feeding him grass through the fence.


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