"Is she your pet?"
"No, sir, I do not have any pet sheep."
"Is she valuable?"
"Well, the price of sheep is high...but she is not a show sheep, nor is she registered. Her value is in her production and the training she brings to the dogs."
Every time I am faced with the decision of life vs. death....I always feel a little awe. The power I have in a few words and more dollars. When life is spent to feed folks, I am proud of my way here on the farm. Birth through to the day of processing, my sheep are healthy, hormone free, and pass with as little stress as possible making for top quality fabulous tasting lamb. However, when my order takes breath when no sense can be had from the matter...I am left with feelings of complete and utter inadequacy. Missing the early signs, an ear droop; mistaking distance from the flock as pre-labor; buying hay when prices were low to feed a year later. Today, I am down one ewe....almost full term yet a decision of mercy. Sad I could do no more for three lives. Knowing I am called to be a shepherd and that my money, even in the robust of times, is to better the whole and not the one. I now await the necropsy.
The skies reflect my mood.....and the fields, my tears.
They might be just sheep but I am their shepherd. Lessons learned through the school of hard knocks are as valuable as painful. I think I need a good birth to bring perspective.
Seize the day.
Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing
15 hours ago