Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Tuesday, April 1 – A life in a day
Today should have been happy and joyful. The sun has shone all day long, Stephen remembered it was April Fool’s Day and played jokes on us all, the weather has been warm and my iris are in bud. But when there is death, even though it is a death that might be expected, there is sadness, despite the flowers and sunshine.
Neil told us a couple of days ago that he had noticed two lambs had disappeared. He suspects the foxes and, as a seasoned shepherd, always knows that there will be some losses during lambing. When he first told us he had lost them, I immediately said, no, not Badger, as I have become fond of him with his two black eye patches and little black stripe under his chin, which makes him look like a smiling clown. Luckily it wasn’t him, he is growing fast and running with the other lambs, so the two missing lambs weren’t ones I felt I knew.
But yesterday I saw another ewe give birth to twins in the morning and by early evening, when Martin and I were strolling in the garden, they had both rested enough to play hide and seek around a tree trunk. Little black Lowryesque lambs playing as dusk fell.
So this morning I couldn’t resist going out to look for them. I know they are not my sheep, but they graze, breed and give birth on our land, so I feel responsible for them and get to know them. I looked through the mist and could not see the entire flock clearly, but the ewe which I was sure had lambed on Monday morning was sitting next to the fence and had only one little one by her side. I walked up and down the fence, I looked in the ditch which runs close by, I looked at the back of the wood and I searched the edge of the field. And then I went to tell Neil that I thought another one has gone.
Martin thinks it might be a human thief, not a fox. But Neil is sure the fox is responsible. He has put a paraffin lamp in the field to warn it off. I’m glad the fox is not taking an interest in the chickens, but sad that it has taken a lamb that only lived for a day.

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