Thursday, May 15 – Fighting for life
Martin complained today that he was not being looked after half as well as the wretched lamb. And I’m afraid I said that as he wasn’t likely to die after dropping the axe on his foot, he and Stephen were not a priority. He then went into a sulk and said I’d be sorry if his injury became infected and stopped him working for another week, so I felt obliged to help him by changing his dressing and bathing the wound. It is healing quickly and I really don’t think there is any cause for concern, nor do I have any worries about Stephen, who is hobbling about nimbly and able to keep an eye on the fire and boil water.
Neil turned up this morning, just as Jane was giving the lamb its third feed of the day. He was amused by our attempts to save it, but had to admit the little ewe is a fighter and we may save her yet. However, he said he isn’t interested in bottle feeding her and we can if we want to. If she survives she may be reintroduced to the flock when she’s weaned, but he doesn’t want to care for her until then.
So Jane and I are enjoying looking after our new patient. She is quieter and more amenable than our human ones and her short black fleece has the texture of a good quality Axminster carpet. Her ears are velvet and her little hooves are carved ebony. She sucks hard on the bottle and has already dirtied both our laps when we’ve been feeding, so I’ve suggested we cover ourselves with a heavy duty gardening apron when we are holding her. Anna isn’t allowed to help as pregnant women are vulnerable to infections from sheep.
And of course the girls want to give the lamb a name. I was reluctant as she may yet die, but they insisted, so she is now called Sooty. Martin offered to name her Jessica, but Anna and Jane ignored him, so Sooty she is for as long as she lives.