I was in the barn the other day and our eyes locked on each other.
My mind raced back over our years together. I was amazed at the many facets of this pretty gals life here on the farm.
The daughter of Willow, another of our very photographed and storied gals here on the farm. Gabby was born several years ago. A real beauty of a lamb! Shiny black and long strong legs with a very happy bounce that took her about the barn and pastures. One day during barn chores I noticed her mother, Willow, seeming to talk to me, she kept baaing at me and standing in one place. I followed her cue and found Gabby, clearly not feeling well. Her wonderful momma kept nudging her with her nose. Gabby didn’t have the strength to even nurse her mother, which of course was her life blood. Long story short, we almost lost Gabby. After weeks of constant attention and TLC she survived and was soon romping again about the pastures.
As a shepherd you become especially connected to sheep you’ve spent such heart rending time with. Anyways, I always noted a sort of smile on this little girls face (she’ll always be a little girl to me).
The first 18 months of her life she got to enjoy just the frolic! Then at her almost 2nd year of life she had a baby of her own but poor Gabby freaked! Her instinct, so viable in the Navajo breed , brought her to a wooded area to have her lamb. She gave birth with ease. As she stood over her newborn trying to put two and two together my husband John spotted her and went to check on her. She saw him coming. A little freaked already, his approach was just too much and she bolted, never to accept her little girl again. We tried and tried but to no avail.
Some farms/shepherds might decide it is time to move her along I felt I couldn’t. One might say the situation was contributory. To our wonderful surprise the next year Gabby raised a beautiful healthy lamb!
As we share this moments glance my human self is sure she too reflects back over our many emotional moments together.