Lambs!

Lambs lambs everywhere! Over 200 now in the barn, and about a third of the mamas still expecting. It is chaos! We usually separate the lambs after a day or two, but this year because of the weather we have left mamas and babies together. In our barn, the mamas are contained but the lambs can go where they please- this means gangs of frolicking lambs running up and down the middle of the barn, starting to venture out into the sunshine. Tressa has come into her own this year as a shepherd, completely comfortable around the lambs, naming the ones who distinguish themselves (flippy floppy ears, dot, cereal) and bottle feeding the ones who need it. The triplets have expressed a range of feeling about the lambs, excitement to terror- they are, after all, about the same size. They have mastered the "baaa baaa!", and Maeda calls them by their proper name, "yam". Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the voice of a lamb and the voice of a year and a half year old person.
Linden is in his element with the sheep, watching them, feeding them, peaceful and fearless. The other day we were all ouside with the expectant mamas, some 70 sheep in all. Nell was on Neil's back, I was holding Tressa's hand and Maeda in my arms, and Linden was holding Tressa's other hand, until he let go and just stood with the sheep. When we were ready to go back into the barn, we had to hustle through the gate so the sheep, who were gathered all around, would not follow us. "Where's Linden?" We looked out, and there he was, not a care in the world, 30 feet away with the sheep between us and him. I don't think he noticed that we weren't there; at least not until Moon, our tallest and most imposing llama, leaned right down to him as if to say "What kind of creature are you, and what is your business here?" Linden's face started to look worried at that point, but luckily that was just about when Neil got to him. I think I will remember that image for a long time.