Lamb of God? Mmm…Not Exactly

See, I don’t hate animals, but I am not an animal lover. As it turns out, I married a woman who does love them and at least two of my children inherited the same peculiarity. This opposing viewpoint has created a lot of memorable events for all of us in our family.

I’ve helped birth goats, pigs, horses, dogs, cats and rabbits, cleaning them cutting their umbilical cords, bottle-feeding them. I’ve performed pet castrations and wiped pet butts.  I’ve trimmed goat hooves until I thought my back would break from bending over and I’ve carried around more baby pigs than I ever could have imagined I would. And once, while I was trying to hold a pig for my wife so she could give it a shot of wormer, she accidentally poked me instead. I guess I didn’t have to worry about having worms that year.

But what really sticks out in my memory is the first year that my daughter raised a baby sheep for the youth fair. We were told to show up at the livestock pavilion and pick up our lamb there. Upon arrival, I saw 80 lambs all running around crazily in the same pen.  One by one, the children were allowed to go in and “catch” their lamb.  Our daughter was too small to go into the pen, so being her dad, I was given the nod.

I stepped inside and my daughter showed me the one she wanted. I took off after it with great determination. A few minutes later, after having been thrown to the ground a number of times, I realized that it wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d thought.

I could hear my wife’s cries of laughter above the constant bleats, baas and thundering hoof beats. I finally somehow managed to grab hold of one, and was doing my best to get it to the gate, when my daughter called out that I had the wrong one! I guess the expression of disbelief on my face was what made my wife laugh even harder. I now reluctantly let go of the lamb I’d caught, and made a bead for the one that my daughter was pointing out. Try as I might, I just couldn’t catch that one. I was soon injured and desperate. But I gave it one more heroic try (I thought it was heroic, anyway,) and dove into the scattering flock. I finally latched on to another one and with sweat pouring down my face and clothing covered in sheep droppings, I yelled out to my daughter, “Sorry, this is the one you’re getting,” and then I wrestled the unwilling lamb to the gate.

Yes, indeed, it was a memorable experience, but not just for me. I was actually on my lunch break, so I had to go back to work after handing my hard-won ‘prize’ over to my daughter and (still chuckling) wife. Let’s just say that everyone was happy to let me work by myself that night.

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