Molly, the Eldest

by Kate Sowiak

On the 2nd of March, when the fields of Glenora Farm were still snow covered and the sheep were nestled in the barn, the first lamb was born: Molly. She was soft and creamy white. Her mother, Momo, had done a good job of licking her clean. They had made a lasting bond. Molly, having heard her mothers voice in the womb, knows her “maa” from all the other sheep, and Momo can recognize Molly by her scent.

An additional thirty-one lambs have been born since that day. For the first week, the lambs spent time in a seperate pen with only their mothers. But soon they became eager to meet their peers. They were put into a pen together with the other lambs and moms -which we called “kindergarten”, which we called “kindergarten”, as young sheep often act much like five year old children. At first, they ran about frantically, searching for each other, “maaing” back and forth, the ewes sniffing every lamb for the right scent. Molly had a look of panic, her head held high and moving from side to side in search. It was the first time her “maa” was heard, which was a funny sound, like a breath, or whisper voicing an unceasing “ma, ma, ma”. But minutes later the chaos ends and the lambs begin to play, chasing each other, springing, leaping, doing stunts off of haybales and climbing onto the backs of the resting ewes until they’re totally worn out. They curl up in a pile of curly wool and tiny hooves, heads resting on one another, eyes closed, and mouths moving in their sleep as if suckling a teat.

At three weeks, the lambs have all kinds of personality. Most will come up to you and enjoy a rub, or nibble at your clothing. Molly has a different approach. She has learned to stare up defiantly at any person who enters, and stamps her small leg as hard as she can upon the ground. Normally, it’s the mother ewes protecting their lambs that do the foot stamping. Molly, as the eldest lamb, seems watchful and protective of her younger brothers and sisters already. Lambs go through the growing up stages very fast. The next phase is moving out to green pasture, which will be another exciting day for Molly and her friends.

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