It happened again at church this morning. My assigned reading was from Deuteronomy 7, and included the following:
He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.This was clearly a divine nudge that we needed to get that dang ram out with the ewes, because otherwise there would be no lambs to bless!
So this afternoon we did just that, but it is not as simple as opening a gate and letting him in. First we needed to separate him from the other ram lambs, trim his hooves, check his general health, get a coat on him (to keep his fleece clean) and put the marking harness on—never a simple job, as we cannot recall from year to year which way all those straps go.
Once we had him in order, it was time to do the same thing for all the ewes, with the exception of putting a marking harness on them. We want to make sure that everyone is in fine condition for the rigorous duties ahead, and their fleeces are protected as much as possible from the marking crayon.
All was set, we released the lot and... they proceeded to ignore each other.
The ram is in the front staring off into the distance; you can see the blue marking harness around his shoulders. The ewes are through an open gate, so he could get to them if he wanted to. For the moment, he clearly doesn't want to.
My father will be happy to know that he finally has a name, however. He is officially Leonidas, Leo for short, though my LSH says the ram would prefer to be known as Loverboy. Let's hope he lives up to his nickname in short order.
In other news... my wonderful second son turned 14 today. (Lucky boy got to do farm work on his birthday!) It is such a joy to see what a terrific young man he is turning into. No one tells you that the babies are cute and cuddly and all, but it is just as much pleasure to watch them growing and developing into their own unique persons.