Good old Skeeter, the bottle baby lamb still loves me. Each time I walk anywhere near the pasture where he now grazes, there is a thundering of hooves and a bleating that sounds just like he’s calling for me, “Maaaaaa maaaa,” and my sentimental heart has to stop and greet this friendly Dorset lamb.
Anyone who has ever fed an orphan lamb or a newborn calf can tell you it is an experience that stays with you.
Skeeter not only spent many days welcoming a warm bottle from me, he actually wore a diaper and slept in our house for a few days.
A friend who saw a picture of Skeeter lying in a dog bed said to me, “Wait a minute. Is that lamb wearing a diaper?” She then asked, “Where did you find diapers for a lamb?”
I told her it was a do-it-yourself style of diaper, thanks to a tip shared by the queen of all orphaned animals, our neighbor Sherri Nelson, who has saved more than she could likely ever count.
“Just buy some Pampers and cut a hole for the tail,” she told us.
The other tip from Sherri, which I had never heard, was to feed the lamb whole milk. He grew fat and happy on it, no doubt about that.
On the day Skeeter was moved back to the barn, he temporarily went off feed. Each time I approached his singular pen with a warm bottle, he would turn his tail toward me, refusing to even acknowledge me.
By the next morning, though, hunger won over temperamental pouting, quite clearly.
The latest chapter in Skeeter’s life is that he did not quite make the cut to be a flock’s top ram.
He did, however, make the cut in an entirely different way — our veterinarian arrived one day recently to perform a vasectomy on him. He will be leaving here one day soon to become a teaser ram for an impressive flock.
Skeeter’s job description will be to charm the ladies all he wants, without consequence.
Chances are, Skeeter will play the part well enough to earn an Academy Award. I kinda like the little fellow, and attempt to convince myself he will live long — and not prosper, exactly — but be so well-loved he is kept on lush green grass in the company of lovely ewes who adore him until he dies of old age.
Just like the 4-H heifers my sisters and I took to the county fairs.
Hey, dreaming is still free, right?