Have you ever seen a mother sheep panic? I did the other day, and it was quite interesting to see!
I had just finished feeding all the sheep their alfalfa pellets when I looked up to see a young mother sheep bawling her head off and start running as fast as she could for the old sheep pen. It was obvious she had lost her lamb and was crying the equivalent of screaming, “My baby! My baby! Where’s my baby! I can’t find her!”
An older lamb, one I knew was not the mother sheep’s lamb, ran as fast as it could right behind the sheep as if the mother was calling it. When it got just inside the gate of the old sheep pen, the lamb suddenly stopped, looked around as if to say, “Wait a minute, what am I doing here? That’s not my mama!” The lamb spun around and ran as fast as it could back to the herd and its mother.
When the mother sheep that had lost its lamb had gotten back to the old sheep pen she started nosing around one spot on the ground. Apparently it was the place she last remembered leaving her lamb. She called and called but just couldn’t find her lamb.
“Oh great,” I thought, “We didn’t need to lose a lamb to a forgetful mother.”
I put the feed bucket up and ran out to see if I could find any trace of the little lamb. I got up to where the mother sheep was but I couldn’t see any sign of the lamb.
After looking around a bit, with the mother sheep still bawling her head off, I heard the cry of a lamb that was back with the herd. The mother sheep perked up her ears, looked that way and continued to call . The lamb called back, the mother responded but didn’t move that way. So I started to slowly herd her back in the direction that the lamb was calling from.
Finally the mother took off in the direction of the herd and the lamb that was calling, all the while screaming “Baby! Baby! Is that you?”
I watched from a ways off as the mother ran up to her baby and they were happily reunited .
“Yea mama,” I thought as I walked back, “That baby was right where you left it.”