Sunday, April 5, 2009


Marjatta catches me running from the barn.

“Brigit, could you please place these bulbs?” She hands me a large bag of irises to plant on the side of the hill.

I’m thankful for the manual labor and I swing the pix-axe with purpose, unwilling to pause for fear of another cry. Pasquale spots me as I’m completing the task.

“Bree, do you want to take ‘ship’ out?” I have never taken the ship nor the sheep out without professional guidance. This is what I dreamed of many years ago on witnessing the Sheppard Girl in Italy. I am overwhelmed with joyful anticipation.

As I rouse the sheep out of the barn I glance in the direction of Little Stephen already knowing: Even his belly is still now; his head lies back much in the same way we found him 10 days ago when he was born early and abandoned.

The sheep meander to the grassy fields. Mina the collie joins the action but is quickly bored as the flock settles to graze; she pretends to be chasing something and darts around me. Three little stephens snuck out with the bunch. They continually communicate “baa” with their mothers and the mothers continually communicate “BAA!” back.

I pick up a long walking stick like I’ve seen on the pros and put on my sunglasses.

It’s going to be a good day.

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