Sunday, April 5, 2009
Yesterday was the first day I did not take pictures of Little Stephen; I simply could not. While still tiny, every day prior he had been growing. Yesterday he appeared smaller, unable to rise to his feet.
Today I took pictures. I took loads of pictures. I’m afraid they will be his last. I can’t focus the view-finder; my eyes are blurry. His mother is circling me, unsure as I am as to what transpired to her baby buried in hay, wedged in a corner and the feeder. Sheep walk over the miniscule bundle as they go to eat.
There is life in the bundle but just barely; his little belly struggles on inhalation as he lays on his side whimpering in synch with each breath. His tail is so filthy it blends in with the brown floor he lays on.
I had seen a large sheep laying on her side like this once before. “Is that normal?” I asked Pasquale yesterday.
“Yes. Normal. Tomorrow she dies.”
Tomorrow is today.. I start sobbing harder. I take one more photo and run out of the barn embarrassed Pasquale might find me in this pathetic emotional state. Damn lamb! How could he do this to me?! My mind plays a melodramatic scene: If he survives, I swear I’ll kill him. “Good with lentils” Pasquale jokes.
But even as I say it, I know he won’t survive.
Yesterday, ironically, his adopted mother came into milk.