I post this blog today for Odelia, one of our Romeldale yearlings, who has a story to tell.

It really wasn’t my fault. I was perfectly happy in our new pasture with the big rocks where we could play and jump from stone to stone. When our shepherdess opened the gate and let us run into this new field, I was really excited! We had pretty much eaten up all the good stuff in the old field, and I had been staring at this one for the past few days, hoping. But at the time I had wanted to move, the older girls and lambs had been in there, and for some reason that meant we couldn’t go in. My friend, Jada — one of the Romneys — told me the lambs always get the field first. But for as long as I can remember, I was always allowed into the field when it was fresh. Jada couldn’t tell me why I wasn’t allowed this year. I watched and waited, wanting what those lambs had.

Finally, when the lambs had been moved and the shepherdess came to open the gate, we all ran for the new field! It was still full of clover and dandelions, special treats we hadn’t had for a while! Besides that, the big green shelter was still in the field. We had watched the shepherdess enter it twice each day, and afterwards the lambs would swarm into it, crunching so loudly that we could hear them clear over in our field! When she opened the gate to let us into the field, my best friend Oyster and I headed straight for that big shelter to see if there was any crunchy feed left behind for us. We kicked up our heels as we ran; we were so excited! The other girls made fun of us. They told us the feed was probably already gone, or maybe all pooped on or muddy. But what do they know? We decided to check it out — maybe we could still find some that was edible!

When Oyster and I went up to the first door of the big shelter, the special lamb door was there and we couldn’t fit through. Inside we saw a few bits of corn, oats, and black oil sunflower seeds, but we couldn’t get them. We pushed and shoved, but the gate was really strong — stronger than we were — so after a while, we gave up and joined the other girls eating grass, clover, and dandelions. All of the grazing here is much better than in the other field, and we filled up!

But then Oyster kept bugging me. “Let’s go try again,” she said to me. Eventually she convinced me — it was all her fault. After all, her mom is like twice the size of mine, so I figured she knew something about finding good food! We went back over to the big shelter, but this time we decided to try getting in the other side.

We couldn’t believe our luck when we got there! The special gate had been taken off and this doorway was open — anyone could come and go! Even better, there was still a bunch of spilled grain inside! Okay, maybe not a bunch, but there was some. In fact, there was plenty for both Oyster and me. We nibbled at the grain and got almost every bit. The only grain that was left was buried in poop, and neither of us wanted to eat that. Oyster kept pushing it at me, but I kept pushing it back. We made a kind of muddy mess, but it was funny to us. We jumped and laughed and had a lot of fun.

Then Oyster saw that there was more grain on the other side of the shelter — the side we couldn’t get into because of the special door that we had tried before. From this side, though, you could see it even better. In fact, as I was staring at the grain and trying to figure out how to get in there, Oyster lowered her head and crawled on her belly under the divider between the two sides. Suddenly, she was over there with the grain! That wasn’t fair! I needed it more than she did — she’s kinda big already! So I did the same thing I saw her do: I scrunched down as flat as I could get and then crawled under the divider. Before I knew it, I was in with Oyster and the grain!

It was lots of fun, but after a while, the grain was gone and we couldn’t remember how we got in. We tried getting out of the doorway, but that stupid gate (that before was keeping us out) now was keeping us in! We were in there a long time, but we knew the shepherdess would come to check on us. Maybe she would get us out.

When the shepherdess came to check on all the girls in our field, she laughed at us eating the rest of the grain. She said we were smart for getting into the shelter, but she didn’t come help us out. We called to her and she waved — WAVED! I don’t think she knew we were stuck, and she went back to wherever she goes when she isn’t with us. Oyster and I spent the night together in the shelter, listening to scary noises and eventually dreaming of running free in the field with our friends.

The next day was more of the same. Oyster and I were getting thirsty in the warmth of the day, and there was nothing left to eat in the shelter. We dug at the ground with our hooves, trying to dig our way out — but there was no way to escape. We were really stuck, and we got even more scared. Could dogs get in here? Or coyotes?

Night was coming again, so the shepherdess came out to check on the sheep in our field. Oyster and I knew that this was our only chance. Our great plan to get some extra grain had become a nightmare; we just wanted to get out! When our shepherdess came into the field, we started to yell at her and dig at the ground in the shelter — and FINALLY she figured out we were stuck! She ran as fast as she could to the shelter where we waited for help, and using a tool from her pocket, she pried open the special gate for the lambs. It all looked so easy when she did it — but we had tried for so long to move that gate!

Oyster and I were finally free! Our shepherdess left the gate open so that we wouldn’t get stuck if we went back inside, but I don’t think either of us is planning on going in there again! Once is enough. I’m just so happy to be out and back with my friends, extra grain or not!


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  • Erika says:

    Awww, what a cute story. Poor Odelia! My Mercer (our big ram) had a similar problem yesterday. He was in a calf hutch that somehow had the opening pushed up against the fence. I think the other ram, who likes to head butt the calf hutch, pushed it up against the fence with Mercer inside.

    • Dee says:

      Oh, yes, I’m sure Mercer and Odelia would have had a grand time, swapping stories and commiserating over their ordeals!

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