It is hard to become emotionally attached to a sheep. They’re not like cats and dogs who return your affection. Climb into an enclosure with them and they’re off like Olympic runners. Try and get up close to a ewe and you suddenly become the ovine equivalent of a tax inspector. You are greeted with mistrust, suspicion and are even shown a rear end if you are particularly unlucky.
The lambs out-grow their cuddly stage and the time comes when even the bottle-fed lambs want nothing more to do with you. Maybe Les Préalpes are a particularly skittish race, I don’t know, but a strange thing has occurred to one of our younger ewes. She has learnt social skills.
We call her La Sonnaille, because of the sheep bell she wears around her neck and she is always a couple of steps behind whoever happens to be in the sheep barn. Stranger still, is that she seems to have found a special place in my husband’s heart. We usually keep the ewes for a maximum of eight years before replacing them by a younger model. The last I heard though, this one is going to be allowed to retire in the sheep barn. I suppose there is hope for me yet!
P.S I am working on your requests to hear the Alps’ latest, undiscovered choir, er, I mean the sheep at feeding time, but have experienced a few technical hiccups. Please be patient, as I am sure that one day the Mountain Dweller site will become a shrine to multimedia (one day).