This story relates to the theme of “strays.”
My husband is known for doing unusual things. One Easter, he really surprised me.
We were in the process of building an addition on to our house. Acting as our own contractors, we had hired an Amish construction crew with a promise and a handshake. Since they didn’t drive, my husband provided the morning transportation and me, the evening. It was an enlightening and fun experience. At the time, we shared out lives with Crickett, our beloved tri-Color Collie.
It was Easter season. Most women get chocolate bunnies, candy eggs and butter lambs. Not me!
Bill had driven our Amish workers back home to their Amish community of Middlefield.
When he arrived home, he called to me from our library. I entered the room and my eyes opened wide in disbelief. My husband was seated on the sofa with a baby lamb in his arms. A real, live, adorable baa-ing lamb!
“You have to be kidding! What are we to do with a lamb?” I asked. I love animals but found this to be a bit out of line.
“Don’t worry. He’s only a temporary guest for a few weeks. The Amish crew has agreed to take him in as a pet on their farm.”
I listened to his story. After all, there’s always a story.
While transporting the Amish crew, we had been driving by a farm that raised lambs and sold them for Easter, not as pets but as food for the Greek and Italian community. Being animals lovers, we found this practice repulsive.
One day, Bill decided to save a lamb’s life, feeling it was the least he could do. He arranged it with our Amish crew and the baby lamb arrived at our home. Of course, the lamb melted my heart and I named him Blossom.
Blossom lived in the partially completed house addition and became a part of our lives. I prepared baby bottles of formula and fed him, cuddled him and he proved to be a rather stubborn, independent creature. Lambs do not housetrain nor take direction. Our Collie, being a sheep-herding breed, actually feared him. All it took was one head-butt from Blossom and Crickett stayed away from him.
It was an entertaining experience. I put a dog collar on Blossom and a leash and took him for walks outside in front of our home. The number of stares from passing cars, I thought, would surely cause an accident. I didn’t care that local law did not permit the housing of farm animals. Blossom, after all, was a temporary guest. As he grew, I realized that a lamb is not suited to urban life.
As he grew horns, it was time for Blossom to go out to farm country. We drove him out to our Amish contractor’s farm as arranged. The Amish family had prepared a spot for him in a shed adjoining their home, complete with food dishes and a blanket. I felt awful leaving him and he seemed upset, too. His crying was loud and sad as we left.
The promise was to return. We did. We made visits and watched Blossom grow into a very huge ram. He was the stud lamb on our Amish contractors farm. He was treated well and lived a ram’s life.
I did make my husband promise/swear to never bring another live animal into the house without my permission. I told him, no more lambs, no rabbits, ducks, chicks or anything.
From that point on, I never ate lamb.
During Easter season, I have fond memories of Blossom.