Wednesday, February 16, 2011


13th Birthday
It was my 13th birthday. What a special occasion. I was having my first huge slumber party. I was excited and couldn’t wait. We would start the evening with homemade pizza and lots of soda. After dinner Steph, Jen, Kristy, Cathy, Liz, Hillary and I had to all pile in a tiny little bathroom to get ready to go bowling.
With the amount of hairspray, eye liner and lipstick you would think that not just the one and only prince charming would be at the local bowling alley, but there was sure to be seven of them.
It took seven 13 year old girls only an hour to get ready. This was very fast and had to have set some kind of record. We piles into three different vehicle and headed down over the hill. The bowling alley wasn’t even a mile from my house.
A couple boys were meeting us. One of which three out of seven had already dated. Oh, the fun of sharing boyfriends that at that age.
The bowling was fun and by the time that we were done the group had about split in two. Steph, Cathy, Liz and I were made at Jen, Kristy and Hillary. They were being snotty and slutty all at the same time. They spent most of the night chasing after men with beers. Now that was just ridiculous.
We left and headed home we had rented scary movies and we determined to stay up all night. When we arrived at the house my Dad informed me that my sheep Bridget was nesting and acting different.
“She may have that lamb tonight” he said
“Really?” I was excited.
It was the first lamb to be born on my farm. I had started a farm of my own called Beckwith Hill farm the previous summer. I did this because I had joined 4-h and now owned 2 sheep and was showing them at the blue Hill Fair.
“You better go check on her. You and Stephanie, you guys have been learning a lot more about this than I know; you can check her better than I could.”

It was a very cold and snowy March 14th. I didn’t ever remember a birthday that was getting this much snow. We all bundled up and trudged our way out the the barn. The barn used to be my club house. That was the sacrifice that I had to take as we didn’t have lot of money to build a little barn.
When we arrived out there Jen and Hillary were whining they were to pretty for anything like this. There was poop on the floor and now on their feet. I had to laugh at them. Sheep poop didn’t bother me and it smelled like hay!
“Well you’re the ones who insisted on coming out here, why don’t you go back inside and put on a little more lipstick and call those 21 year old guys.” I said this very snotty myself with my hands on my hips and shaking my head back and forth.
They stormed off and I didn’t care. I checked out Bridget she was showing signs of labor. The plugs in her teats were gone and she was leaking fluids. Stephanie told me to look closer it seemed like you could see a hoof.
Bridget was a very calm and friendly wool breed sheep. She was black and had a beautiful coat. There was silver in it as she was mixed bread and I had spinners calling me trying to get her wool every year. It went to whoever wanted to spend the most.
Stephanie got up in from by her head talked softly to her as I lifter her tail to take a closer look. All while using flash lights. Flash lights with batteries that my parents had been using for a year now. I could definitely see that something was happening and I was nervous. Bridget just looked stressed. This was her first time just like it was mine.
We all headed back in. I needed to call our 4-h leader and ask her for some suggestions. After getting off the phone with her I was mortified. I was about to do something that no girls should ever have to do on her 13th birthday.
I grabbed a small bucket of warm water. Two towels and the whole container of DAWN dish detergent.
“What are you doing?” my father asked in his grouchy annoyed voice
“Well you see dad I have to go soap up my hand and arm and shove it up a sheep’s who haa! Would you like to do it instead?” I said it with sarcastic enthusiasm
“No, no you go do what you have to do, but hurry up and take care of any mess you make.
The five of us girls headed back out. Jen and Hillary were staying in to braid each others hair. Whatever! I would rather take part in the miracle of life than sits around braiding!
We re-entered the barn. I was nervous about what I had to do. The concern was that we thought we may have seen one hoof when there should have been two. My friends held all of the stuff for me. One held the flash light that barely gave off any light at all. One held the warm bucket of water and my best friend Stephanie held the soap. I think that she was really laughing at me on the inside.
Well I pulled my sleeve up as far as I could. I dunked it in the bucket of water and soaped up. I had to use a lot. Using DAWN dish soap as an anti bacterial lubricant was what a lot of small farmers did apparently. I thought it was strange but needed to check on this beautiful mama ewe.
I gently inserted my fingers she baaa’ed at me. I pushed in gently until my entire hand was in the whole time I was saying
“Oh my god Oh my god I am so sorry Bridget”
I still couldn’t feel anything so I pushed a little further and there it was one little hoof. I gently felt around for the other one. I checked all around nothing. At this point I felt like she wanted to get the lamb out but that it had gotten stuck. I now had to try to push that hoof back into the uterus and out of the vaginal tunnel in hopes that it would help the lamb re position itself and come out the right way. I pushed it back the best way I could then we waited.
Bridget dug in the hay and lay down. She stood up and circled and then lay back down. This went on for hours. We all sat there on a blanket huddled together. It was getting too cold to stay so we headed in. When we entered the house the clock read 3:26. We were tired. The other two girls were asleep so we decided we would show them for being party poopers.
We got a bowl of warm water and put their fingers in it. We were trying to get them to pee their beds. It didn’t work. Then we took lipstick and painted their noses red. That did work and those of us that were still awake laughed so hard we had tears streaming down our faces.
I think the rest of us fell asleep around 6:30. We were then woken up at 7:45 to my Dad yelling
“Bridget had her babies”
All of us, including the two party poopers who looked like clowns flew up out of bed through on our boots and coats and ran to the barn. My mom was already out there and put her finger to her lips to tell all of us load teens to be quiet. As she opened the door I was the first one in. There stood Bridget with not only one but two beautiful little black lambs.
“Awe twins” I said like a proud mama myself.
“Are they boys or girls” asked Stephanie?”
I open the pen quietly telling Bridget what a good girl she was as I scratched her nose. Sheep have a very loving personality if given a lot of attention. I sat down and waited for a lamb to approach me. After about ten minutes the first arrived followed instantly by the other. I gently picked them up. We had one boy and one girl. Perfect I thought.
“We have a ewe and a ram” I announced and everyone was excited.
It took me a few days to come up with the perfect names for them. Apollo and Artemis twin Greek gods. The two of them went on to be owned by 4-h children winning trophies and smiles at all the local fairs.

1 comment:

  1. Either story would have been sufficient--the 13 year old girls at the bowling alley or the birth of A & A--but to have them combine like this is a real treat. You had me! I was in suspense. I've seen my wife trying to reposition unborn baby goats, so I know what you're talking about.

    Anyway, keeping two stories rolling along, keeping sight of those girls braiding hair and the sheep with the wonderful fleece, keeping track of the adolescent children and of the newborn sheep is quite a trick and you pull it off in great style. The tone here is by turns funny, suspenseful, dark, light--I hope you feel satisfied with this, feel good about the work you show here. I sure do.