A to Z Family Stories: L for Lamb

These stories are part of who we are and I want them recorded. Not all of them are pretty, but that is ok.  This is a collection of family stories that are told repeatedly anytime the Smith clan congregates during a vacation or a holiday.  I’m sure some of them are told more from my perspective than others but I welcome added insight from those involved.

“The farm”, those words will always mean one place to me and my brothers. It was a 320 acre plot in Sawyer County, Wisconsin about 8 miles from the small town of Hayward. My parents moved there shortly after they were married and my father started trying to make a living being a farmer. He tried numerous types of agri-business while we children were young, before he finally gave it up to become an excavator. The northwoods isn’t conducive to most kinds of farming.

One of the first attempts was the raising of sheep. I was too young to remember much of the actual work and this era probably didn’t last very long. What I do remember and what we sometimes talk about is our pet lamb.

There were times when an ewe (mother sheep for you city dwellers) would either die when giving birth or perhaps she would have twins and reject one of them, which would leave a lamb in need of rescue. The lambs were born in spring or early summer – and you know, lambs are really cute when they are little, really cute. I mean really cute. I won’t say that my brother and I were given this lamb, because we were too young to be responsible for it, but we were regularly allowed to feed it. We regarded it as ours. We named it Lambey Dammey. I know, but we were kids and it rhymed.

Our lamb, let’s just call him LD, was so cute (I did mention that they were cute, right?) and so much fun for us. When it was time to feed we would be given a bottle of warm milk with a special nipple and told to go find LD. We would call him loudly as we walked around the barn. I know people say sheep are dumb animals, but he would always come running. I think the promise of food makes anyone smart smarter. I was the oldest so I would hold the bottle, at least that’s what the pictures suggest. Much of my early memories are fed by the pictures I’ve seen over and over, and the stories I’ve heard. Here is a picture of me, my brother Ron and LD, the cutest lamb ever. Just sayin’…

PhotoScan (16)

9 thoughts on “A to Z Family Stories: L for Lamb

  1. What lovely memories to have… sheep aren’t stupid. They can recognise their whole herd (up to 50) by face alone, and can also remember human faces – for up to to years, possibly longer. Their brain patterns change when you pet them. They become depressed in impoverished circumstances. This all speaks of intelligence! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com (Amazing Animals)

  2. This brought back memories of my childhood and feeding sheep too. I think it must be very hard being a farmer because animals (at least the ones I’ve owned – dogs, cats and chickens) do seem to have their own personalities. I would find it very hard to separate pet from product. At at the very least, I think children need to be exposed to animals so they learn to appreciate all life forms and give them a decent life even if they are part of the food chain. I hate seeing animal cruelty whether it’s pets or farming. It turns my stomach.

  3. My grandfather had sheep and once and a while they would escape and meander down the busy country road. But they j=knew his voice and would come when he called out.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

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