It is has not been a year of abundant blogging, and certainly not recently. Easter at Douai is a busy time if one is simultaneously sacristan, cantor and shepherd: lots of liturgical services to set up for, sometimes single-handedly; lots to sing at those same services, and to practise for naturally; and it is lambing season.
The last lamb popped out during vespers on Friday, the reluctant mother Hildegard finally conceding to Mother Nature. She gave birth to this year’s only single lamb, Ambrose (Samson, though now a single, had a sister at birth who sadly only lasted a day). Our much reduced flock of six ewes has had ten lambs, which is a more easily manageable number. Of those ten, eight are rams and only two ewes. Their father, Spitfire, has not interrupted the ewes’ tendency to produce rams. Is this a subtle accommodation to the cloister in the domain of which they live?
Since the lambs tend to be popular, please allow me to introduce them to you, in birth order.
First up is Samson, whose sister Delilah seemed not to feed well and quickly died. This is from a couple of weeks ago, when he was under his mother as she slurped some moist mineral lick, and had copped a drip for his poor timing.
Born the same day were Romulus (l) and Remus, who together with Samson make up the troublemaking element of the flock. Here, pictured on Easter Sunday, they look the picture of innocence.
At the beginning of Holy Week, in quick succession, four lambs were born, confusing both shepherds and mothers for a time, as to which lamb was which ewe’s. Nature worked it out in the end. So Thelma found herself with two ram lambs, James (l) and Thomas…
While one of the three veteran, unnamed, mothers found herself with a mixed pair, Jeremy (seated) and Rachel (seen here shortly after birth, with James and Thomas in the background, adding to the confusion).
On Easter Sunday another mixed pair was born, John and Magdalen, born to the nearly all-white Bianca.
And on Friday, finally, Hildegard bore Ambrose.
The crew have shown themselves tending either to sleeping or playing to the camera.
Don’t forget to pray for persecuted Christians.