After much anticipation for what may or may not have been the deciding factor in my choosing spring semester over fall, the lambs are finally here. In the last week, the arrival of spring has come with such heavy handed forcefulness, I can’t help but marvel at the absurdity. When we got back from vacation, all but one of the sheep had already given birth. Me and my wonderful cabin-mate Bella eagerly signed up for the first 3 a.m. lamb watch. When my alarm went off that morning at 2:50 I somehow woke up with more energy than I remember having at any of the previous 6:40 wake ups. Being outside on campus at that hour was eerie but invigorating. As we walked to the barn, the sound of frogs from a nearby pond was deafening. Being inside the barn at that time is also a totally different experience from being there during the day. During the day, the barn and the farm animals have a cute, charmingly wholesome quality that I sometimes write of as kitschy, but in the middle of the night, the blue spotlight of the flashlights glare in the animal’s eyes and reveal their true animalistic almost terrifying magnificence. Bella and I located the blurry beast that was sheep number 17 and concluded that she was not in labor. We got back to our cabin within 15 minutes of waking up and curled back into bed for a delicious three more hours of sleep.
The next day, my other wonderful cabin mate Lindsey and I signed up for the 5:40 p.m. feeding of Winken, the blind lamb. Before we went, Megan the farmer pulled us aside to tell us that sheep number 17 had been showing early signs of labor earlier that day and we should be sure to check her when we fed Winken. Somewhat giddy with anticipation, we ran over to the farm 10 minutes early. Sure enough, there was number 17, pacing in circles. We fumbled with the walkie talkie, frantically trying to alert Margaret the farm manager, but apparently we’re not adept enough at using such advanced technology. Lindsey ran inside the farmhouse to try to find help and I watched as an obscure hoof like object began to emerge from the beast. Soon enough, the farmers rushed back from faculty meeting and a number of other students began appearing seemingly out of nowhere. Lindsey and I got the milk bottle and took Winken out of his enclosure. We took turns holding him and feeding him in our arms as we watched what was potentially the most raw and jarring affirmation of the life cycle I have ever witnessed firsthand.
-Soren Hope, New York, NY