From ram to wether in forty-three seconds

I’m a terrible person.  At least my husband thinks so (although he left the room so fast that I can’t be certain what he really said.)  Anyway, I’m certain of one thing.  That cute, adorable, perfectly beautiful ram that came to live with us a few months back is no longer one of my biggest fans.  Yesterday afternoon, while he was contentedly resting in a shady corner, thinking that his life was pretty great, our neighbor (and vet) came to visit, wielding what looked like a medieval torture device.  He walked calmly up to our little guy, cupped his you-know-what’s in his hand, and clamped down (hard!)  The ram took it like a champ.  Not a peep.

What had I done?  I knew that it was for the best.  Although our original intent was to breed him, the ewe that we have is a heritage breed.  She’s small – very small – and he is rather large.  Not only that, she was born late in the year.  Two things that work against her for becoming a mom this coming winter.  I was fearful that she if she did lamb this winter, it was going to be too hard on her.  That being said, keeping the two sheep separate from one another for six months or more was just not practical.  So, what’s a girl to do?  Yep.  You guessed it.  Castration.

The poor guy looked at me with his wide baby eyes.  He felt completely betrayed – that was evident.  But, what made it so much worse, was the fact that he just stood there, staring at me.  Not moving.  Just standing.  Looking me straight in the eye.  Chip (our neighbor) was packing up his truck.  This was routine for him.  But not for me and certainly not for our ten-week-old ram.  I was left there in the barn with him, his eyes accusing me.  I felt horrible.  My husband couldn’t believe that I could do such a thing.  He wouldn’t (or couldn’t) listen to the details or my pathetic rationalizations.

What has become of me?  Not so long ago, I was happy planting tomatoes.  Now, I’ve turned into a woman who keeps animals in her barn, encourages them to feel safe and happy, and then BAM, takes them out at the knees.

To make matters even worse, our ram didn’t seem upset today.  He accepted his fate and is moving forward.  As for me?  I had two chilling dreams last night and a pit in my stomach this morning.  His acceptance and feigned forgiveness did not help matters.  But, what’s done is done.  Live and learn.

I think I’ll keep to female livestock from now on.


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