“The sheep’s [email protected] fell out again.”


“The sheep’s vagina fell out again.”
I stare at my 10-year old.
“Her vagina. It fell out,” she repeats.
I understand the words, I just can’t imagine a worse time for her to say them. My husband, who would normally handle a job like this, currently roams the Cincinnati Museum several hundred miles away, reading bible passages from the Dead Sea Scrolls, while I attempt to make breakfast for six small children in-between milking five goats and nursing a crying baby.
“Are you sure?” I reach for a pacifier.
“Yes ma’am,” she says. “It looks really bad.”
Cursing under my breath, I pass the baby to my 9 year old and follow my oldest to see for myself. We reach the pen and the sheep scatter, running in circles and hurling themselves at the furthest corners of the fence. As the ewe in question slams her head against the chain-link, I can see her lady-parts, red, angry, and three times bigger than they looked last night when my husband shoved them back where they belonged with the assistance of a few strategically wrapped pieces of bailing twine–a Do-It-Yourself job gone terribly wrong.
“What should we do?” My daughter shouts above the bleating.
“We’ll have to get her to the vet.”
The fence bulges against the blows of this deceptively adorable animal and I think of my young children, the only help I will have in wrangling this 150 pound fleece to the ground and, somehow, into the van. “I have no idea.”
I send my daughter into the house to gather her siblings and head to our livestock trailer (otherwise known as the family van) to make a spot for the ewe while gathering my courage.
My son, dressed in his sister’s shirt and mismatched shoes, comes out before the others. “The van has a flat tire.”
I whip around to face him. “What?”
“The tire. See?”
He points and I drag my eyes to the spot where the tire sags against the rim.
I have never changed a tire. I have never even <seen> anyone change a tire. Tire-changing falls firmly under the category “My Husband’s Job,” along with taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom toilet, and wrangling wild sheep.
I sink to my knees in front of the wheel.
“Have you ever watched Daddy do this?” I ask my 5 year old son.



Category:  Farming

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