What is Easter without a visit to feed the newborn lambs? Today Sam and I went with the family to the Museum of East Anglian Life. It had rained almost continually over the 4 days of Easter, and some of the smaller roads around our village were too flooded to drive on, causing us to have to turn back and try our luck along the A14 which thankfully was passable.
The museum consists of several buildings well away from the main reception area housing past glories such as old farming implements, Victorian carriages and household devices. There is also a shed containing old gypsy caravans and information as to the Victorian gypsy’s way of life. There are mock-ups of Victorian houses, shops, schoolrooms and churches, but to gain access to all of these entails walking over grass that was having trouble soaking up any more rainwater. Even further away from these outbuildings is the small farm at the back boundary, but oh… unfortunately we had left our wellies at the van.
It had started raining again by the time we arrived, and our grandsons were in their element stamping in muddy puddles. First up was feeding the lambs, so off we set squelching and slipping on the sodden (or should I say ‘sodding’ ground?). The mud was deep by the time we arrived at the farm, but I really wanted to feed a little lamb.
My daughter-in-law’s mother fancied a sit-down so she lent me her boots while she sat with her toes in my trainers on a nearby bench as her feet are 2 sizes bigger than mine, but hey, neither of us have verrucas. I could hear the pathetic bleating of many hungry lambs, which spurred me on towards the barn. My son and the boys were already sitting there on bales of hay with towels over their laps. It was then I realised that the lambs weren’t going to stand obediently in front of us while we shoved bottles of warm milk in their mouths. No, we actually had to pick the creatures up!
Oh. My coat and trousers were clean on that morning, but as I looked down I could see spatterings of mud had already found their way up the back of my legs, so gave up trying to stay pristine and grabbed the last towel and sat down. Lambs were brought in and placed unceremoniously on our laps. My one looked at me balefully and gave a loud bleat. I put my left arm around its body and put a bottle of milk in its mouth, but it wasn’t having it. I think it was trying to tell me it wasn’t hungry, as it twisted and turned its head away from the bottle. Most of the milk was finding its way down the front of my coat, and my left hand had started to itch (yes, I have allergies to certain animals, and now I could add lambs to the long list as well).
Wonderful. The lamb jumped off my lap and was caught by the farmer without having taken hardly a sip of milk. Meanwhile my son’s lamb was sitting meekly on his lap, and he was cuddling it like a baby. The lamb and my son both looked very content, and the lamb polished off two bottles of milk, as did my grandson’s lambs. So what was wrong with mine? Had he already had a secret skinful moments beforehand? I was covered in muck and bullets, and wanted to scratch my left hand raw. It was time to run over to a convenient sink and wash my hands!
It’s a good thing I’m not a farmer’s wife…