2002-05-12 @ 9:57 a.m.
And in the morning, he lay still.
The stars shining in the navy blue sky. Clouds blanketing the horizon. And me racing over the cement towards the barn trying to decide what to do.
#2191 came back from brain surgery last week. He was small then, and day by day he's been growing smaller and becoming more hunch-backed. I can nearly see the bacteria growing on the side of his brain that's causing his head to nod and bob, neurotic disease. He can't fight with his brother for milk. Or for his space at the feeder.
I had to choose. Do I call the vet? With both full timers on vacation and the substitute who doesn't have a phone... I ended up calling the ex-employee who's name was still on the contact sheet.. you know how often those get updated. But she helped me decide. Leave him. I pulled him out to give him some chopped hay and grain. He peed on me, whether out of fear or utter lack of bodily control I don't know. But at least that told me he was hydrated. Still, I closed the door of the barn behind me knowing he'll probably not be alive in the morning. It's just one of those things you sense. If the vet were to come he'd just stick the lamb with some drug and charge us a huge night-call fee.
I ran home across the absolutely black night, arms outstretched to feel the wind around my arms. My footsteps echoed off the buildings and down in the field the coyotes yelped and howled.