Chickens, sheep and life

I had plans for today that haven’t happened. The jobs that needed doing didn’t call loudly enough; the cold house made curling up under my duvet too appealing; the news was too full of people behaving selfishly, thoughtlessly and stupidly. Instead of getting up and on and out I have drifted from bed to sofa, turning on machines that do some of my work for me but accomplishing little else.

I came across Goldberg’s depression test on line and was told that I had moderate to severe depression. I don’t think so. Sure I have been feeling down and jittery recently, but I know people who suffer from depression; my issues are not on a par with theirs. I will not be going to see my doctor as suggested.

I am fortunate in that I have had few health problems over the course of my life. I had reasonably straightforward pregnancies and births, receiving good care from the nurses and midwives who attended me. When I have felt the need to seek advise from a doctor I have been subjected to unpleasant and invasive tests. What was uncovered could be treated with procedures that sounded worse than the symptoms. In most situations I prefer to manage as I am.

I feel quite ambivalent about life. There is so much beauty and joy in the natural world; so much destruction and stupidity amongst man. I like to walk out into the countryside; away from the sound of traffic, the sight of buildings, the judgement of people. I want to breathe clean air and enjoy the sights and sounds of plants, insects and sunshine.

The soundtrack to my morning has been the constant mewling of one of the lambs in the field behind my home. The lambs are not so little now and my view of their field has been obstructed by the trees that have recently come into full leaf. I had to walk to the edge of my garden and peer through the canopy to see why the noise had not stopped. I was concerned that an animal was distressed and this is what I saw; one of the creatures had it’s head trapped in a gap in the fence. I suspect that it had spotted some tasty treat and become trapped trying to reach it. The lamb was pulling this way and that, calling to it’s mother but unable to free itself.

I phoned the estate office to report what I had seen and was assured that help would be sent. I will not be able to relax until I know that the poor creature has been freed. It’s cries are distressing, it’s suffering palpable. It needs help and I can do nothing but watch and wait for the grazier to arrive. It is frightened and does not understand what has happened.

Last night I put all my hens into the one coop for the first time. They have been running together in the garden for over a year now, but I did not want to crowd them over the winter when they spend longer in the shelter of their runs due to the weather. With longer days and better weather forecast I decided that the young and the not so young could be housed together. If all goes well then I will be able to use the second coop for some new additions to the flock. I have been watching and listening carefully to ensure that there is no bullying or undue stress from the change. Hens like routine and the familiar. With no cockerel in the flock I am their protector; I need to keep things calm and safe for them.

The morning sunshine has gone; it is raining now and the lamb is still mewling. I pace my house, distracted and concerned. I should go out, but what if my request has been forgotten and the lamb is left? I cannot assist and I cannot bring myself to leave. I feel helpless. I wait.

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