Friday, March 04, 2005

Another backdated entry; our cable connection has been acting up causing posts to vanish into whatever quasi-metaphysical space there is that houses thoughts attached to electrons gone astray.

I am writing this after rummaging through dresser drawers in search of old glasses. I keep a spare at the office, but here at home I find only one relic from the early nineties, tortoise rimmed and goggle-sized. I wore them about two prescriptions and several turns of fashion ago. What, you may ask, happened to my gold-rimmed bifocals, appropriately styled for the new millennium? Sheep happened. Our barn, like Caesar's Gaul, is divided into three parts. One is our working area together with the four lambing pens. The second part opens into the paddock where the ewes with lambs stay. The third opens to the barnyard and larger pasture where the ewes still expecting come in for the evening feeding. This evening feeding was later than usual as Susan and I had met for dinner at the South Street Grill in town. (Nice place, classic diner food, cheap by big city standards.) So there I was after dark down in the barn. I had put out the feed for the ewes with lambs and let them in. They were in a bit of a rush, as they did not appreciate the delay in dinner. I was putting out grain on the other side of the barn when I noticed a lamb had gotten caught in the press and was upside down under a feed trough. I knelt down and reached through the gate panel dividing the barn, head pressed against the metal tubing as I stretched towards the lamb. Behind me was the gate to the barnyard, the gate chain stretched to the maximum as hungry ewes pressed against it. One ewe was convinced that, if only she could get my attention, food would be forthcoming. She put her head between the bars of the gate and lunged. In a classic illustration of the continuing effectiveness of Newtonian physics on a macro level, her head struck my head which in turn struck the gate in front of me. The vision in my right eye blurred. Disoriented, I started feeling for the incipient lump that signaled an oncoming concussion, and found instead that there was no longer a lens in the right eye of my glasses. Picture a man on his hands and knees in a darkened, dirt floor barn, right eye closed, peering through a left bifocal, trying to find a small oval of glass while sheep hooves are stamping around him. Not much luck there. I did get the lamb upright and out of the crush before walking back to house, squinting like Popeye as I picked my way up the dark hillside.