On the farm, too, life and death is equally intertwined. The ewes are looking pregnant now. I took Ram-Beaux to slaughter last week. He didn't like the halter, but he walked up the path to the car without struggle. He sat in his spot with straw bedding and ate his treat. At the facility, he walked into his pen and sat. I scratched under his chin and prayed for him. He looked at me for the last time, and I walked out. At that point he had about 15 minutes of living left.
My friends tell me he had hundreds of happy days, and one bad morning. True. And his death was probably quicker than mine, and painless. But that doesn't make it easier.
I wonder if I will ever get over the grief about his death. I don't feel guilty, but so, so sad. Even as I know that he had to go. He was turning into a Rambo ram and beginning to hurt everyone. And he was my little one, born into my hand, carried in my arms. The relationship between hunter and hunted, farmer and animal, is beyond complex.
Coffee is finally going to his new farm this weekend. He grew into a handsome young man, and his fleece has the most gorgeous, bright brown coloring. I will miss him, but lambing season is only 8-10 weeks away, and rams around ewes in late gestation does not make a good combination.
Spring comes, a new season, and everything is adjusting, preparing, coming into being, letting go. I will remember Ram-Beaux frolicking on the pasture when the grass becomes green again. Lots more to say,but no words for it.