Sarah barged past me at the gate into the house yard, like she always did.  She was a big sheep and often grumpy. We thought she had been grumpy ever since we weaned her into the back yard from the house. She never wanted to leave the house. She adored Tamsin and it was to Tamsin she turned to to get special treatment during the shearing. After this undignified affair, she would walk home with Tam at her side. She didn’t associate with other sheep.

Sarah had arrived in a box as a new born, because her mum had died and the farmer didn’t want to raise a poddy. She was our first sheep baby. We raised her with goat kids Winston and Samson and they were happy years for Sarah. She loved listening to Andrew play classical music on the piano. She loved the dogs and she loved sliding down the dogs beds when we put them up like a slippery dip. There was nothing Sarah couldn’t do, that any of the dogs or goats could.

She never identified as a sheep. Her days were spent grazing with the goats, hanging out in the old chook shed with them during the day, and grazing their way home in the evenings.

But she never forgave us for transitioning her out of the cottage, and would spend much time barging her way in for treats,

The house feels empty without Sarah.

We were grateful there was no prolonged illness. She was a healthy, strong girl all her very long life (about 17 years) , save one little bladder infection, easily resolved.

So we didn’t see her passing coming at all.

Sarah barged past me at the gate into the house yard, like she always did. I laughed, greeting her with a smile. After half an hour later, I walked out the door to do the next load of washing. Sarah was standing across from the house. She didn’t look right. I raced over to her, called for Tamsin and rummaged for some remedies. Had she been bitten by something?

Tam called me. “It looks like a stroke, she’s not walking right.”

How could this be? She was fine, just a few minutes ago.  She had moved to under the Hawthorn tree i the yard.  Ironically, a tree known for its tremendous heart healing qualites.

I raced out to her, to check her vitals and gum colour.

She went down in my arms. At that moment I spied Andrew with the farrier and we called to him to come.

Sarah left seconds after Andrew reached us all. Gone with her human family around her, the ones who loved her.

So quick.

I still can’t get used to her being gone.

But once I recovered from the shock and spoke to her spirit, Sarah told me that our newest poddy Primrose would take her place in the house. I smiled. Primmy already barged into the house, just like Sarah, looking for treats, She would be a wonderful successor to the habit.

But there will never be another Sarah, our wise and lovely sheep.

She leaves a huge, huge hole. Life will never be the same without her huge presence.

RIP beloved. Miss you.


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