|This is my friend Mouse. Or rather this was my friend Mouse from long ago when I lived at Rose and Zalman’s farm.
This story is all about unconditional love and unconditional love is love plus respect. When Tyrone and I lived at Rose and Zalman’s farm there were sheep. And the sheep were all part of the family. There were around six to eight sheep, the girls and one boy, Rambini.
Now the girls and Rambini lived on the farm all of their lives until they died of old age. Every year the girls would go into heat, Rambini would impregnate them and the babies would live until the fall and go away in the big truck and come back in small paper parcels as food. Although sometimes they kept a baby lamb and that lamb would then live on the farm all of her life and become one of the family.
Now just before the girls went into heat, Rambini could get a little rambunctios and when one of us was in the pen, either Rose Zalman or myself, with the sheep, feeding them some grain or granola, or giving them hay Rambini would watch to see if we had walked ourselves into a corner that we could not get out of and then he would come running at us and ram us into the boards. Thus Rambini. I’m going to say when he was younger he was gentler about it but as he got older he got a little more determined. Eventually he was separated into his own pen.
However one day I was down at the barn feeding the sheep in their pen. And I looked up and their was Rambini, he had a clear line to me and I was pretty much stuck where I was. As I was desperately looking around for an escape Mouse looked up. She saw my face looked straight at Rambini, saw that he was on a mission and no amount of convincing or cajoling was going to stop him and she stepped in-between me and Rambini and took the hit. Just like that, she stepped in and took the hit for me, there was no mistaking her intention and what she was doing. She figured she was bigger than me and it was gonna hurt me more so she took the hit for me. I was pretty amazed, it was a wonderful thing for her to do, actually if you think about it sheep or not, is was a pretty amazing thing to do for someone.
Mouse and I had spent a fair bit of time out in the field together. She was with her sheep and I was out there with them with my paints and canvases and paper painting them. Hanging out with them and learning from them.
Mouse was my favourite and kind of the lead. It’s almost like when you are sitting in a circle having a meeting or discussion. Everyone in the circle is an equal part but there is still someone who leads the circle. Mouse was a bit like that.
Mouse had spent a fair bit of time explaining to me/ or helping me to understand why sheep do what they do and how they live/what their belief systems are. Sheep are very smart. She was a good friend, part of my wooly family.
Thank you Mouse of so long ago. Because of Mouse I love You Sheep.