They Know

They know of Spring’s approach.

The first drips of icicle water fell from the rooftops today. It was one of these immeasurable, sunny, prairie days that gives us real hope that Spring will indeed arrive once again; that while March can deal us some swift winter weather yet, we’re happy knowing we made it through the longest part of another Northern prairie winter.

The ewes felt it too.

For the first night in a long, cold winter they were still out on a hay covered hilltop when I came out in the evening. I thought to leave them where they were but still feel some necessity to have the sheep and livestock guardian dogs in the night area overnight.

I walked out to feed the dogs and while handing out raw meat to them, the ewes began to file toward home. Then led by an adventurous ewe, the back end of the group took a right turn and headed to another hilltop. I walked that way to steer them back. This time they took a left. I steered them straight again. They did not want to go home tonight.

Once in the night paddock the girls might travel to check the mineral tub or maybe to get a drink but then begin to settle for the night. Tonight though, a stream of animals began to race up and down, kicking their heels and leaping up, just like lambs do on a warm summer evening. Although this was possibly even funnier to see than lambs. Another group of animals milled up and down on a huge pile of snow.

In the main group it was like watching popcorn pop as a single ewe would leap in the air, and then another, and another, as though each were popped by the energy of the other. I felt a bit like popping myself, and walked back to the yard with an extra spring in my step and laughter still on my face.