“Martha, I’ll be out in the lambing barn. Lily is about to give birth.”
“Oh, Papa, can I go too? I never seen them sheep give birth. I just see ’em when they’re already here.” Amos tugged on his Papa’s big arms as he begged and begged.
“Well, now, let me see,” said Ariah, as he gave a wink to Martha, “how old is this boy of ours?”
“I’m eight, Papa, eight years old!” Amos stretched his back to make himself as tall as possible.
“Eight, you say?”
Amos bobbled his head up and down.
“Well, I guess it’s about time for you to witness the miracle of birth.” Young Amos clapped his hands and bounced all around. “But you must sit still and not make the sheep nervous.”
“Oh, I will. I’ll be so quiet.”
Martha smiled and reached for Amos’ woolly, sheep skin coat.”Put your coat on, Amos. It’s cold out there in the barn.”
Amos followed Papa out to the barn, taking at least two steps for each stride of Papa’s long legs. Ariah slowed his pace at they drew near the sheep pen.
Four other baa-ing mammas were sauntering around Lily, their tummies bulging but not quite ready to deliver. Ariah motioned to a little stool for Amos to sit, while he sat on another larger stool close to Mama Lilly, positioning himself so that Amos would have a full view of the “miracle.”
After a short time, Lily pointed her nose in the air and emitted strange bleating sounds. She paced around in a circle as her bleating grew louder. Finally, she collapsed on the straw.
“Hm, she’s struggling; I may need to help her a bit.” Ariah reached down and eased a hand into the birth canal, clutching the lamb and gently pulling. Lily’s body contracted in and out, attempting to birth this new life. Little by little, Ariah pulled in time with the contractions.
At last the soppy little lamb was born. Amos’ eyes grew big as donkey hoofs. He held his breath as the new lamb lay motionless on the straw. Is he alive? he wondered.
Finally the lamb wiggled around and made a feeble attempt to stand, but fell back on the straw. Lily looked around at her little prize and nudged him with her nose. The new lamb responded and they rubbed noses with each other. Amos sighed a hushed, “ah,” mesmerized by the natural way they connected. The ewe began licking her lamb.
“Why’s she doing that?” Amos whispered.
“That’s Lily’s way of cleaning up her lamb.”
“Cleaning up fer sure,” Amos chuckled. Lily licked the newborn’s nose, and legs, and whole body. Then she urged the little one to suck.
Ariah slipped over to Amos and squatted down beside him as they watched mother and child. “I’m always amazed at the new life God brings us—the miracle of birth. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
What will happen next to Amos? Tune in next week for Part 2.
~ Joyce ~