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Lambs, Miles, and Mild Mayhem, part III

Published: 12/17/2014
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Editor’s Note:
This holiday story was sent to us from Nicki Claus, a NickerNews reader from northern Nevada.
Readers may ask, “What’s it got to do with the holiday?”
Compassion, critters, creativity, and a sprinkle of craziness. Sound like the holidays to you?

We hope you've enjoyed this multi-part series. It concludes with luck, zeal, and a landing in Maine.

Read Part I

Read Part II

Part III, Holiday Story

By Nicki Claus

In the motel room, my daughter helps by turning on Wheel of Fortune very loudly to cover up the baaaaahing. They spend the night in the bathtub.

Weather is conspiring against the camping plan. Night Three, after driving through Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago and Cleveland (with pit stops at the loneliest rest stops and side roads I can find) is spent in another Smuggler’s Inn (so to speak).
I’m thankful for the cover of darkness and for fellow travelers’ weariness (or is it disinterest?) late at night and before dawn.

It’s Day Four.
Rest stops get more and more sketchy as the lambs get their strength and start to embrace their real zeal for life. I pick more obscure places to stop and let everyone graze and chill (relatively speaking). The lambs are livelier while I drive, too, and I try pacifying them by stuffing the cup holders with grass and weeds, hoping they will just snack and nap.

I notice lambs don’t blink. The bigger one likes to stare at me from her shotgun space, distracting me from the road. A few times, they leap into the back in single bounds, causing unrest with the dogs and necessitating emergency highway stops.
It’s getting a tad untenable.

Night Four, after 2,600 miles through 13 states, we finally land at my friend's house. This is the friend I barely knew five days ago, who coached me through their care and who agreed that saving them was the main thing - livestock laws and interstate transport regulations notwithstanding. She agrees to take them in.

A week later, she calls to tell me how crazy-fun they are – full of energy, hopping and bucking. They cry for more milk and more attention whenever she leaves.
They are alive and I hope will suffer no more. I really don’t like suffering and that was kind of the point to all the shenanigans that followed.

“Do you think they fell off a truck?” asks a friend. “Or maybe they were pushed,” he says with a smirk.

All I know is they landed with their quarter-sized hooves on the ground and headed for better pastures.
And I learned something else:

Sometimes, rules (one’s own preconceived notions of cross-country travel as well as certain agricultural and motor vehicle laws) must be broken for the greater good. The greater good is how these tiny, starving lambs of mysterious origin staved off certain death, tumbled into the arms of a silly, old woman, and landed at a humble, bucolic farm in Maine.

Read Part I

Read Part II

View Reader Comments:

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12/17/2014 Nina
Awesome Story!!! Happy Holidays and Peace for all! Shepherding is a very holy profession and I think you have earned your wings!
12/27/2014 Martha
That's a great story! Good for you, and good for the lambs! In the early 70's I hitchhiked home to Connecticut from Seattle, in December, across route 90, with another girl and a young cat tucked inside my coat - similar smuggling required! (Drivers of very expensive Kenworths and Peterbilts do not fancy their cabs being mistaken for a litterbox!) Happy New Year!

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