Today our smallest ram became a man. That is, he graduated from the soft protection of the harem to the Men’s Quarters. There comes a day, and this little fella might have been getting perilously close to it, when a manchild in the fold is a potential father of lambs. Sheep grow up fast, though at the moment I think Nils might object that he isn’t grown up yet, and who are these guys, and where is his mother?
We had only one ram lamb this year, which means he has no age mates to join him in his advance up the sheep social ladder. It makes it hard to work out lodging for him. He is so small right now, if I just chucked him into a ram pen, he’d find himself flung over the moon in seconds. The usual thing when introducing a new ram into a group is to pen them tightly together so they can work out their Napoleon stuff by shoving and mashing, but don’t have space to back off and make runs at each other. Then, once they’ve settled the matter of who is who, they can be allowed to spread out and relax. But Nils is only an April baby, and all the other boys are at least a year older. I feared that even in close quarters, he’d get creamed.
So I partitioned an end of pen space for him, to have a room of his own for a while. I tied Morgan, our stud ram, out in the grass below the construction site. He was in sheep heaven about that. We put Nils into his little camp to give him some time to worry about it all. His brother, the redoubtable Ninja Throwing Star, made an immediate lunge at the partition, set his head low, and stamped. Nils looked back in amazement. I brought Morgan in, and sat down off to the side to observe.
Talk about an anti-climax. When Morgan finally noticed there was someone new over there, he scarcely even raised his head to get the details. Apparently that little mite is too puny to rate even a casual inspection when there is serious burping to be done. I could have set Nils down right next to his father and he’d have been unharmed. Such is the confidence and wisdom of a mature male.