Weaning. Doesn't it sound like the most peaceful of things? All part of growing up for man and beast. Memories stir of sweet mush; love, licks and cuddles proffered.........
Tell that to the sheep which until yesterday grazed peacefully on the rag-end of pasture hereabouts.
Suddenly, a whoop, a whistle and a dog had ewes to the left and lambs to the right. The lane which held the divided flock apart was loud with the anguished bleats and bawls that marked their separation. Ewes, shorn and run-ragged stood stamping on the little hill beyond while their great bewildered woolly lambs clustered in a gate a field away. The noise. The terrible heart rending sound of yearning. That's it. Apart. Forever.
They'll gradually drift away up the fields, ewes and lambs - milk will be but a memory. A few days grace and those stocky, and now independent, lambs will be on the way to our tables.
It doesn't do to dwell on on all this too much. I am a mother and it will break my heart if I let it.
'It's got to be done' says Heather. 'It's got to be done.'
And yes, I think I agree.