I thought 'It's as if a mighty hand had reached for the sheep-shaker (imagine a giant salt-pot thingy) and sprinkled the hills, valleys and dingles with ewes and lambs.' Seasoned it, so to speak.
They are everywhere on the greening slopes of the Long Mountain; little specks of white, immobile at a distance, but coming alive to form bleating streams when the man with the fodder beet comes by. A bag of sheep nuts does the same trick. It's food and these are hungry days.
The ewes trot behind the tractor and its trail of food - shouting the odds, baaing and bawling, their lambs are close behind. These little scraps, confused as yet as to the ways of the flock, have only mastered a tentative nibble of grass to date. For them it's mother's warm milk - they bunt her flank encouragingly and little tails wag as they drink. (Gimme. Gimme.)
What a perfect day it has been to be a sheep on our mountain - and a perfect day to be a person too. There was a touch of warmth in the sun. Birds sang. Buds swelled. The sunset was tinged with pink - the portent of a good day tomorrow as well.
Were I not such a sceptic I would say 'deo gratis'. I think I will anyway.