发布者: yingy1ng | 发布时间: 2010-10-24 14:50| 查看数: 1406| 评论数: 0|

  It was lambing season. The neighbors' phone call brought my dad and me rushing to their barn to help with a difficult delivery. We found a lamb whose mother had died while giving birth. The orphan was weak,cold, still shrouded with the placenta, and walking impossibly on tall and wobbly legs. I bundled him up in my coat and put him in the pickup truck for the short ride back to our small family farm in rural Idaho.

  We drove through our barnyard, passing cows, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats, but Dad headed straight for the house. I didn't know it yet, but that lamb was destined to become more than an ordinary sheep, just as I was destined to be more than an ordinary seven-year-old boy——I was about to become a mommy!

  Cradling the lamb in my arms,I brought him into the kitchen. While Mom and I wiped the lamb down with dry towels,Dad stoked the furnace with coal so that the newborn would have warming heat to drive away the cold. As I petted his curly little head, the tiny creature tried sucking on my fingers. He was hungry! We slipped a nipple over a pop bottle full of warm milk and stuck it into his mouth. He latched on, and instantly his jaws pumped like a machine, sending the nourishing milk to his stomach.

  As soon as he started eating, his tail started wagging furiously. Then suddenly his eyes popped open for the first time, and he looked me right in the eye. He gave me that miraculous moment-of-birth look that every mother knows. The look that says, unmistakably," Hello Mommy! I'm yours, you're mine, ain't life fine!"

  A young boy with tousled blond hair and thick black glasses doesn't look much like a sheep. But this little lamb didn't care in the least. The important thing was that he had a mom——me!

  I named him Henry and, just like the nursery rhyme, everywhere that Marty went, the lamb was sure to go. The instant bond we shared that first day turned into the same deep kind of connection that develops between mother and child. We were always together. I'd feed, exercise and bathe Henry. I'd scold him sternly when he got out in the road. Imagine the amazement and delight of my classmates when I had a couple of dogs and a sheep run to meet me at the school bus! Every day after school, Henry and I played games together until we both fell asleep, side by side, in the tall cool grass of the pasture.

  As I grew up, Henry grew older. Never once, however, did he forget that I was his mom. Even as a full-grown ram, he nuzzled me fondly, rubbing his big woolly head against my leg whenever he saw me. Functioning as a four-legged lawn mower and wool-covered dog at the Becker farm, Henry had a happy, healthy, full life for the rest of his days.

  People sometimes ask me why I became a veterinarian. The answer is: Henry. At seven years old, my love for animals was still just a spark. But it ignited into a flame at that magical moment when I became a mother to a hungry little lamb.










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