Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dance with a Ram

I finally have been able to get to a library again. It seems lately that I rarely am able to do so. I pray that all of you are doing well.

The Hampshire ram and I had another interesting experience 3 weeks ago. Alas, it will likely be the last time there is not a fence between us. With the daylight hours shorter I had decided to help Joe and let the sheep out to graze a couple of hours prior to his coming home from work. Surely I could manage them for that length of time! An hour after I let them out to graze, they naughty sheep went to the dirt road to graze along it's edges. Micah was napping and Abigail was playing inside so I went out with a large stick in hand to walk behind them to make sure they came back into the yard.

The large ram was 2 car lengths distance from me with the ewe and their yearling ram ahead of him. The larger ram turned around and saw me following slowly behind. What happened next was what I am referring to as our "dance". He ran at a full-out charge, hitting me in the left hip hard enough to knock me off of my feet, landing on my tailbone. I got up and he promptly did it again, knocking me onto my tailbone. By the time it was all over, he had me sitting in the road twice, sitting in a mulch pile once, and staggering numerous times from repeated hits that didn't knock me down. In the end, I took refuge on the back of Joe's little pickup truck where I was trapped for 20 minutes waiting for the ram to leave long enough for me to run into the house.

I came away with lots of swollen bruises, my left hand and hip were the worst, and very stiff & sore muscles. I felt as though I had been in a car accident. I suppose being hit so much & so hard by a 250+ pound ram would have you expect to have some discomfort. LOL

Needless to say, when Joe got home he was ready to make mutton of that ram. We still have him but they are now fed grain and no longer graze openly as before. We believe that the ram was simply asserting dominance - challenging my authority. Unfortunately, he learned that he is stronger and hits harder than I. My interactions with the sheep are now limited to gazing at them through the fence or tossing feed over the fence into their feed bins.

I thank the Lord that the little ones were not outdoors with me. One hit from that ram would have killed or severely injured the children. It is by the Lord's blessing that I was not more severely injured. I am still recovering. One lesson that I have learned from this - when you get older (I am 45) and get injured, you don't bounce back as easily as you do when you are younger... you just bounce! :)

I pray that you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. May it be a time to reflect on the glorious gift of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. It doesn't matter if you believe that He was born on Christmas Day or not. Christmas is a time when you can focus on this blessed gift from our most precious Father in Heaven.


Linda said...

WOW!!! Paula! First a big {{{HUG}}} to you! I've missed your posts, but I am so very glad you are ok! I am so grateful my goat buck is small and he knows I am boss...

Hope you recover soon and can get back to the library. I so miss your posts!

elle-maree said...

I'm so happy that you weren't more seriously injured. I probably wouldn't have been able to get up after the first hit. May God bless you and your family during this holiday season and may you and you family be safe.

Humble wife said...

Oh no that sounds painful! I have been rammed once myself, until my husband taught my daughter and I what to do. If you cannot grab his horns, always have a cane or staff with you and put it in front of him when he rams. He is looking for a spar.

Fortunally our sheep are Navajo Churros and have large horns that curl for us to grab. He is a handful, but I have learned where his horns go so does he!


debbieo said...

Oh dear, you poor thing. I was imagining it as I was reading. I wish you could have hit him with a bat so he would know you are boss. I am a big woman and am usually able to hold my own against the critters. I feel for you and I too am thankful the little ones were in the house. I too am getting older, turned 52 the other day.
Have a wonderful holiday and may God heal you and keep you safe.

Tiffany@NOH said...

Thank goodness he didn't do more damage! Animals certainly do have a mind of their own sometimes.
Glad you're mostly ok, aside from being banged up. After being knocked down by our 100# Newfoundland dog a few times, I am familiar with how painful that can be. She only knocks me down once a year or so...I can't imagine going through that so many more times. Thank God he didn't charge when you were on the ground!!

All the best for Christmas and 2010!!

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead said...

Hi! I just stumbled across your blog, and as a newbie to homesteading I'm excited to see what I can learn from your posts! Just wanted to say "hello"! Hope you have a Merry Christmas!