Half the animals on this holding have names, proper names. They are the lucky ones. Jacob, and Mace, and Max, and now one of the sheep. And the Three Musketeers.
I had three sheep, Polly and Cotton and the lamb. The lamb was destined to the deep freeze. But then a tragedy happened. Cotton, who was over-stout, got on her back in the field and died. She was my favourite sheep and I was most upset. I was also in a dilemma. Because Polly is not young, and she might not have another ewe lamb, and if she did not before she died, I would be without a descendant of Eve, the late and great. ~So I have taken the decision that the lamb should stay, which meant finding a name. Since she is neurotic and constantly certain that she and her mother are Doomed, Doomed I Tell You, she has been named Cassandra, or Cassie, and in her name, she is assured of life, since I cannot eat those who are named.
The Three Musketeers are also benefiting from a tragedy. Their mother and their other nine siblings were abstracted (missing presumed eaten) by a person or persons unknown.
It has taken a good deal of care to get them independent and thriving. In the process they got a name. And a life.
And today I inspected the pitifully thin little ewe who has been seeking refuge in my outbuildings with real desperation. She is too thin – I suspect she missed out on worming for liver fluke. The shepherd has 2000 sheep. One is not at a premium. I will buy her wormer (and my own girls too). And I guess, if she does, I shall have to have a conversation with the shepherd about a change of ownership.