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About Pat Sublette



Lambing in the Raw

While lambing in the raw, wet wind
A ewe was down and sore
I tried to pull her bad stuck twin
My shirt was wet; what's more

My sleeve was caught around my wrist
I had no pocket knife
There was no choice but take it off
And try to save a life

Shirt off, I had to find a loop
To ease around the head
Of that poor lamb, jammed up inside
Or both would soon be dead

Spread out my shirt behind the ewe
Im smarter than a tick
Quickly, I realized for a loop
My bra-strap would work slick!

Off that came too, as I lay down
And gasped, the ground was cold!
I eased the loop around its head
Then twisted it for hold

Well cross my heart the ad was true
The strap was good and strong
But lift and separate lamb from ewe?
I thought that part was wrong

Inside the ewe I struggled
The lamb was getting cold
My arm was numb when that lamb come
Good Lord, Ive gotten old!

I reached back in to get the twin
A welcome little cuss
With spotted nose between two toes
She came with much less fuss.

Then scratched them each above their tails
As both nursed on a teat
Assuring lambs that mothered-up
And drank colostrum neat

The job was over none too soon
The ewe and lambs all snoozy
But how could I sneak to the house
Looking like a floozy?

2009, Pat Sublette
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Pat comments: This poem comes from being unprepared and having to solve a problem using what is available. The results are often absurd yet, effective

Gummer Ewe

That ewes an old one; shes toothless
Bad bag and yet pretty spry
At outrunning me she is ruthless
Shes waddling. Im ready to die

Cunning, she evades my maneuvers
Feints first to right then abreast
But, Im trailing her like a cougar
As we climb up the hill near the crest

She runs right away to a small nook
Up by an old wooden shed
Im holding a long handled sheep crook
Gasping air to clear out my head.

Now, I dont want to snag her big teat
So Ill go for her front foot; its close
Catching and twisting up slightly keeps
Her caught with no broken toes

Yet, how could the old girl run faster?
Perhaps because of my girth
Cause Im riding on my 4-wheeler
And she is the one giving birth.

2012, Pat Sublette
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Pat comments: Chasing a sheep on a 4-wheeler means holding the throttle with my right thumb while aiming for a back leg with the crook in my left hand. It can be pretty humiliating when the sheep wins. It's even more humbling when she's a tough old ewe in the process of giving birth. Seems like an annual occurrence.


About Pat Sublette:

I live in Oregon where we raise sheep and cattle. Like many mid-sized operations, I work in town and my husband is a full-time rancher.





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