April 27, 2010
Visiting the baby sheep
April is a busy time at the monastery. In addition to praying seven times each day, the monks work the farm, and they've got a pretty large herd of sheep, who were giving birth like crazy when I was there. Benedictine monks take an oath of hospitality, though, and no matter how busy the farm work gets, they make time for guests.
I was helping out in the sheep barn, when a woman from town arrived with her daughter. The little girl ran over to the sheep pens, squealing with delight. "Look! They're so cute!" She peered into each pen to see the babies.
Brother Tractor stopped in the midst of what he was doing to patiently answer her questions. "Nope, the tags on the ears don't hurt. We put a tag on the left ear if it's a boy, the right ear if it's a girl."
Then he climbed into a pen and lifted up a newborn lamb for the little girl to pet. She'd been chattering away like crazy, but she went completely silent as he approached with the baby sheep, and then she reached out one finger, very gently, and rubbed the lamb's head.
Posted by jo(e)