7. Bobo the Lamb
In the latter part of February of 1948 before the chilly winds out of the north gave way to the warming breezes from the south, the first lambs began to appear. At lambing time the ewes begin to separate from the flock to give birth to the little fuzzy lamb, often lambs, sometimes as many as three, that have been growing inside her womb for the last five months. After a time, usually no more than a day, they bring their little ones in to join the clan. The new arrivals are quickly acquainted with the others and are off to test their new legs. They discover that they can use them to run and jump, and can take them a long way in a short time. In their frolicking they sometimes stray too far from their mother who is busy browsing the early green shoots of winter grass. When they stray too far she calls in her unique voice and they come running back to her with tails wagging and a sudden hunger for a quick drink of nice warm ewe-milk.
My sister Cynthia, a precocious almost two year old, loved the lambs. One day dad noticed a ewe with triplets. The runt was a little black lamb and his mother kept kicking him off so he couldn’t suck. The ewe instinctively knew that she couldn’t feed them all, so one had to be sacrificed. Dad brought him up to the house and kept him in the yard. Mimi made up the bottle and Cynthy took it out to him. This worked out well because it gave Cynthy an occupation and she was diligent in seeing that Bobo was well fed.
In time Bobo began to run with the rest of the sheep but every day at first light he came to the back door calling for his mama to bring him a drink. Cynthy woke up when she heard him and called for Mimi to get his milk for her to take to him. She loved him and would feed him before her own breakfast.
One night in early March a thunderstorm came ripping up the valley with lightening and thunder amplified by the canyon walls echoing until the next crack causing an almost constant roar. I wouldn’t come along until December of that year, so I can only surmise that Cynthy spent the night in bed with mom and dad. I am pretty sure of this because after I got there and grew up enough to remember things I remember her always being afraid of thunder, even as a big girl.
The storm passed and a gentle rain followed for a few hours and in the morning the air was still and the morning fresh and clear. Cynthy woke up and did not hear Bobo calling for his breakfast. She went to the back screen door latched out of her reach and began to call for Bobo. Mimi went to the kitchen to get his milk and said to dad that the electricity was off. He went to the back door where Cynthy was trying to reach the latch to go out and look for Bobo.
He put on his big rubber boots and went out to investigate the power outage and look for Bobo. There were little puddles of water in the uneven ground around the house. At the southwest corner of the house, by a large puddle that extended around to the west side little Bobo lay still at its edge. As he approached he saw where a tree limb had broken off and been blown against the power line knocking it loose from the house. The detached end was lying in the puddle. Bobo had come to the puddle to investigate or get a drink and had been electrocuted.
It’s hard to say if little Bobo saved my dad's life or little Cynthy’s. Either of them could have ventured into the puddle before they saw the power line, but Bobo’s body warned my dad that something was wrong. The little sacrificial lamb first sent away by his mother so his siblings would survive and then sacrificed again so that I would know my sister and my dad. Later I would come to know the “Lamb of God,” Jesus Christ, and through His sacrifice I would come to know His Father.
Photo: Cynthia with her litter of kittens. Spring 1948