Sheep are strange. Come to think of it, no stranger than people, I suppose. Some sheep, after carting the lamb around for all the months of gestation, will just dump it on the hillside and walk away. If the new-born lamb gets lucky, it will be found in time by the shepherd and a kindly passing sheep dog. The other option, is that it is found by an assortment of carrion eaters – crows and the like – and if it is still alive, and so not strictly carrion yet, the crows are not above helping it on its way.
If Fiona, our landlady, wore a hat, she would wear several. She lives, just up the road, in Scotland, where she shares her hearth with an assortment of animals including sheepdogs and their associated shepherd (sheep included). In springtime, she will don one of those frilly pink, Bo Peep caps and, to save her from the drudgery of day-time television, the shepherd will find her a succession of poor, lost and lonely lambs to care for.
This would seem to be a good place to introduce Humphrey who, in these days of industrialised agriculture, is a fitting testimonial, if ever there was one, to all the love and care that is just a routine part of traditional farming.