Brambling Lamb

“Yesterday we celebrated serendipity. Today I had a little serendipity come to play. I went walkies with Lucy dog on this fine sunny spring morning and came upon some newly born lambs. What a wonderful start to the day! Having taken a few pictures, I wandered home to discover ‘Lamb’ as a prompt word too which was awesome! So I’ll tell you a story and share some pictures too!”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango — Staunch
Your Daily Word — Enthusiastic
Ragtag Daily Word — Lamb

Brambling Lamb

“I can’t believe it’s almost marathon season again,” said Lara, her voice breathy having been running with her boyfriend Freddie for twenty minutes. Both were staunch fitness lovers and enthusiastic about events like the London Marathon in a few weeks.

“The years fly by don’t they?” He replied. Swigging from his water bottle, he clicked it on his belt and fell into the rhythm of their pounding feet. “There is one positive though.”

“Oh, and what might that be?” Lara smiled at him. To anyone who saw them, they were the perfect couple down to their matching turquoise shell vests and shorts.

“Well, I get to follow and watch your beautiful self-running for twenty-six and a half miles without getting arrested for stalking. You’re mesmerising with your glowing skin, shiny, bouncy ponytail and happy, relaxed energy when you run.” Freddie told her with adoring eyes.

Lara blushed, giggling as she moved onto the verge to allow a tractor to rumble past. Back on the road, she said, “You mean you get to admired my bum to the finish line.”

“Seems all this running comes with more perks than I thought,” Freddie waggled his eyebrows as he leapt a pothole. Re-joining Lara, he reached over and gave her a playful spank.

“Hey, cheeky! If you weren’t so damned handsome; you’d be in trouble about now!”

The two ran on steadily putting the miles behind them as they enjoy the sunny spring day in rural Norfolk.

“Let’s make a right at the crossroads, then we can run along the river on our way back toward home for breakfast.” Freddie decided his words thrumming with the beat of his running feet.

“Good idea. It’s warmer than I thought today.” Lara knew her face was red with exertion. A look at Freddie showed him bathed in sweat too. She made to speak again but was beaten by a doleful bleating.

“That sounded like a very unhappy sheep,” Freddie slowed to a jog and began casting his eyes over the fields.

“Yes, wonder where she is?” Lara agreed as she bleated again.

“I don’t see any livestock in these fields. Most of them seem to have young crops growing in the furrows.”

Lara fixed Freddie with a beseeching look. If there was one thing Lara liked more than fitness it was animals. “I know you don’t like stopping when running. But we have to try to find it in case its hurt.”     

Freddie nodded, “I agree, there’s no sheep here. The farmer will never find this one.” Pausing to listen, he indicated the wooded border to the field. “Sounds like it’s in there somewhere.”

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Lara kissed his cheek and jogged over to the field gate. With the lightness of the gymnast, she mantled the bars and landed neatly in the field with a grin, “Your turn, monkey-boy.”  

“Monkey boy, huh?” Freddie winked an eye against the sun as he gripped the top of the gate. Flexing his strong biceps, he vaulted the gate in one go. “How’s that bunny-nose?” He said giving her nose a loving poke.

Lara applauded him, “Simply wonderful!”

The sheep bleated again; seeming much closer this time.

“Come on! We have to find the poor creature,” Lara leapt the tall furrows running along the field. The edge dropped into a murky ditch before rising the other side into the woods. Masses of gorse, holly, rhododendron and bracken created an undergrowth alive with birds and insects.

“Do you see it?” Freddie asked, disappearing into a rhododendron to check beyond it.

“No — Oh! Wait, there in the woods.” Lara pointed to the smallest amount of white wool visible beyond the first oak and sycamore trees.

“Good spot!” Freddie dropped into the ditch and held out his hand. “Come on, you jump across. It will save you getting stinky down here.”

“Aww, you’re so chivalrous.” Lara accepted his hand and made a neat jump across the ditch. Dropping to a knee, she returned the favour; helping him climb free of the swampy irrigation trench. “No wonder she’s unhappy. She’s completely stuck in that evil blackberry thicket.”

The sheep thrashed and cried out again. This time a smaller bleat reached the couples ears.

“Oh, no. She has a lamb too!” Lara said tearing up.

“Come on. Let’s rescue them.” Freddie took her hand and the couple moved into the woods taking care to let the sheep see them. She was already scared without being spooked further.

“Hey, Mrs Ewe. We’re here to help you and lamby, okay?” Lara told it softly.

“Look at the kicked-up mud. She was running from something before crashing into that evil bramble.”  

“A fox I’d bet.” Lara edged close to the ewe. Her baby was days old at most. It was trying to reach through the vines to suckle without much success. “Do you think we can get her free?”

The mother turned those strange golden keyhole eyes on Lara, gave a small bleat and nodded her head.

“It’s going to be okay, girl.” Freddie took a pocket knife from a pouch on his running belt. “I reckon we can. Give me a couple of minutes and we’ll find out.”

“Thank you, Freddie.” Lara gave him a grateful look as she placed a hand below the sheep’s nose allowing her to smell.

Freddie wasted no time beginning to cut away the bramble and fleece snaring the animal. Each vine was like a natural barbed wire with curving thorns along its entire length.

The ewe must have felt him pulling at her fleece. She began to writhe and struggle. Her lamb skipped away in fear.

Lara wrapped an arm around the lamb. “Hey, it’s okay. Mum’s going to be fine, look,” she breathed while holding baby close to his mother’s nose.

“Ow-err!” Freddie groaned while examining an oozing cut on his thumb. “This bloody bramble is tearing me to shreds! Should have called it an ‘arsehole bush’ I reckon.”

Lara had begun soothing the Ewe with calming strokes along her soft nose. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. You know, if they called at that; we’d be harvesting poop-berries in autumn.”  

“Ha, good point! Wouldn’t want those in my apple pie.” Freddie stood and walked around behind Lara – kissing her cheek as he passed. By then he had scratches on both his arms and hands. “I’m getting there. You’re working wonders keeping her calm,” he told with fond admiration at hoe she cuddled the lamb and stroked the ewe’s face.

“We ladies understand each other, Don’t we, lovely?” Lara beamed as the sheep answered with a strong bleat.

“Good, girl. We’ll soon have you free.” Freddie resumed his painful task. It took a further fifteen minutes of cutting and sawing before the ewe finally bounded free.

“Yay! You did it, Freddie!” Lara said looking joyful. Setting the lamb down she watched in delight as it gambolled beside its mother.

“At last, I think that bramble wanted to keep her prisoner.” He remarked as mother and baby moved off into the woods. “We should follow and see where they’re going.”

“I was thinking the same thing.” Lara took his hand and they set off into the oak woods.

The ewe kept her lamb moving at a steady pace. She revealed the woods weren’t at all large. The trees broke into a meadow which was home to several dozen ewes and their offspring. It had been hidden from the road but now it was clear this was home.

“See there. The electric fence has a break in it. That’s why the sheep got out in the first place.” Freddie moved along the fence until he found the battery and control box. With it switched off, he took the broken ends of the fabric fencing wires and swiftly knotted them together.

By then Lara had returned the stakes to the ground. She took the repaired electric fence from Freddie and reattached it. “Done. We can switch it back on and head home knowing everybody’s safe again.”

“We sure can.” Freddie obliged with this switch. Coming back he smiled as Lara wrapped him in a hug. “What’s this for?”

“I wanted to thank you for rescuing Mrs Ewe and her baby. You selflessly got all cut up to save her, my hero.” Lara gazed into his eyes and kissed him.

“Aww, she’s welcome.” Freddie kissed back. “Something tells me, my darling lady would have made me camp out here until she was free and safe anyway.”

Lara laughed. “No, but you’d have been running home for tools!”

“No doubt.” Freddie began leading the way from the woods. “Speaking of home — Let’s go. I’m longing to get you in the hot tub before breakfast!”

The End

Did you enjoy following Lara and Freddie on their adventure? Join them in Deadly Diversion to see what they get upto next.

Thanks for reading my friends. There’s more in the Poetry CornerShort Stories. and Short Stories 2 tabs.

Have a great day!

7 thoughts on “Brambling Lamb

Add yours

      1. The couple doesn’t impress me as ‘yellers’. Perhaps, sarcasm and passive aggressive gestures would be fun? They could also be funny if one of them wasn’t getting the hint. Just a thought. Have a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

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