Befriending Bob

In the words of Gob Bluth, I’ve made a huge mistake.

I have domesticated Bob, the gender- and species-confused lamb. I don’t really know how it happened. We’d gotten in the habit of giving her a bit of chicken feed every afternoon. She was just so pathetic hanging out around the broiler houses all by herself. That small scoop of grain was the only bright spot in her day.

Even though we did this every day, she was still incredibly skittish. She’d run if you go to close or made any sudden movements. So I started making her come to me for her grain. At first she refused. Then she’d come in for one or two nibbles before high-tailing out of there. After a while she would come eat her fill as long as I didn’t try to pet her. Eventually she allowed me to pet her. Now she comes hobbling over to me whenever I go up to the broiler houses. She doesn’t even want food, just a head scratch. She’d stand there all afternoon if I’d keep scratching her ears. It’s kind of adorable.

Yesterday she actually sprinted – SPRINTED – after me. This from a lamb who just a few months ago could barely walk, much less run. One of the broiler chicks had escaped and made his way from the 2nd house up to the 3rd house. Bob was also hanging out at the 3rd house. I set about catching the little guy and Bob followed me around as I chased him. Once I had him I started walking back to the 2nd house to reunite him with his friend. Bob started crying as I walked away. All of a sudden I saw this white blur whiz by me. It was Bob, sprinting to catch up. After I’d fed all the chickens I went back to give her some grain. She ate it as long as I was petting her, but when I started to walk away, she abandoned her snack to follow me.

I must remember that Bob is not a pet. Her ultimate purpose is to nourish. I don’t know when that will be, but she will be the first animal with whom I really have a difficult time parting. I’m not sure if I want to know when it’s happening so I can go with Steve when he takes the animals to the slaughterhouse or if I’d rather just come in one day and her be gone.

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