At 9 pm last night I was standing in the kitchen with a glass of shiraz. Still in my heeled boots, grey skirt, and artfully draped scarf, I gazed out the window into the night feeling ever-so-slightly smug at the success of the historical presentation (on Richard III) I had delivered earlier in the evening.
There is something about living on a farm though that nips smugness in the bud very effectively.
At 9:12 last night, Andrew walked in the door after doing his nightly walk out to the barn to see that all was well, and in his arms he carried a lamb that had been injured.
By 9:15 last night, I had forgotten about the presentation and the glass of shiraz and was bedding down the lamb while Andrew gathered a syringe and painkiller. We spent the next half hour or so making the lamb comfortable while splinting what proved to be a broken foot.
This sort of thing is why all my clothes – even the good ones – are machine washable.
The dog was piqued. I had used her bed beside the fire for the lamb, and with a sniff of disgust she trotted into the living room with a look that clearly said “Fine, I’ll sleep on the couch then.”
But at the end of the night, as I finished my wine, and watched the lamb peacefully sleeping, it struck me that the public recognition I had got for my presentation was nothing compared to the private knowledge that we had made this tiny creature feel better. There was no guarantee – shock or infection might still kill him – but for the time being he was safe, and I was content.