Spring into Golden Cities

Spring into Golden Cities

Postby catch » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:07 am

Wool, mutton, lambsmeat, sheep's milk, sheep's cheese. Genaev did not need to put a crop in the ground. His livelihood was something far more precarious, near-defensless bags of wool and meat with bits of fluff between their ears. He'd had a hard winter, same as anyone, though trading - everyone needed fresh meat - had ensured that his belly was far more comfortable than others'. He had his flock housed in his giant barn, not trusting them to wander the hills and valleys, his eye and his dogs on them, the hay, his mind a constant whirl around his precious livelihood. He had even taken to sleeping in the barn, after one hard night where he started at every noise. Vagabonds, desperate folk from town, animals both wild and domestic, he feared them all.

And though the Myrken farmer still had piles of snow and an iron ground to face, Genaev's fortunes would turn about much sooner. Sheep didn't care what the weather was like - in fact, the worse, the better - they would drop their lambs. Lambs meant fresh meat. Lambs meant the possibility of a few jars of pickles, if anyone had any left, or beets, or maybe to dangle in front of that madman for a bushel of fresh green beans and peas. He rubbed his hands together at the sight of his young-fat sheep, dociley chewing on their hay.

A week later, he was not unpleased. But he didn't understand it. He stood in a much-crowded barn, and he scratched his head, and counted again - in his small, carefully-kept notebook, he marked them down. Not one ewe aborted. Not one ewe was stuck, panting and pushing fruitlessly. Sheep had an easy time of birthing, but there was always two, perhaps five or ten, who had difficulties -

There were a few who had not dropped lambs yet. But those that had were placidly licking two, three wooly heads each, had two or three small, still-wobbly bodies at the udder.

Each and every one of his ewes dropped twins, or triplets. And not one were sickly, or died.
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