A crofter has made a 540-mile round trip to be reunited with a “special” pet lamb she regretted selling.
BBC News reports that Melanie MacLean, from Benbecula in the Western Isles, got attached to Norman after giving him round-the-clock care in his early days.
She sold him at a sale last month, but then started to regret her decision. She tracked him down to a farm in Aberdeenshire with a 700-strong flock – and within seconds of her arrival, Norman had run straight to her. The farm’s owner was “gobsmacked” that she found Norman so quickly.
Melanie and her husband Allan have a small croft at Aird in Benbecula with 20 ewes, a handful of cows and chickens.
‘He was just special’
Tame or “pet” lambs like Norman have usually either been orphaned, rejected by their mothers, or been bottle-fed because they need extra help feeding.
Norman was one of a set of triplets. Melanie said: “He had a very poor start as a weak lamb, so I was with him round the clock for the first 48 hours. “Once recovered he proved to be such a happy little lamb who enjoyed affection at every opportunity which I gave to him in abundance, much against my better judgement as I knew in my head we don’t keep the boys.
“I can’t put my finger on it but he was just special to me. I couldn’t help myself and indulged him.”
Melanie said she had reluctantly sold several bottle-fed orphaned lambs in the past, but struggled to let go of Norman.
She spent a couple of weeks worrying about her decision to sell him, then decided to track him down. She traced Norman to a Suffolk sheep farm near Strichen, an 872 km round-trip from her home.
‘Like a bullet’
Melanie had expected that she would have to spend “a few hours” looking for Norman among the hundreds of lambs in the 75-acre field.
But within 30 seconds she had spotted a Suffolk lamb with the same button ear tags that she uses.
Melanie put on her “pink croft hat”, which she regularly wears while out on her croft, and stepped out of the farmer’s pick-up truck. “I was about to shout out, but this wee lamb saw me and came running like a bullet. It was Norman.”
Norman will now spend the rest of his days on the croft keeping his father, the croft’s ram, company.
(Story source: BBC News)