One Saturday, after I arrived home from teaching little children who really ought to be practicing more than they currently do, I was told that an ewe had lambed and that my mother was concerned that the sheep’s dwelling would be too cold for a newborn. The lamb came home, I incorrectly identified the female lamb as a male lamb, and the lamb was named Lambert after Lambert the Sheepish Lion.
Lambert began as a naked sheep— and not a very fluffy one, at that. She had unattractive greyish-pink body and very short fluff. As the days went on, her wool grew out and she became a much nicer-looking sheep with white wool (except where she burnt some of her wool on a radiator later on. That turned orange.). She also became large enough to jump out of her blue bin, so she was now permitted to run around as she wished and explore things with her mouth. The things she wanted to explore were her baby bottle, my clothes, and anything else she could reach.
We got along splendidly. We ate the same things: I liked crackers and fruit, and she liked crackers and fruit and fruit peels. We slept in the same bed: I liked sleeping under the covers, and she liked sleeping over them. We both enjoyed computers: I used computers the proper educated way and she happily chewed on the wires, which was a deplorable habit that I never quite managed to cure her of.
Anyway, one day, I looked out into the hallway and saw Lambert trotting back to me. Somehow, she looked different. It was quite obvious why: She was wearing a shirt. My mother had put clothing on Lambert!
While Lambert happily nuzzled my hand and tried to lick me, I called, “Mother! Why is there clothes on Lambert?!”
“Lambert looks very good, and he is happy.” (Recall that I mistook Lambert’s gender.) “Did you know that Lambert went straight to the shirt you used to wear? I put it on him.”
“But Lambert is a sheep!”
“People dress up their puppies all the time now.”
“Did the puppies enjoy being dressed up?” I wondered. Lambert seemed happy enough.
I got used to Lambert wearing clothes, from shirts only to collared shirts and trousers, which made her look remarkably like a little boy from behind. I began dressing her, too.
One day, when my father and I trimmed Lambert’s tail of some fluff, I realized that Lambert was not a boy but a girl. It was mildly embarrassing.
However, this seemed like a very fortunate turn of events as I had been very sad about Lambert’s impending fate as dinner. An ewe was much less likely to be eaten! I tossed out the “Farewell, Lambert” songs I had been composing and enjoyed another few weeks with my female lamb. All the while, she wore clothes as a well-behaved sheep of breeding ought to.
I am used to seeing Lambert with clothes and tut tut at the naked uneducated sheep in the fields. Sadly, Lambert, too, joined the ranks of the naked and uneducated after moving away to live with a flock of nudist chickens, ducks, and one goose.
Fortunately, she eventually rejoined other sheep.
I think that she still likes clothes.