The Girl and the Lamb
Pretty little Kate with her long blond hair loved living on the farm with her brother. Their father was away fighting in the war and mother had sent them to live with her sister and husband, Kate’s aunt and uncle, in the countryside because it was safer than being in London where all the bombs dropped.
Katie loved it when her aunt wound her hair up for her at night so that in the morning Kate had springy ringlets and she also loved all the animals and helped with the chickens feeding them and collecting the eggs, as long as she was careful, which she was.
John was her cousin. He was older than Kate at thirteen. He helped his dad on the farm when he wasn’t at school and he enjoyed teasing Kate and her brother about being townies and pulling Kate’s ringlets so Kate ignored him if she could and when she was sad she told her troubles to the sheepdog, Bess.
Springtime was Kate’s favourite time, seeing the little lambs being born and watching them bounce around the field full of energy. Secretly Kate gave some of the lambs names but Bop was her special lamb. He was out in the field now but everyday Kate went to see him and seemed to love her fussing over him. John said that sheep were stupid but Kate knew different for Bop followed her around when he was small and still came to her when she called.
One day after coming back from school she went to find Bop as usual but he wasn’t there. In fact the field seemed rather empty of lambs. Kate went to the barn but there were no lambs there.
Kate ran to her aunt, “Where’s Bop? Where are lambs?”
“Oh! Kate, don’t fret. They’ve gone to market. You know they can’t stay forever. They’ll be others next year. Now wash your hands, there’s a good girl, dinner’s nearly ready.”
“There’ll never be another Bop.” Kate said sadly, already missing her special friend. “What happens at market, anyway?” she asked.
“Well, it’s like this........" Her aunt hesitated, began again, "er...well........someone else buys them.”
“So Bop will have a new home?”
“Something like that.”
Still thoughtful Kate went to the sink to wash her hands. Her aunt picked up a container of green looking sauce and placed it on the table and sighed.
“Where are those men?” her aunt said almost to herself. She opened the oven door and took out a large joint of meat. Kate’s aunt smiled at her, but it was a weird sort of smile and Kate was rather confused. She turned as John walked through the kitchen door.
“Oh! great, Mum”, he said sniffing the air and licking his lips, “Lamb for dinner.”