This photo was in The Waikato Times this morning.
Spring is a time for thinking of lambs.
It is often said there are more sheep in New Zealand than people,
and it is a joyful sight to see frolicking lambs in the springtime.
There are always a few orphan lambs on a sheep farm
and the farmers work hard at having as few as possible.
Every year while teaching I would borrow an orphan lamb from Hugh,
a friend and neighbour with a sheep farm,
and take it to school for the town children to experience.
It was always a great hit.
My Aunt tells of a city boy in her class years ago,
who while patting a lamb exclaimed
"It feels just like wool!"
This spring though, we feel sad when we think of lambs.
The big storms down south and the big dumps of unseasonal snow
has caused the death of thousands of newborn lambs.
Our springtime joy is dampened with sadness.
This is a favourite photo of mine, taken by Mum on the trusty Brownie Box camera.
I would be almost four.
I was born at the end of World War 2.
I have, tucked under my arm, a toy lamb made of real sheepskin.
It was a gift from my Godfather, my Uncle Ivan.
My mother's youngest brother Ivan was overseas in Italy, fighting for King and Country
when my mother was pregnant. She decided she would name her coming baby Ivan.
However the baby was not a boy so Mum invented my second name... Ivette, with a long vowel i.
I hated the name for some reason. Probably because everyone remarked how unusual it was. Children hate to be different.
When I was twelve my teacher in class one day pronounced it as Yvette. (With a short vowel sound). Yvette Williams had just won gold for NZ at the Olympics, high jump.
My friends were impressed.. so from then on I secretly pronounced it with a short vowel i .
Thankfully my Uncle Ivan returned home from the war alive and well, and married his sweetheart Jessie.
He was a lovely gentle man and I am proud to have his name ..in whatever form.
Just as a postcript.. I have to tell you I cut the tail off my toy lamb. My mother was not pleased, but we had lambs on our farm and Dad always cut off their tails.
I think the lawn needs mowing Dad.