Last night was a particularly stormy one - lashes of rain and strong winds made me glad to be cosy in bed when I fell asleep. At about midnight I woke up - as I lay warm and snug listening to the rain I realised that a persistent noise had woken me. The pathetic bleat of a lamb that was separated from its mother sounded as if it was around the back of the house.
My husband and I couldn't ignore it and sleepily got out of bed. Dragging on my walking boots and cover all dirty camping jacket we grabbed torches and headed outside.
I don't have a back garden. There used to be a rather nice paddock with a large vegetable patch and stunning views. The guy who owns the land got planning permission last year to build a small gauge railway complete with station, bridges and various other features - it is currently a very muddy building site. The bleats we quickly realised were coming from the building site.
OK it's midnight, raining and blowing a gale. We are on the top of the hills in the Yorkshire Dales. If you haven't been to the Dales in the winter I have one word to say - MUD. I'm in my jammies wearing walking boots and a big coat with a head torch lighting up the large holes and puddles in the ground. We soon found the little lamb standing on the wrong side of the fence bleating loudly.
This is where the fun starts. We try and approach and it runs away. We separate and one goes one way and the other the other way - the poor wee thing slips past my husband and runs away.
We regroup and try again - remember its raining hard and blowing a gale and at this point I realised how cold and dark it was. There is no ambient light in the country so dark is very dark.
On the fourth attempt the lamb once again evade rescue but this time runs down the side of the station house - there is no escape. My husband vanishes in after it and comes out some time later covered in mud and lamb poo clutching/cuddling the lamb who seems to have accepted the ordeal.
As he reaches up and puts the lamb down in the field we both have the same horrible thought - have we put it in the right field. We stand for another five minutes listening to the lambs bleats as it runs around the field. We can't see anything beyond the pool of light from our torches and listen acutely to the mothers deeper baas and the babies cries. Suddenly both stop. We trekked back to our warm cosy bed giggling at how silly we must have looked.
Just as I'm about to fall asleep my husband says - is there nothing you wont do for your love of all things woolly.