The Red Boy...a wayward Lamb
The Red Lamb...(prelude)
A few of you know that Mary
Freiberg has been generous enough to take in lambs that were not doing
as well as they should. Her rehab (as I call it) has really helped them
recover from the stress of being weaned. Some, I fear, would not have made
it without the extra care and love that she gives them.
One of the this group of 11 was a Reddish colored ram lamb which she named
Red Boy (oh, brother!) as he quickly endeared himself by of all ways,
being noisy. Soon after they settled in, when she went out to feed. She
decided to have her Aussie "Spice" assist her. You see Red lamb was the first
to greet her as she came out of the feed shed. Spice had to back him
off so that Mary could put out their food. It was not long before Red
Boy would put his head down and argue with Spice that he should not have
to move out of the way.
This soon became a favorite game between Spice and Red Boy (both in
When I loaded up the lambs to take them to our position at the church
Red Boy was pompous and reluctant to load up: however he soon relented
when Pic took over the loading process. Mary had purchased a beautiful
red halter with gold color metal rings for Red boy as he was going to be
with her and the goat at their nativity scene, a manger with the baby
Upon arriving the lambs were reluctant to disembark after their ride to
the large dirt lot, adjacent to the church, bordered by a large parking
lot., This was going to be the scene of the shepherds watching over the
flock when an angel appears to the shepherds announcing the birth of
Jesus. With the dropping of the tail gate Red Boy who was the last to
load was now the first available to unload. 4:30pm right on time. Jerry
was pleased that all his planning was paying off but was aware the night
fall was only a 1/2 hour away. Reluctant Red Boy, had to be removed by
his halter from the truck. It is usually the case that when the rest of
the flock sees they can get out they join in being released. Red Boy was
to be their example but he was going to have no part in being the
scapegoat and the others were not falling for the ploy.
Red Boy finally decided to take off, so around to the front of the truck he went
only finding that Pic had read his mind and was diligently guarding
against his escape thru the parking lot. Not willing to give up his
escape he returned to the back of the truck where his brothers and
sisters remained loaded still unwilling to join him: and of course there
was Pic still guarding the parking lot side. Red Boy noticed that there
was much more open space on that side and decided to bolt for his
freedom. He was pretty fast but Pic was faster. Several hundred feet
later deep in the empty parking lot Pic had him turned and headed him
back to the truck.
Red Boy however was not going to give up his quest for freedom. He gave
a look indicating he saw the truck and was resigned to go back so Jerry
flanked Pic off of him. Red Boy was proud that Jerry fell for his
deception and took the opportunity to bolt once again. This time across
the parking lot to the wilderness area on the other side of the entrance
road to the church.
RED BOY escapes...
Pic was ready and the race once again was on. Pic, reading Red Boy's
determination, knew that his turning Red Boy back to the truck this time was
going to take extraordinary measures so he came up and tried to grab onto
Red Boy's halter; both going at full speed and both dedicated to their task.
Jerry watched this scene and noticed that the two of them were getting
dangerously close to the entrance road. Willing to lose the Red Boy but not
willing to lose Pic he whistled out the that-will-do command (Pic's call
off). By the time he heard it and responded the two of them ,Red Boy and Pic,
had crossed the entrance road and down the other side. Pic returned and Red
Boy dashed and hid. His escape to freedom into the wilderness had been
Well not until Jerry, Pic and Mary had to give up their search for him. Show
time was about to begin and the show must go on. Matt, Scott, Dylan now
joined them as they donned their shepherd costumes and settled the flock
with Pic's and Flash's help. But Frito the Kashmir goat was reluctant to
leave with Mary so Dylan and Spice were deployed to assist.
Mary as she knelt in her venue with Frito in the manger
prayed for Red Boy and his safe return.
Back at the flock Matt inquired with Jerry about Red Boy's chances of
survival. Jerry was hopeful but feared Red Boy would meet his fate at
the hands of local coyotes.
Well, 900 people enjoyed their hay rides around the church visiting venue
after venue. Our venue had 3 projectors that displayed a large mural on
the church's wall, a bright light shining down thru a cloud upon us
shepherds watching over the flock.
With all that traffic Red Boy stayed well hidden and was
able to avoid the search party that looked for him after the event that
went well past the advertised time of 8:30 pm. to 9:30pm. Now he was
going to experience the old adage "be careful of what you wish for, you
just might get it! "
Awaking from his sleep he heard noises that seemed familiar but
somehow different. He did not have to wait long. They found him.
A couple of coyotes who looking for their night time meal from
the tract homes that bordered their wilderness area, came across Red Boys
scent and followed it to him.
Red boy could tell they had bad
intentions and that he was not able to escape. No matter, had he not fought and had success roughing it up with Spice? He was determined that
he was not going to be their dinner. The coyotes were not as confident.
Surely they could have this lamb for their dinner? The fight was on and
Red Boy put up such a brave fight that they soon lost interest. The
local cats and dogs were much easier game. So they left and Red Boy
assessed his losses. The halter had been torn off and a long minor but long
gash to his front left leg. Now very proud of himself (having escaped,
earned his freedom, hidden, and fought for his life) but exhausted he
settled in for a good night's sleep.
Red Boy... (captured)
Waking the next
morning Red Boy thought about the events of the day before and decided
to find greener pastures. The dried out vegetation that abounded where he
was hiding just did not measure up to the alfalfa and grain he was used to.
Remembering the access road to the church he started his way back.
Once there he remembered that the church was where he escaped from so up
the road he went. Sure enough, across the road was a large green park
with lots of grass and plants. Ah, a welcomed breakfast. He did not
notice the car following him.
He had been spotted by a good Samaritan and
was being followed. Arriving at the park he began eating and sampling
what the park had to offer; meanwhile the police had been called on this
lamb loitering in the park. It did not take long for the police to show
up and observe his illegal behavior. Checking with the church the
officer was able to determine that Red Boy was in fact an escapee from
the Nativity event held the night before.
Animal control was called
and lured by a head of lettuce Red Boy was brought into custody. Once again
he was riding in the back of a truck. Freedom lost over a head of lettuce.
Once delivered to the pen at Animal
Control his picture was taken and he was given a number.
Authorities notified the church of his incarceration. His mug shot plastered
on the internet. How can you beat that ? Well, his cell mate was a pig! "Not
so bad", Red Boy thought; after all they had grain, alfalfa, a decent size pen
and a barn stall. He and his celli shared stories of their adventures and
how they ended up in jail. He now had a record and was in the system.
Meanwhile back at the
church Jerry, Mary, Matt, sheep, Pic, Spice and Frito the goat arrived at
the church and were told by security of the fate of Red Boy. Soon Mary
and Sarah the event coordinator (after hugging in joyous celebration of the
news of Red Boy) marched off to the office to call Animal control to confirm
Red Boy's incarceration.
The weather had made a
turn for the worse and the rest of our participation in the outdoor event
was cancelled. Red Boy would have to stay jailed until the 25 sheep and goat
were returned home. Once off loaded at Mary's home the internet search
began and there on the pages of the Riverside West Animal Shelter was Red
Boy's mug shot complete with his incarceration number. He was in the system!
It was after business hours so Red Boy could not be bailed out. He
would have to spend another night in jail with his cell mate the pig.
Mary was both delighted that Red Boy was safe but also embarrassed that he
was arrested after running away, for loitering in the park and jailed. Jerry
warned her that he would come home with an attitude that he was worldly,
being exposed to freedom and that there was no telling what he had been
schooled in during his incarceration with of all things a pig! He now was in
the system, a number and mug shot. He may not come home the same Red Boy that
had left. The next day Red Boy was awakened as his celli was released and
the rest of his jail time was to be spent alone.
He did not know that as soon as the phone
lines were open at the shelter Mary called and obtained the necessary
information for his release. They wanted proof of ownership. What? Ah,
Jerry had the answer! His Sheep Inventory List but Scott had
Jerry's briefcase. OK, phone Scott. Scott scanned the Sheep Inventory
List and emailed it to Mary. She then down loaded and printed it. We
were off to free the imprisoned Red Boy.
Not so easy...after the hour wait came the interview in the adoption
center's office. Identification of both Red Boy from his mug shot and
that of Jerry as the owner. Then the interview "how was it that Red
Boy was on the loose?". Questions answered, the interviewer satisfied
that I was a good parent, we were instructed to take our paperwork,
added to by the adoption officer, to the admissions office. There we
received the additional news that in order to spring Red Boy bail had
to be paid before his release.
This done, we were instructed where to pick up Red Boy. We found his cell
and someone to release him to us, but alas he was not all that sure he
wanted to go home. After all there he was sunning himself with the whole
cell to himself and we disturbed him. Just as I thought he had become instutionalized! Soon he was literally picked up and loaded into the
back of the truck.
During the ride home Mary was once again warned that Red Boy may have an
attitude. Arriving at home with the truck backed into the backyard with
the other sheep Red Boy was released. No hesitation on his part this
time, he jumped out and immediately began fighting with the two older
lambs in the exercise yard. They quickly knocked him down. When he got
up Jerry was there to march him off to isolation (for fighting in the
yard) in the sheep shed where he could be heard whining all night long.
Mary's public humiliation was not yet over as Red Boy's story had also
made the newspaper.
REGIONAL- Mary had an AWOL lamb | Breaking News | PE.com -
Red Boy...(the epilogue)
Demonstrating a lack of imagination Red Boy's caretaker could not
understand why this handsome young lamb would run away from home. Could
have it been as simple as he wanted to taste freedom?
Well, 5 months later mother nature began to lift the veil of secrecy.
Three of his sisters gave birth. One was a small but healthy red male lamb
the other two were still births. It seems that he was an
adventure some young male. With only his sisters for company he did what
Rams do ...breed the ewes. Yup, he did not care that they were his
sisters and that they all were considered too young for such behavior.
A week after breeding them he discovered that they were pregnant and
he was going to be in big trouble. Not just because the ewes were his
sisters but they were also considered under age. Fretting over this
problem it seemed to him to take his one chance to go undiscovered at
the nativity scene. When the tailgate dropped he sprang for his freedom.
It was not well after (5 months) when the ewes' owner researched his
records to record the parentage of the newborn lambs to his young ewes
that Red Boys lack of discretion was discovered.
Immediately their shepherd was on the phone demanding an explanation
from their caretaker of 5 months earlier. He demanded to know what was
going to be done to keep this from happening again. Red Boy had been
adopted by the caretaker after his incarceration.
He was assured that Red Boy would be seeing the vet real soon for his
castration. A fitting end to an incestuous sex offender. Satisfied with
this resolution to the problem the shepherd was consoled only to find
out weeks later the Red Boy was maturing into a beautiful young Ram!
Irate, the shepherd threatened to go to the press so the the city of
Mentone Beach could be alerted to the presence of a child molester in
their community. Once again he received assurances that Red Boy would
not be a Ram much longer.
Alright, Red Boy received his sentence. He was to be castrated! Not much
longer. Red Boy about two weeks later after his appeals were exhausted he
was brought to the vet for the carrying out of his sentence. Shown here
is Red Boy awaiting the carrying out of his sentence at the back of the
Follow up reports of his condition have been very good. His health is
very good and his behavior... a model citizen! Still willing to greet
you but without the head butting he was known for before the carrying
out of his sentence.