RING! I’m startled and jump out of bed into the darkness. I turn off the alarm before it wakes up the rest of my cabin. I find boots and a jacket and groggily stumble towards the door. One of my cabinmates follows and we head out into the cold. Both of us stop briefly on the boardwalk, looking up, awed at the array of stars. There are no lights to distract our eyes and they are brighter than ever. We continue on our walk, appreciating the beauty but also wanting to get back into our warm beds. We get to the barn and head to the milk fridge. The instructions are written on a white board and the bottle of milk is already filled. I grab the bottle and go into the barn to find lamb #233. The little black ram, (affectionately named “Pedro” by Marjo), was born last week and rejected by his mother. His sister, a little white ewe, was born first and accepted. It’s now Chewonki’s job to keep Pedro fed.
As soon as we walk into the pen, Pedro is standing at our feet. He knows that we are here to feed him. I scoop my hand underneath the lamb’s chest and tilt the bottle up. Pedro wags his tail and slurps on the milk. While I feed the lamb, my friend counts the rest of the ewes, making sure none of them are in labor. There is a heat lamp over one of the newborn lambs and its light is making long shadows in the barn. My friend waits for me to finish feeding Pedro and she walks around to each of the other animals, saying hello to Moses, Braego, Sal, Lola, Henry, and Adeline.
We’re both more awake now and we leave the dim barn and walk back into the darkness. Heading back to the cabin, we discuss how lucky we are to be in a place where we can wake up at 3 a.m. to feed a little lamb and look at the spectacular stars.
-Erica Georgaklis, Calais, VT & Lila Wilmerding, Villanova, PA