Many of the great things that Chewonki has to offer stem from its outstanding farm and food systems. Although many of these things normally relate to food production, there are some experiences that one can get that will have an impact for the rest of our lives.
Every night, there is a volunteer chore called barn check. Two to three people can sign up and basically what it entails is simply locking up the chickens and giving some hay and water to the animals. Although this chore might not seem that exciting, it’s pretty fun to be the last people to check on the barn animals. Bringing it back to last night, Jesse, Tom and I had volunteered to do barn check a little early. We did our daily sprint from the dining hall, through the barn and took the woods trail to the farm. After checking in the chickens, we proceeded to start filling up water buckets and restock the hay, just the usual night routine. Tom and I had finished, but Jesse was still filling his bucket up. Tom and I started wandering, but something caught Tom’s eye. There were two sheep that were inside, and all the others were chilling inside their pen, just on the outside portion of it. For the sheep that were still inside, it seemed like something was wrong. The little cow, Hazel, was hanging out in the pen adjacent and was running around in circles and freaking out. Tom was closer, and he looked at one of the sheep and said: “Look!” I looked and saw this black thing which I now know to be the amniotic sac hanging out of it’s backside. My entire body filled with excitement and I honestly can say that I was jumping up and down like a little kid. We yelled to Jesse and told him what was happening, and he ran back to the dining hall in search of one of the farmers. Tom and I stayed back, just watching the sheep pace around the pen. I went to him and said: “Dude I can’t believe this is happening. What are the chances?” We looked over to the sheep and saw that it seemed like it was in pain, as if something was about to happen. A whitish blob began emerging from the sheep, and I immediately knew that Tom and I were about to see something very cool. Let me remind you, he and I were all alone in the barn, without any adults nearby whatsoever. The sheep struggled, and stumbled all over its pen as it pushed as hard as it could. Finally, the most precious little lamb emerged, laying on the ground and not moving at all. After a couple moments, the lamb shook its head and began breathing. Tom and I were simply in shock. We looked at each other and embraced each other in a hug. “We just witnessed life!” I said. In the next couple minutes, people arrived at the scene. As the crowd gawked at the little thing, I was simply in shock. I couldn’t believe that had just happened.
The fact that everything worked out perfectly still blows my mind. I could list out all the factors that played a role, but the bottom line is that I was in the right place at the right time. I am still a little shocked, but in a good way. I experienced something that I won’t be able to experience anywhere else, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Will, Darien High School, CT