20 FEBRUARY 1953, Page 20

Lambs and Winter

As we went along the road, the wind, rising to almost a gale, was threshing the poplars, and 1 was glad when we were past them, for the poplar-tree is not to be trusted, fracturing too easily. Along the back of the hedge of thorn and holly a flock of sheep was gathered. The ram of the flock sat ruminating, and most ofthe ewes were down with their sterns to the wind, lint here and there a ewe stood broadside to the sleet and storm. They were sheltering lambs that for some reason kept on their feet. Perhaps, as I have heard suggested, ewes sometimes prod their lambs to keep them active and to prevent them being overcome by wintry conditions. The spindly lambs tottered about, and the ewes moved with them, herding them into a corner Where a slight depression kept some of the blast from them. In a month the worst of winter will surely be over. A lamb in spring inspires the artist, but a wobbly lamb looking as infirm as an aged man is a pathetic sight when a freezing wind drives across the fields.