The vet has called and the limping lamb has had a reprieve. His damaged elbow is causing him to limp, but it is no worse than that. His appetite is fine, he’s just going to be a limpy loo. He has had a reprieve, and will not be eaten until he’s had a happy childhood and adolescence. By which time he will be worth eating. Now Jo will have to cope with interested parties (of which there are many) telling her in a regular basis that she has a limping sheep.
Jo’s anticipation of being constantly told about the state of her sheep reminds me how often we tell people about themselves.
“You’re wearing new shoes!” There’s an implication that you might not have noticed for yourself.
The one that used to entertain me at school was the number of children who felt that they needed to tell me that I’d had my hair cut. Without thinking about who I was saying it to once, when the 43rd child that day told me I’d had my hair cut I replied, confidentially, that actually I hadn’t, it was just that the water had been particularly hot, and it had shrunk in the wash. This particular boy had a crew cut and I could see him feeling deeply concerned that if his hair shrank in the wash he would end up bald. There was a lot of reassurance to do and explanations of what a joke is. He was only eight and had a tendency to take things rather literally.
I suggested to Jo that to avoid too many helpful advices she write ‘I know’ on the side of the limping lamb instead of the usual number with which we are all familiar.