You remember Gladys —
Left for dead but, given half a chance, she grabbed life by the teat and refused to die.
She’s still with us.
She is at the bottom of the pecking order but is fearless and curious (or bemused). She is always last. She’s the one that is missing, when one is missing — caught in the fence, or with her head stuck in a bucket, or wound up in brambles, or trapped behind the gate, or stuck in the mud, or on the wrong side of the stream. I’ve told you before that if you turn a sheep upside down it stops working, shepherds call this ‘being caste’. Gladys falls over and becomes caste and frightens me to death, thinking she’s dead with her legs in the air. I turn her over and off she trots.
When a stray dog approaches their field and the young sheep run together uphill (that’s the way to go) — Gladys runs the other way.
In Nature, she’s the one that would be picked off by the predator. That’s her role, her niche — she’s the sacrificial lamb . I’ve told you before — sheep are biblical.
She’s different. She’s the loner — the innocent — the vulnerable adult (just). It’s my job to look after her. She’s top of my list.
She is the unpromising success, the unlikely survivor, the loveable underdog, she is Kettering Town winning the FA Cup and a cat with nine lives.