“I Get a Baby Lamb”

“Now I’ll tell you something that happened last spring. We have a lot of sheep here in Bullerbyn (Noisy Village) and they have babies every year. There is nothing on earth as cute as baby lambs. They are cuter than kittens and puppies and piglets. I think they are almost cuter than Kerstin (Olle’s baby sister), although I am afraid to say that within earshot of Olle.
When the sheep give birth we run down to the sheep house every morning to find out how many lambs have been born during the night. When we open the door to the sheep house, the sheep baaa as loud as they can. The baby lambs baaa too but sweetly and not as coarsely as the rams and the ewes. Almost every ewe has two babies.

One Sunday Morning when I got to the sheep house I found a dead baby lamb in the straw. I ran and told daddy immediately. And he found out why. It was because his mom did not have any milk. The poor little thing had starved to death. I plopped down in the doorway of the sheep house and burst into tears. In a little while Anna came and I told her everything and she started to cry too.
“I don’t want baby lambs to die,” I told my dad
“Nobody wants baby lambs to die,” my dad replied, “ but I’m afraid here is another one who will not make it.”
He pointed to a pitiful looking little lamb in his arms. It was the dead baby lamb’s brother. Naturally, he too could not nurse his mom. And newborn baby lambs can only drink milk. Because of this he had to slaughter the lamb brother to keep him from starving to death. When we heard him say this Anna and I cried even louder. We practically wailed.
“I don’t want baby lambs to die !” I cried and threw myself on the ground.
Daddy picked me up and said:
“Don’t cry Lisa!” And then he said:
“You can try bottle feeding this baby lamb if you want. Just like a little human baby.”
Oh, I became so happy, so happy I don’t think I have ever been so happy. I did not know that you could bottle feed baby lambs. Daddy cautioned me not to be too optimistic. The lamb might die any way but it would not hurt too try.
Anna and I ran to Aunt Lisa, Olle’s mom and borrowed a bottle that used to be Kerstin’s when she was a tiny baby. Then we ran to daddy again.
“Can’t we give the poor little thing cream?” I asked him.
But then daddy told me that cream would make the lamb sick. His tummy could only tolerate cream diluted with water. Daddy helped me mix the milk and then we warmed the bottle in warm water. I put the nipple to the baby lambs mouth. And just imagine, he started sucking right away. You could tell he was really, really hungry.
“ Well you have now become a foster mom to this little guy,” daddy said. “Remember he needs frequent feedings from morning to night so you mustn’t get tired of this.”
Anna said if I ever got tired just to tell her. She would gladly feed my baby lamb. But I told her:
“Ha, don’t you think I would ever get tired of feeding baby lambs!”
I named the baby lamb Pontus and daddy told me it was my very own lamb.”


“Our school is in the Big Village. It is a pretty far way to walk and us children from Bullerbyn always walk together. With having to feed Pontus every morning before going to school I have a hard time getting ready on time. this particular morning when I had decided to bring Pontus to school, they were all waiting for me outside the gate to Olle’s house.
“Hurry up Lisa,” cried Britta “or we will be late.”
Then I turned to Pontus and cried:
“Hurry up Pontus, or we will be late!”
I have never seen such a surprised bunch of kids as Lasse, Bosse, Olle, Anna, and Britta as when they caught sight of Pontus.
“Where…. where does he think he is going?” said Lasse
“To school, “ I said. Maybe that will put an end to all the squabbles that only dogs can come along everywhere.
I swear they looked astonished.”

““Lisa, are you sure you are quite all right, “ Lasse said
“Do mom and dad know, “ Bosse asked.
When Bosse asked if mom and dad knew, I got a little anxious. I had not considered that part. But Anna clapped her hands, laughed and said why couldn’t baby lambs go to school if dogs could? Exactly, that’s what I thought. Suddenly Lasse grinned too and said:
“Why not? Although teacher will probably have a cow.”
So we all trotted off uphill and downhill to school. Pontus too. Sometimes he stopped, as if wondering if this was OK, but I just called “Pontus” and then he cried “Baaaa” quite sensibly and caught up with me.”

“It took a little longer than usual to get to get to school so of course we were late. The bell had already rung and all the kids were already in class. There aren’t that many children in The Big Village and Bullerbyn, so we share the same classroom and the same teacher although we are in different grades.
Pontus tripped a little when he climbed the school stairs so I had to help him out a little.
“Maybe he isn’t ready for school yet, “ Lasse said.
When Lasse was about to start school several years ago he couldn’t sit still for a minute. Then teacher told my parents that he wasn’t ready for school yet. She sent him home and asked him to come back the next year. He needed to play more first. Lasse has never forgotten this. That’s why he said this about Pontus.
Britta knocked on the door and we came inside.
“Sorry for being late,” Britta apologized.
As soon as she said this Olle started giggling. The rest of us were quiet but Olle giggled as if someone was tickling him.
“Aren’t we happy today, Olle,” teacher said.
Pontus was standing behind all of us so no one could see him. Suddenly though, there was the cutest little “Baaaa” and Pontus poked out his little head. All the kids startled. And so did teacher come to think of it.
“What on earth …. “ she said. “Don’t tell me you brought a lamb.”
“Lisa….,” Bosse started but then he shut up because he realized that teacher might get mad with me. I have to admit that I was a little scared myself.
“ Since we are studying domestic animals…,” I said quietly “I thought….
“You thought what,” said teacher.
“Well, it might be nice to bring a baby lamb,” I said. I had not thought about this until this very moment.
Teacher started to laugh. A lot. And so did all the other kids. Especially Olle. He laughed so hard he was shaking.”

This idea came from my favourite book from childhood: “Bullerby Boken” by magnificent writer Astrid Lindgren. Text above is quote from her book.
Text translation to english from unknown author.
Models: Liisi and her baby lamb.
Location: Liisi´s home.
Styling: Liisi´s mother and father.
Photographer: Raili Adoson.
Thank You! 🙂

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