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Rejection: the Story of Herman the Lamb

“We’ll need to bottle feed that badger-faced lamb,” my husband tells me after returning from the barn. The mother of triplets allows two to feed, but head butts the third unless restrained. Her failure to accept her son means he corrals himself in a corner mewing quietly, hungry for food and love.

I head out with Herman’s bottle. Unsure of the loner, I pick out the smallest in the pen; and when I place him by his mother, she confirms my guess by aggressively pushing him away. What must that feel like? I’m sad for the little fellow.

After bottle feeding Herman, I move him to a nursery pen and watch the other moms sniff, then reject him. Their treatment is so rough, I fear for the unwanted orphan and move him to yet another pen, hoping the new arrival might find acceptance.

Do you ever feel like Herman? Perhaps not vigorously head butted away in social circles, but lacking the love of a parent, the acceptance of peers, or the tender concern of friends.

Today’s gentle lesson challenges me to look out for the awkward, annoying, unique, rejected, and lonely. The “Hermies” of the world await our love.

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