A lamb is a survival machine: a big head, a big mouth and four stocky black leg way out of proportion to the sack of a body which joins these standing and eating parts together. The ewe had a full udder, and the lamb soon found its way to suck, wriggling its tail, the instinctive drive at work, the vital colostrum running into the gut. Survival... I found the mother standing alert, eyes big, defensive, stamping her front feet as I approached the pen or picked up the lamb to look at the navel and the shriveling cord or to feel its, gratifyingly, filling belly. The ewe is tensed to protect her own. She is a servant of her genetic destiny. Her life can only be dedicated to these fragile, transitional moments on which so much hinges. So this instant, in the pen with the hours-old lamb, with the tautened presence of the protective mother, this is one of those moments when you come close to the "blood of the world," to the essential juices running under the everyday surface of things, when the curtain is drawn back and you find yourself face to face with how things are.
---Adam Nicolson, Perch Hill, London: Penguin Books, pp.144-145.