Dear Curiosity Journal,
I came across the phenomenon of “cast sheep” in my research, but didn’t fully grasp the matter until our ewe, Cauliflower, wound up on her back. A sheep that is “cast” has gotten into a critical predicament, stranded hooves-up and unable to roll themselves right again. It occurs most often with heavily pregnant or thickly fleeced ewes on flat terrain where their center of gravity turns against them. In this vulnerable and defunctive position, their stomach gasses build up and they will die in a matter of hours if not put right. Cauliflower is not pregnant, but she’s dense with wool and has a bad habit of leaping her front hooves onto my chest. In an effort to position her back on the ground, I grabbed her front legs. Cauliflower responded with a double power punch, ejecting herself straight onto her back. I expected her to spring right up, but she let out a strange noise, not a baah, more like a child’s whimper. I couldn’t believe she was actually stuck and was curious if she would be able to kick out of it if I wasn’t around. In the midst of the ruckus, I snapped a quick photo of her bewildered state, and swiftly nudged her to one side. She whirled into an upright position and looked at me as if I’d committed a heinous crime, but appeared to be fine. The curious incident certainly didn’t stop her from repeating the folly, but taught me one more trouble to worry about.