You see this butthole in the earth?
It swallows lambs.
The paddock nearest our cottage has multiple landfill pits from the previous owner, stuffed full of rubbish. Their concrete lids long overgrown, we made their discovery only after we had a logger in to process some of our tall cypress. The heavy machinery had cracked and skewed the subsurface pit lids, revealing what will perhaps be treasure troves to future archaeologists.
To our knowledge, these pits were full. That is, until I happened upon a completely empty one, three meters deep and containing not one, not two, but THREE LAMBS.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, it was when I arrived back after an exhausting two-hour hike through the steep local forest that I made this discovery. I was walking back through the paddock I had moved the sheep into that morning, and the thought hit me that I should make sure those pesky rubbish pit holes weren’t a hazard to the newborns. I was just about to block up a suspicious crack in the earth, when I heard the nervous bleat of a lamb echo up from below. FUCK.
I looked down through the crack, and sure enough I spotted the glow of white wool in the darkness a fair way down.
As drizzle arrived on cue, I began hacking away at the ground with a shovel, fatigued from my hike, not knowing how much I’d have to dig, but committed to saving these idiots. Fortunately, I soon uncovered the concrete lid which had been buried over time, concealing this hollow in the ground.
It was only at this point that I could see all the way down, realising the pit was entirely empty and at least three metres deep. I was a little worried about falling in. If I did, I wouldn’t have been able to get out, and with Char being away, no one would hear my screams… Mostly, though, I was concerned about the heavy concrete lid sitting precariously at an angle – I didn’t want to dislodge it and cause it to crash down on the little lambs below. I immediately attached a chain through the square hole which I hooked up to the tractor.
And with the strength of a hundred men, the tractor effortlessly excavated the concrete lid.
At this point I breathed a sigh of relief. The lambs were unscathed. I fetched a ladder and slid it carefully into the deep pit, avoiding knocking anyone out.
It’s difficult to see from the photos how deep this hole is, but for reference that’s a fully-extended four metre ladder.
Rescued! As I brought them up one by one, they each gave out a cry and a concerned mumma came running. They were all thirsty so immediately had a voracious suckle.
Far out, those are some lucky lambs. I had no idea that giant pit was there. All the other pits were full, and only this one had a tiny crack in the ground. Had I not had the random thought to check, those three would be goners overnight without their mothers’ milk.
Not sure how to fill the hole, so for the time being I’ve covered it with some pallets and scrap wood to make sure no fools fall in again. (I’m loath to fill it with our own garbage, but it’s either here or the landfill in town. I suppose the option with less transport is the more reasonable one…?)
Stay away from holes in the ground, you little suckers! Oh, the misadventures of livestock farming. Can we please just grow pomegranates?