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Melanie MacLean experienced severe seller's remorse after parting with the lamb she hand-reared on her farm

By Phil Boucher
October 15, 2019 02:13 PM
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woman holding lamb
Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty

Ever sold a much-loved item and experienced the sharp pang of seller’s remorse? If so, then spare a thought for Scottish farmer Melanie MacLean.

MacLean, 50, from the tiny village of Aird in the Outer Hebrides, sold her pet lamb Norman at a market in September, but was so racked with guilt after the sale that she embarked on a 16-hour, 540-mile round trip to bring him back home.

“I finally had a brain fart and went in search of my pet lamb Norman after regretting selling him at the local sales last month with all my other lambs,” MacLean wrote on Facebook. “I traced them to a 75 acre field with 700 other lambs … in Aberdeenshire.”

It was then that something truly magical happened: within 30 seconds of entering the field, MacLean spotted a Suffolk lamb wearing one of her ear tags. The crofter — who was previously a police officer — then put on her “pink croft hat” and “this wee lamb saw me and came running like a bullet,” says MacLean.

Norman then happily followed MacLean — who reared the lamb by hand after his mother rejected him at birth — back to the gate where her pickup and trailer were parked.

“I have to confess I was in tears,” says MacLean in her post. “I’ve reluctantly sold on several bottle-fed lambs before, but I really struggled letting Norman go. I can’t explain it, but it is what it is and he’s now back in Aird to live his life out with us and keep our ram company!”

Yet that doesn’t mean it’s all been plain sailing. Norman — who was the smallest of a set of triplets when he was born in April — has now become so famous on his island home, that MacLean fears he’s turning into something of a diva.

“I think the attention has gone to his head,” Maclean added in a tongue-in-cheek follow-up post, Sunday. “This wee monster is getting too big for his boots. Norman is literally climbing his walls!!”