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Quaker Hill Farm
Harrisville, Michigan

Lassie Saves a Lamb
The Story of Orphan Annie
A story for children written by Quaker Anne

In the northern great lakes state of Michigan, winters are cold and long. The snow falls deep and the winds howl in frosty gusts. One year, winter was colder than anyone could ever remember and during the dark of 1st month, there was a great storm that lasted for many days. It came on so suddenly and brought so much drifting snow that there were some farm animals out foraging who had found it difficult to get back to the safety of their farms. Many had to take cover in any place they could. It was during such a storm that a little lamb was born in the shelter of an old abandoned barn. Her name was Orphan Annie.

Friendly old barn Orphan Annie was so named because she found herself all alone without her Mama. Her mother had sought shelter from the storm in a friendly old unused barn on the night Annie was born. Ma-Ewe had decided to wait until the storm passed before making the journey home with her new baby. But, before she could travel back to the safety of Quaker Hill Farm, she became faced with great danger.

Coyotes were out hunting and looking for a meal. There was very little game or food to be had that year and the deep snow had made hunting very hard. One night, the hungry pack of coyotes thought they had picked up the scent of sheep and headed for the old barn. Hearing them approaching and calling to each other in the distance, Ma-Ewe knew she had to do something very fast to save the life of her little baby girl. So, she came up with a plan.

Ma-Ewe With great love in her heart, she looked at Annie and whispered urgently, "Annie, my dear little one, you must trust me now and very carefully do what I say."

Annie looked at her Mama and saw deep loving concern shining in her eyes. She could tell that it was very important to do exactly what her Mama would ask.

Ma-ewe went on, "You must lie very still and quiet and no matter what you hear, promise me you will not move or make any noise at all. Can you promise me that?"

Annie said good bye to her Mama Annie, who was only a few days old, nodded solemnly. Ma-Ewe kissed her gently on the forehead and nuzzled her. "There's my brave good girl." she said warmly.

With tears in her eyes, Annie watched as her Mother went to the barn door. Ma-Ewe looked back said softly, "Never forget, dearest child, that Mama loves you very much and your Father in heaven loves you even more. He will be watching over you. Shhhh...".

With that, Ma-Ewe ran swiftly out into the midnight snowy gales of the storm. Annie watched her go with deep sadness feeling very little and very alone.

Once she was safely away from the barn, Ma-Ewe began loudly calling "Baaa, Baaa!" Pretending to be lost, she made as much noise as she could. The coyotes heard her and howled to one another with eager delight. Cold and hungry, they forgot all about getting to the barn and began to run with excitement in the direction of her calls.

Shivering and all alone in the dark, Annie listened to the ferocious howls in the distance. She heard the beautiful voice of her Mama too. She felt frightened and scared but knew she must obey her Mama and so stayed right there, very quiet and still, just as she had promised to do. Tears ran down her face and she prayed with all the love she could, asking God in heaven to watch over her dear Mama.

Now, coyotes can run very fast - even faster than sheep - but, Ma-Ewe was no ordinary sheep. She was very, very smart and knew the surrounding woods so well that she ran as fast as she could to a place that was over grown with thick tangles of brambles and pricker bushes; a dark unfriendly place called Thorny Glenn. Thorny Glenn

Thorny Glenn was a thicket that in the winter time looked peaceful and pretty because the snow covered up the scratching brambles. But, it was a dangerous place to get caught in and very difficult to get out of. Ma-Ewe planned to lead those coyotes right into Thorny Glen - right into a trap they would never forget!

As she neared the place, Ma-Ewe carefully detoured widely around to avoid getting tangled herself. She hurried as best she could. It was so dark. The blowing snow stung her eyes sharply making it difficult to see but she pressed on. She could hear the coyotes closing the distance and getting closer but she was determined not to panic, determined to save her dear little Annie.

The strong winds blew her tracks away and for a few moments, the coyotes thought they had lost her completely because they couldn't see her foot prints anymore. They slowed down and sniffed carefully, but it was no use. The group became grumpy because they had run all that way for nothing. Being strangers to the area, they did not know what might be ahead so they began to think about making their way back to the old barn. At least there, they could take shelter for the night. Poor little Annie!

Finally, and almost completely out of breath, Ma-Ewe made it safely to the other side of Thorny Glen. She found a hiding spot under the boughs of a big pine tree and stopped. Just as the coyotes turned around to go back, she began to bellar loudly. Her voice startled the coyotes and they became thrilled to realize that their next meal was still indeed just ahead!

With renewed determination, the coyotes charged with all the speed they could muster without watching where they were going. They wanted to make sure that bellaring sheep did not get away from them a second time! Crashing through the thick snowy underbrush, they hardly noticed it becoming harder to move forward until it was too late. Suddenly, they found themselves right in the middle of Thorny Glenn - and they were trapped!

Becoming tangled in the sharp pricker bushes, they howled in rage. Their thick heavy coats became snagged by the brambles which caught and slowed them to a complete stop. They found themselves trapped and held tight by the scratching pricker bushes.

Ma-Ewe stayed very still and listened. She could hear their angry growls as they snapped in frustration at each other for being caught in such a tangled thicket. It took a long time for the coyotes to work their way out of the thickness of Thorny Glenn and when they did, they decided not to hunt around there after all. They left the area right away to avoid any more places like Thorny Glenn. Ma-Ewe had saved her baby!

Ma-Ewe sighed with relief. Being exhausted, she laid down to rest for a little while under the shelter of the big pine tree bough. Far away, in the friendly old barn, Annie fell asleep too. She had said her prayers and felt much better. She was safe and snug and warm.

Where could Ma-Ewe be? In the mean time, back at Quaker Hill Farm, Lassie had the feeling that something was very wrong. She decided to inspect all the barns and asked Willow, her assistant, to help. After a while, they noticed that Ma-Ewe was missing - she had not made it back to the barn! Where could she be?

Into the storm

As faithful Collies, they knew their job. They ran out together into the forest barking in alarm. Ma-Ewe must be found - she must be brought safely home!

Willow Collies are very brave and loyal. Scottish descendants of the greatest and most noble herd dogs ever known, they love their sheep and when one needs help, nothing can stop a Collie from finding them, not even deep drifting snow. They are absolute experts at rescue.

Lassie & Willow look for Ma-Ewe Lassie and Willow traveled a long way following the scent they picked up near Clear Creek where Ma-Ewe had stopped to get a drink. They also picked up the scent of coyotes. They knew they must hurry.

Lassie is eager to save Ma-Ewe Way up ahead, they could see the outline of the friendly old abandoned barn where many of the farm animals went to play. They realized Ma-Ewe probably took shelter from the storm there. Hoping the coyotes had not found her, Lassie ran ahead, breaking through the drifts in leaps and bounds.

Willow followed closely and together they rushed into the old barn all covered in snow and sniffed around. They could tell that Ma-Ewe was no longer there, but could also smell something new - a baby! Willow stood guard at the door while Lassie searched around.

Peeking into the darkness of a snug stall she found a little newborn lamb curled up asleep. Lassie finds Orphan Annie She softly approached and nuzzled her and then laid down beside her. Annie woke up and instantly knew that she was gazing into the eyes of a dear trusted friend. Ma-Ewe had told her of the great golden Collie named "Lassie" who might come and find her before she got back. Lassie was just as beautiful as Ma-Ewe had said.

Annie told her story to Lassie who listened with great concern. Lassie and Willow knew that Ma-Ewe could easily outsmart a group of ruffian coyotes, but she might still need assistance getting home. It was decided that Willow would press on to find Ma-Ewe while Lassie brought Annie home.

Lassie leads Annie home Lassie took her time and traveled slowly back to the farm. She broke a path through the snow to make it easier for Annie to walk through. Lassie sang songs to Annie to keep her cheerful and make the trip lighthearted.

Annie thought snow was fun to play in Annie tried hard to follow in Lassie's path. She had never seen snow before and though it was sometimes hard to walk through, Annie thought it was very pretty and fluffy!

Pretty Kitty As they approached Quaker Hill Farm, Pretty Kitty came out to greet them. Lassie asked her if she had any milk handy to give Annie for breakfast.

Pretty Kitty answered, "My no! I wish that I did." Then looking at Annie she said, "Poor little orphan, you must be hungry."

Suddenly a thought came to her and she said, "Why don't you ask Miss Purdy? She is setting on a nest in the hay barn. She may know of some milk!"

Miss Purdy They went into the hay barn and found Miss Purdy setting on a clutch of eggs.

"Say, Miss Purdy, do you have any milk you could spare for an orphan lamb?" asked Lassie, Her name is Annie."

Miss Purdy looked at Lassie and said, "No Lassie, chickens don't make milk, they only lay eggs. Perhaps you should ask Checkers."

Then she looked at Annie and said, "Poor little Orphan Annie, you must be hungry!"

"That's a good idea! Thanks Miss Purdy!" said Lassie.

Checkers Rabbit Lassie went and found Checkers Rabbit and asked her, "Checkers, do you know where I might find some milk to feed an orphaned lamb? Her name is Annie"

Checkers had been busy digging in the snow to find some brush to chew on. She turned and looked at Lassie and said regretfully, "No, I am sorry to say that I don't. Go ask Lucy Goosey. She knows everything about everything!"

Then she looked at Annie and said, "Poor little Orphan Annie, you must be hungry!"

Lucy Goosey asleep in the storm So, Lassie took Annie over to the frozen pond where the geese were sleeping with their noses tucked warmly under their feathers.

"Ahem! Excuse me Ladies." Lassie said. "Do you know where I can find some milk to feed this orphan lamb. Her name is Annie."

Lucy Goosey Lucy Goosey looked out from her feathers and considered the matter carefully. She was a goose who knew everything about everything and she knew she knew it all.

Lucy Goosey said, "There is no place to find milk in a storm - everybody knows that!"

Then she looked at Annie and said, "Poor little Orphan Annie, you must be hungry!"

Go ask Big Blaze, He's over there! She thought it over a minute and got up and said, "There is one person on this farm who would know where to find milk if anybody did. Go ask old Big Blaze, he's right over there. He's the horse who would know - of course!"

Wise old Big Blaze Now, wise old Big Blaze had been keeping a lookout in the storm. He felt it was his duty to watch in case anyone needed anything. Everyone knew they could depend on Big Blaze and always turned to him with confidence in times of trouble.

Big Blaze had seen Lassie and Annie talking to Loosey Goosey and walked over to them.

"Can I help with anything?", Big Blaze asked with warm concern; he was a big hearted old fellow.

Lassie told him her story. Then Big Blaze said, "You know, Sugar just had puppies. Maybe she has some milk to spare. I'll go ask her for you."

Knowing that he was the only one tall enough to reach, Big Blaze walked over the the nursery and blew his warm breath on the frosty window pane to make a spot to see through.
Sugar & her Pups He peeked in, and Sugar looked out at him in surprise!

"Good morning Ma'am!" said Big Blaze, his deep voice sounding muffled through the glass, "What beautiful puppies you have!"

"Why, thank you, Big Blaze. That's kind of you to say!" replied Sugar.

"Ma'am, the reason for my visit is that we have a bit of a problem. You see, there is an orphan lamb on the farm named Annie and she needs some milk. Do you have any to spare?" Big Blaze asked hopefully.

"Oh, my dear, I do not. I have 4 little puppies to feed or I would be glad to share." said Sugar. "But you know, Quaker Anne is the one to talk to. She keeps extra milk and bottles and has supplies ready in case of an emergency. I will tell her about this right away!"

"Yes please do, thank you!" answered Big Blaze.

"You are welcome!" said Sugar, but she worried quietly to herself, "poor little Orphan Annie, she must be hungry. I must help her right away."

So, Sugar barked for Quaker Anne's attention and told her the whole story about Orphan Annie. Quaker Anne listened thoughtfully and thanked Sugar for the information. Then, she went outdoors to find the little orphaned lamb. Lassie was keeping Orphan Annie company in the hay barn when she found them.

Quaker Anne picked up the little lamb and tenderly cuddled her said, "Poor little Orphan Annie, thee must be hungry!" She quickly took Orphan Annie into the house and gave her a nice warm bottle.

Warm Annie Afterwards, Quaker Anne put a diaper on Orphan Annie and set her by the fire to rest. Orphan Annie felt safe and loved as she laid by the warm fire, but as content as she was, she still had one wish left. She wished for her Mama and wondered if she would ever see her Mother again.

Quaker Anne Bottle Feeds an Orphan Lamb
(lamb runs after Willow the Collie at the end - very cute!)

To be continued.....

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