The coronavirus pandemic has made for some strange pairings, but perhaps none more adorable than a 2-year-old boy and his new best friend — a 5-week-old lamb.
Henry Holmes, a 2-year-old from Sherborne, Dorset, England, befriended a newborn lamb after it was rejected by its mother, British news agency SWNS reports. The lamb, now known as Peter Pan, was treated “horribly” by its mother, but that hasn’t stopped Henry from loving him, Henry’s mother, Kristen, said.
“The kids love it, they think it’s great,” Kristen, 38, said in an interview. “I think the lamb thinks my youngest son is another lamb – he loves to headbutt him, and Henry loves it, he stands there just laughing away.”
Two-year-old Henry enjoying a walk with his new lockdown playmate – a five-week-old lamb that was rejected by its own mother at birth. (Credit: SWNS)
The Holmes family, which includes Kristen’s husband Robin, along with Henry and his 4-year-old brother Dexter, have been taking care of Peter Pan. Henry has been taking him for walks, which has led to him becoming something of a local celebrity, Kristen added.
“Peter has become a bit of a celebrity around here, we often take him for walks on a lead around the houses and people will double-take, thinking he’s a dog,” Kristen said.
“Some of our neighbors who know we have a lamb will come and stand at our back gate and make ‘baa’-ing noises, and Peter will talk back to them,” Kristen said, while laughing.
Kristen Holmes with Peter Pan the lamb. (Credit: SWNS)
Peter Pan isn’t the only mammal the family has. They also have several sheep, including one that gave birth to Peter Pan, peacocks, llamas and an alpaca at a nearby holding in Leigh, England.
“We have about 12 sheep up there, and during lambing season this year we got about 15 lambs,” Kristen explained. “The sheep that had Peter also had one other lamb – but when they were born, she took to the other one immediately but not to Peter.”
It was a rough few days for Peter Pan after he was born, with his mother “throwing him around the enclosure and headbutting him,” Kristen explained. “It was horrible to watch.”
Luckily, the family reacted quickly and is now feeding him out of a bottle at their house, where he’s likely to stay for a few weeks before heading back to the fields.
Kristen Holmes with sons Dexter,4, and Henry, 2, and Peter Pan. (Credit: SWNS)
“He slept in the house at first, but he’s growing quite quickly, so now he sleeps out in the garden,” she said. “But he will stand outside and ‘baa’ at us for attention. All my friends are so envious, as they haven’t been able to come over and see him.”
“I think Henry will be really sad when he has to go – he calls the lamb ‘my baby,'” she continued. “But we’ll definitely be keeping him for breeding. He’s so friendly now, and he’ll stay friendly.”