It’s a sad little parade, the march of the two-headed farm animals. We can only imagine it, since most of the critters never make it alive past their own births. But there they go, the two-faced calves and piglets and foals, staggering along in zigzag fashion, each head disagreeing which way to turn, when to drink or eat or even breathe. Their innards are generally as confused as their outsides. It would be a lousy kind of life, so perhaps it’s best they stayed where they were, at the beginning.
It’s not monstrously rare in livestock, the two-headed bit, especially in hooved animals. (Though, it must be said, it is quite far from usual.) And for some reason, except for the occasional calf emerging in a tangle of multiple legs, the job seems to be a clean one, with animals displaying one nice trim trunk and four sturdy legs. It’s only the head that gets the ditto treatment.
This is nothing even remotely new. Fossils from over 120 million years ago have been dug up showing signs of polycephaly -- meaning “multiple heads” from the Greek – so our sweet two-headed lamb, Ewe Too, has a good deal of company if you look backward through time.
As we bring this to a close, imagine the baby animal parade gamboling away over the meadow. There’s our diminutive lamb bringing up the rear, wagging both of its tails behind it.
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Now that’s rare.
Peg Boettcher has been wrangling curios and working for Ye Olde Curiosity Shop since 2004.
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