Aven & Plateau de Cavillore
View onto the plain of Caussols
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On May 22, 2009, Eric and I drove up to Gourdon and from there to the Col de l'Ecre where we parked the car. We wanted to climb the Aven to see the plain of Caussols from above; this is an undemanding but fun hike. We reached the first vantage point easily enough and spent a bit of time
enjoying the view. We then continued our climb towards the Plateau de Cavillore.
After a few minutes, we heard a persistent and plaintive bleating and expected to come across a flock of sheep. Instead, we found a tiny lamb, apparently abandoned, lost, and famished. While we were petting the cute
little thing, a fellow hiker joined us. She told us that, contrary to what I had assumed, no one would be looking for this lamb, that no local shepherd could possibly be bothered to go back up the mountain to look for one lost animal,
particularly not such a young one. She offered to carry the animal back to the valley and return it to the shepherd. We gladly accepted this suggestions and continued on our way.
We eventually reached the observatory and made our way back down to the plain from there. I had obtained the email address of the lady who had left with
the lamb, and I sent her a few photographs. In her response, Mrs. C. wrote the shepherd had claimed that the lamb, a female, was five days old and had spent three of them alone on the mountain. She would not survive long in the flock,
he guessed, but he could always use the meat for his dogs. Horrified, Mrs. C. took the animal home with her, and she and her husband began taking turns feeding her with a bottle. They also emptied their toolshed and converted it to
a temporary pen. Their dog, the email read, was absolutely thrilled to have a flock of one to watch over. The last we heard, things were going very well.
You never know what story you come back with when you go hiking; this one happened to have a happy ending.
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