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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Anne Stapp

Unlikely Soulmates


Sometimes strong bonds of affection develop between members of the animal kingdom. A case in point is the 1855 story of Nevada City saloon owner James Quin’s diverse collection of pets.


Mr. Quin owned a beautiful fawn named Minnie, which he had raised with great care. He also had a large and very fine white pet lamb, a pointer dog, and a female setter. The four animals had formed a strong attachment to each other, and never seemed so happy as when they were together. In fact, the lamb and fawn were inseparable


One December day Mr. Quin returned home from a trip to the city, and was told the fawn was missing. It was late by then, however, so he put off searching for her until the next day, although he did notice that the lamb was excessively restless and unhappy. Next morning Mr. Quinn commenced a rigorous search through the nearby willows, attended every step of the way by the lamb and the two dogs.


After a while he found poor Minnie’s body, shot through by some prowling scoundrel. Standing beside him, the lamb sniffed the fawn and licked its cold face, showing every sign of deepest grief. Mr. Quin went back to his house, and asked his servant to come help him bury the animal. But on reaching the site again, the men found that the two dogs and the lamb, performing a task of love, had entirely covered Minnie’s body with leaves.


The party then returned to the house, but the lamb refused to be quieted, and kept up an incessant, mournful bleating. When Mr. Quin would ring a small bell that had been attached to Minnie’s neck, the lamb would instantly rush to the spot with the greatest anxiety, only to be sadly disappointed.


From that time on the lamb refused all nourishment—even water or milk—dying of a broken heart in a matter of days. Shedding unashamed tears, the humans buried the lamb beside its beloved Minnie on Saturday, December 8.

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