During his time in politics, Eurobodalla Mayor Fergus Thomson has been accused of having the wool pulled over his eyes more than once.
It’s an allegation he’d likely reject, but one that may be hard to dispute after a little lamb this week became the first real sheep to sit in the Mayor’s chair.
Far from following him to school one day, Mayor-y Thomson chose to take the lamb to his workplace after it was rejected by its mother and had to be fed four-hourly.
The Thomsons would usually “cross-bag” the little creature with a foster mother, which involves putting a jacket on another newborn lamb, and then putting it on the orphan to try to confuse the mother into believing she has two lambs with the same smell.
But Cr Thomson said he didn’t have time to do that straight after the lamb was born, as it was weak and needed to be bottle-fed.
“So, it ended up in here,” he said.
“This sort of thing can only happen to a country mayor.”
The act of kindness has also proven politically astute, with council flooded by responses after it shared the “it could only happen in the country” moment on Facebook.
It seems little lamby has become the shire’s favourite political figure.
“People have embraced it,” Cr Thomson said. “I don’t get anywhere near the publicity that lamb got!”
The lamb stayed in a cage in the Mayor’s office for the day and was fed by Cr Thomson and his wife, Yvonne, in between meetings and Mayoral commitments.
Cr Thomson said anyone who didn’t know the situation would have been confused by the frequent bleating coming from behind the closed door.
Later in the week, Cr Thomson managed to find a foster mother for the lamb, and she is now happily grazing in the paddock with her new mother.
Cr Thomson said the lamb was part of the rebuild of his herd, following the recent long drought.
He said he was concerned about recent reports of a dry spell over the next couple of months.
“We really don’t want to go back into a period of drought,” he said.
“It would be good to see the lamb grow up in a good season.”