IT'S been 10 years since former midwife Rachel Best delivered anything - so imagine her surprise when her latest delivery turned out to be a lamb.

Mother-of-four Rachel, 38, from Llanfoist, near Abergavenny, was called upon to put her medical know-how to the test when a struggling ewe was in danger of losing its life.

"The farmer in the field behind our home was extremely worried about the poor animal who had been trying to deliver its lamb all day," said art student Rachel.

"He knew I was a midwife many years ago and came to me in desperation. Luckily I hadn't forgotten any of my skills and was delighted to help.

"It was no different to delivering a baby. "I had to use my hands to pull the lamb out legs first. The whole process took about five minutes and although the lamb was struggling to breath to begin with, after some massage it soon came around. Mother and child are doing fine."

A student at Hereford College of Art, Rachel is studying for a new career as an illustrator and may one day illustrate children's books.

Her eight-year-old son Thomas christened the lamb Sam and the family enjoy helping to feed the flock with bottles of milk.

If called upon again to help out, Rachel was not sheepish and said she would jump at the chance.