“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I guess I’m not as young as I used to be. I thought I would finish my post about those damn Yankees yesterday evening, but I fell asleep at the computer. I guess I’ll wrap it up this morning before I start my day.
Before I wrap this story up, there is a very funny incident I will try to describe. As a city slicker, I never thought any animal had a personality except cats and dogs. Living on a farm has taught me otherwise. Most of the goats were real sweet. Some liked to get attention, and a few were skittish. The young goats were very animated and the males were, well, they mostly thought of just one thing – mating! But I found out that these goats did have individual little personalities different from one another. I found it thoroughly amazing.
Back to the funny incident. When goats freshen, unlike humans who are flat on their back in a hospital seeking assistance from a doctor, they usually don’t have any problem. This one goat was especially nimble. She had given birth to one kid and after checking out that kid and verifying that all was well, she went about her business of walking around and eating. Well she wasn’t quite done and as she was walking around, another goat started coming out, but not all the way. This little one was partly out – the head was out and the sack was broke. Mama was grazing when she suddenly heard a baby call out to her. She turned around, called back but didn’t see any baby. Once again the baby call out – baa, baaaa, and mama turned around again and called back but didn’t see a baby. Now mama was getting panicky and started looking around for this baby that was calling her more and more. She ran back to the pen to check on the baby she gave birth to, and it was sleeping soundly. Suddenly she hear the cry again, baa, baaaa, turning around and calling back she still didn’t see a baby. By this time Rob and I were on the ground in tears laughing so hard. She was quite a sight – a normal goat head on the one end and a little tiny head sticking out of her rear on the opposite end. Each one calling the other and not seeing the other. Luckily with each baaaa, baaaa, the little goat came out a little more and finally finished his journey in the pen next to his sibling. Mama looked at us when this second goat appeared as if to say, where did he come from? I wish I had my camera with me at that time, it would have been a great shot. But of course this happened over the course of a few minutes and I would have missed the whole thing had I gone for my camera.
Eventually our daughter grew up, got married, had a baby and moved away. Farming and taking care of animals became harder and harder. The chickens were the first to go, not that we ate them or got rid of them, – the coyotes took care of that for us. One by one we would find a dead hen in the pasture with its stomach ripped wide open and the entrails scattered around. Not a pretty site.
The goats all had names – females had individual names and wethers all had the same name – bar-b-que! We had regular customers who came to purchase the wethers and eventually all we had left were females. One day, after an unusually long period of rain, we sold off the remaining herd. Why did I mention rain you ask? Well, when it rains a lot, the goats need to be wormed more frequently, and that was a very tedious task that required at minimum two people, and at best three people. With our daughter married and gone, it became a task neither my husband or myself wanted to do. I usually had to do it alone because he was at work and if I waited for him to have a day off, it felt to him as if he didn’t have a day off. So we decided to sell the remaining herd to a farmer about 30 miles north of us. It was a relief to not have the daily task of feeding and corralling the goats, but soon the rear pasture became overgrown again. We opened the goat pasture back up to Max, our stallion, and during the winter months the rear pasture looked good. But each summer would bring more and more weeds until even during the winter there were lots of weeds left. Now with Max gone, it will become a jungle again.
Today a friend will be bringing one of his friends by to check out our rear pasture. He needs another pasture for his cows. I guess he has more cows than his land can handle. I’ve never had cows nor been up close to a cow before. Cows don’t seem to be very intelligent, but I’ve been told they too have personalities. I guess I’ll find out if he decides to rent our pasture. If he ends up not renting out pasture, in the spring we will plant pines. At least the smell will be good and the future sale of the wood in 15-20 years will be something to look forward to.
So, I guess having been down here for 21 years and not planning on leaving or returning to the north makes me a damn Yankee!