Thursday, August 13, 2009

If it's Thursday, Lucy's in charge...

When I bought the goat herd last summer, little did I know what life would be like.... I have learned about worms, parasites, birthin' goats, hay, feed, and about thirty things to do with goat's milk, except drink it. What a vegetarian is doing with a goat is beyond all understanding. I like the way the goats smell -- even the bucks. I like their whiney. I love their sense of humor. And I particularly enjoy the fact that a buck will wee-wee on your feet if you make them mad. I enjoy that, sadly. Especially when the victim is a traveling ---- fill-in the blank that I would prefer not to spend my time with. And, we won't discuss what I am doing with chickens.... Let's save that for another day.

So, here I am, with three milking does and two doelings. And five kids. And four pygmies. And three bucks. And one wether. How I went from five goats to this large herd is beyond me. Our vet tried to explain to me that boy plus girl of anything means more little boys or girls of anything, but I already knew this. What I didn't know was how what seemed impossible, wasn't, at least to goats.

Never was this more evident to me than when our pygmies gave, surprise!, birth to twins from, wait for it, an Alpine buck. Twice their size. Three times their weight. And we didn't even know it until we had babies. It just seemed impossible. However, there they were. Four kids. All from Maestro, a very large, very, er, plain, Alpine buck. When we realized who the kids' daddy was (that was a terrible line, wasn't it??), I asked the vet how it could happen.

She tried to explain: "You have a BOY goat, right? And you have a GIRL goat, right? Well..."

I stopped her: "I understand that, but he is like three feet taller than either of the girls. I don't get it. Did they ...??" I just couldn't fathom it.

She sighed. "They laid down and..."

I ran from the stall, yelling, "pink elephants!pink elephants!pink elephants!"

So, it comes as no surprise to me that the gals seem to take days to be in charge of the herd. Today was Lucy's day. I just love Lucy. She is a very blonde Alpine with little dangly bits that make me think of Hasidic Jews. It is such a kick to pull on them and her beard. She seems, actually, to like it. She is the only gal currently being milked, so she is quite eager to be the first in the feed line. In reality, she has to be last so the milk doesn't sit too long. But this doesn't deter her. She spent the day following the shade around the side and back of the barn and milking parlor. As the sun moved, Lucy moved. Finally, she stood up and began to call me.

"Bah," she lowed softly.

"In a bit; not time," I responded.

She chewed her cud a bit -- all of five minutes.

"BAh!" she called a little louder.

"In a little bit; it is too early," I protested.

She walked around to the hay rack, pulled some down, and chewed another five minutes.

"BAH!" she bellowed.

"It is only 4:30. You can wait!" I answered roughly.

She chewed her cud and stomped her feet.

"Too early," I argued again.

She stomped, bah-ed again softly, probably calling me rude names, and laid back down, chewing her cud.

Five minutes later, "BAHHHH!"

I sighed. "Okay; be right there."

My son laughed. "You shouldn't have put the clock out there; they can tell time."

I giggled. "Only Lucy."

I picked up the milking bucket and headed to the barn. Can't keep Lucy waiting.

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