Once again we got to meet another wee goat farmer when her daddy came to buy goats. Over the years I’ve met a lot of wee goat farmers, some experienced, some just starting out, and it’s always interesting. These are the pre-teen present and future goat farmers. Their ages start at one year on up to twelve. I’ve only met two future wee goat farmers that were under six months. The first one calmly sucked on her pacifier, safe in her mother’s arms, and had no comment about the goats. The other decided to try climbing out of her mother’s arms and escape someway when the weanling goat jumped on the gate and shouted a happy hello at her.
The wee goat farmers come in a variety of temperaments when they arrive on our farm.
Some are wound so tight and excited over being on a farm and around goats, that as soon as they hit the ground from stepping out of the truck, they explode in all different directions. Which makes all of us adults scurry after them, rounding them up, and trying to keep them confined in our tight circle as we proceed to go look at the goats. The thrill of it all is more then they can handle.
Others keep control of their excitement and just sort of vibrate in place, obediently following their parents, but nevertheless the air just shimmers around them. If you are a SciFi fan, you would say they were phasing in and out of reality, vibrating from so much excitement on being on a goat farm. The goats go on alert from these two types of wee goat farmers, the wound up exploding type and phasing in and out of reality type. Like deer they keep their eyes on these future wee goat farmers, because they are never sure where the wee goat farmers are going end up near them before we catch up with them.
We’ve had the more serious minded wee goat farmer that has been around the cattle and the hogs and they arrive with their parents in miniature coverall’s, barn boots, and baseball caps , boy or girl, looking like their dad. You can tell who spends the most time with their farmer dad. The mother arrives with them with every hair in place, clothes fancy and neat, make-up on, and a cloud of perfume wafting around her. Which immediately the goats start curling their lip up and snorting in the air. They never get the benefit of perfumed air until company arrives, and they think something has gone dreadfully wrong on the farm when they smell it.
The wee coverall goat farmers calmly stands and studies the goats with the parents, helps sorts them out, though they are so short most the time the goats don’t notice them, and assists in the loading. You keep wondering who these very short adults are.
One boy who had walked way out into the pasture to look at some goats, just quietly followed his parents, not having any expression about the matter. After walking back and forth a while, the big male livestock guard dog came up to walk with him. By this time all the goats were curious about us and were following us back to the barn. This boy was surrounded by a large herd of goats and had a very large livestock guard dog beside him. He simply threw his arm across the dog’s back, which came to his shoulders, and said, “You getting tired too, boy?” I knew then he was going to make a grand wee goat farmer at the matter of fact way he accepted something totally new to him.
I still laugh about the young boy who’s only experience had been a pet cat, arrived with his parents on our farm. His parents had had goats when they were children and were wanting to get back into goat farming. I get a lot of adults like that. Adults who had originally been wee goat farmers and didn’t realize how much they would miss it. Their ten year old boy was standing in the weanling pen with them, not moving around much, just staying quiet. When suddenly, one of my ex-bottle babies came up to him, reared up, and put her feet on his shoulders, and looked straight into his eyes.
He stood there a second and then told her, “Yeah, I love you, too.” He was just as calm as all get out. Most new kids would have freaked out. He didn’t realize it, but right then he became another wee goat farmer. A lot of the little weanlings happily stood around him while his parents made their selections.
The last wee goat farmer that showed up with her dad was a small little girl, five years old. This tiny little thing walked into the weanling pen and was calm and quiet. Soon, the ex-bottle babies found her and thought she was wonderful, and then she had some momma raised weanlings come over and stand with her as she quietly petted them. She didn’t know it but she was another wee goat farmer in the making.
She was so quiet and polite, but what tested her fortitude was the weanlings’ playhouse. A couple of years ago we found that large plastic playhouse at a garage sale and bought it for ten dollars. We put it in one of the kids’ run-in sheds and they loved it. They ran in and out of the half door, leaped through the windows, but best of all, several liked to pack themselves in and look out the windows and door and just stand there and chew their cuds.
The dad was busy talking with us and I just happened to look over and there stood that little girl, looking at the goats and the playhouse with such longing, wanting to go in there and stand with them. She was smart. She sensed that some of the weanlings were okay with her if she didn’t get too close, so she stood outside the door looking in. I figure this wee goat farmer was going to have a playhouse in with her goats when she got home.
Wee goat farmers, the future of the goat business. We need to take good care of them.