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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
4 H FRETTER-ER
A BUCK GROWS UP
ADAPTING
AGAIN, THE SKY IS FALLING
ALL YOU NEED IS ... CARDBOARD
AMANNAMEDJED
AND THEN IT GOT COLD
AND THEN IT WARMED UP TO ZERO
ANGRY GOAT FARMER
ANTIQUE GOAT FARMING
ANYTHING BUT THAT
ARE BUCKS EVER BABIES
AROMA THERAPY
ARTFUL DODGERS
ARTIC FRONT
AUTUMN BOQUET
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BLIZZARD OF 92
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CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
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CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
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EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
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FEEL LIKE A NUT
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FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
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FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
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HELP! HELP! HELP!
HELP! I'M IN THE BATHTUB
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HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
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I'M STILL HERE?
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IT TOOK TWO
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ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
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RUB DIRT ON IT
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THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
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THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
THIS END UP
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WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
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WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
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WHAT DAY IS IT
WHAT'D YOU SAY?
WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
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WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NOÖ
ZAPPED!
autumnfarmsboers.com
Lee & Connie Reynolds
Autumn Farm
Ravenswood, WV

Downsizing
by
Connie S. Reynolds

The other morning, while we were sitting at the table eating a healthy, hearty breakfast of cold cereal (I never said I could cook), Lee looked at me and said, "You know, we have almost one hundred goats on the place."

I paused with my spoon in my mouth, knowing this was leading up to an EVENT.

"And, Iím starting to have trouble with my right shoulder. Donít you think we should sell a few goats?"

Listen, when my husband of 27 years talks about goats, I listen. Heís the best goat catcher Iíve ever seen. Heís a goat catcher, head chute, squeeze chute all rolled up into one person. And I can take him over any terrain and work him under any conditions. I need a goat caught to be doctored; heís got that goat nailed while Iím still rolling around in the mud wondering where the goat went.

When he says heís got parts wearing out, I pay close attention. Because I donít know of any catalog that sells manmade goat catcher, head chute, and squeeze chute parts.

With spoon in mouth, I started ruminating over his question. I have the coldest, analytical, business like mind in our area. Itís a blessing for a business, but a curse for anyone getting in its way. Iím even internationally known for my business sense. People are constantly emailing me from around the world, wanting to invest in my goat business. All I have to do is send them ten thousand dollars or give them all my account numbers.

I looked at him and said, "My babies?" I put my spoon down. "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let me catch my breath. I seem to be hyperventilating."

"Okay, okay. Iíll take my writing tablet out and make the list today. Iíll keep our goals in mind. Keep only the best, the chunkiest, the quickest growing goats. Good chest development, good shoulder, muscular rumps, and tough, theyíve got to be tough. Independent. And nothing that needs a lot of groceries in order to look good. AndÖ"

Lee raised his hand up to stop my analytical thoughts. "You figure it out. Iíve got to go to work."

Ignoring the dishes to be washed because what I had to do was important, I grabbed up my writing tablet and a pencil. I decided to leave my glasses because I knew if I wrote big Iíd be able to read it just fine. And, Iíd be able to see my goats all right because I had an inner sixth sense in what made up a good goat. Who needed to actually see them clearly?

The first one to greet me out in the field was Punkin Head. She was a young doe, extremely small because of sickness. It seemed she had trouble with weather changes. I was constantly doctoring her. She was no bigger then a toy Poodle. She ran from across the field to say hello. I bent down and picked her up and hugged her. After carefully setting her down, I started writing in my table, "Punkin Head -- KEEP". After all, who could take better care of her then I could?

Another young doe ran up to greet me. She was built more like the fine dairy type. She looked up at me in complete and total adoration. I wrote her name down under KEEP.

A big chunky doe with muscular hindquarters, big chested, beautiful shoulders, roman nosed, correct color went skulking off into the underbrush. She was always hard to catch. I wrote her name down under SELL.

Another doe let out an ear piercing long wail of "Naaaaaaaaaaaaa." She never goes "na-a-a-a-a", breaking it up. It always one long "Naaaaaaaaa", grating against your nerves like a fingernail over a chalkboard. I wrote her name down under "Sell".

Two does ran up to me and stopped a foot away and snorted. Noting that I didnít have a grain bucket, they stuck their noses up in the air and disdainfully walked off. "Always looking for a grain bucket," I muttered. "Not a bit independent. Hard to catch if you donít have a grain bucket, the ingrates." I marked their names down on the SELL list.

Several ran up to check me out and stayed with me for a petting. I marked their names down under KEEP. One chunky girl, beautifully colored, butted a kid head over heels. I marked her down under SELL. Downsizing wasnít so hard.

I noted a group of girls up in the brush really chowing down. No place was too tough for them to get into to get that brush. I marked them down to KEEP. Another group was out grazing on grass. I jotted their names down under SELL.

One girl walked over to closely watch what I was doing. She then ran her teeth across my arm, scratching it, and walked away. "Disrespectful," I muttered, and marked her down under SELL. Another came up and wadded up a piece of my shirt in her mouth and followed me around that way. "Cute," I told her, and marked her under KEEP.

Several young kids came over and bounced off me like a trampoline, having a wonderful time. I marked them down under KEEP. A couple of the hundred and fifty pound yearlings tried this. I marked them under SELL. My pencil was just a flying, working on this downsizing. Lee would be so proud of me.

The bucks were next. I stepped into the buck pen, flew around the buck building, and dove back over the gate. I wrote down the slow bucks under KEEP.

That evening after the chores and we were sitting in front of the TV with popcorn, I handed him my list. Still, the SELL side of the tablet did look awfully small.

"Youíre going to sell Daisy? Porky? Evelyn? Cindy?" he said in dismay. "Let me have that pencil!"

So much for downsizing.

THE END

 

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