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
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
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
So much for downsizing.