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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
B U B - B U B - B U B
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BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
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BE HAPPY
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BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
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BLIZZARD OF 92
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CALLING YOOOOU
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CANE I DO IT?
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CATCHING PEARL
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CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
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DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
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DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
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EMMITT
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FEEL LIKE A NUT
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FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
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FULL OF BULL
G G
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HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
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IT TOOK TWO
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ODE TO ODOR
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THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
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THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
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WARNING LABLES
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WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
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WHAT A DAY
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WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
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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

BUCKET-HEAD AND OTHER KIDS
by
Connie S. Reynolds

We have been kidding for ten years now (no, we are not going around telling jokes). It seems to me, every couple of years you always get a group of "special" kids. I donít mean that they are mentally handicapped, but that would explain a lot of things. It just seems they have no fears, unless itís the one about being called late to supper.

When we started out with goats we had one small lone building on a ridge. This building was set on several big rocks for a foundation and the building was pretty well open underneath. We started adding on to this building various run-in sheds, following the slope of the hill. You know, a Frank Lloyd Wright type of thing of blending in with the surrounding country, leaving the landscape as it is. In other words, we didnít have the money to bulldoze off the top of the hill. You walked up and down the hill in our sheds, you just happened to have a roof over your head to protect you from rain.

Anyway, we had no problems with this arrangement until one year a crop of kids discovered they could go under the original building. Why this hadnít occurred to previous kid crops, I donít know. But, this group discovered it. Not only did they discover it, but they got lost under the building. How they could get lost with so many sides opened that they could just walk back out, I donít know. A couple of times a day several kids would run under the building, get scared in the dark, and just stand there and scream for help.

Mothers would come running, calling frantically, getting down on their knees and call to their lost child, peeking under the building. The kids would stay put in the dark and scream, "Ma! Ma! Come get me!" Most the does were too big to go in and save their children. A few tried and got wedged part way under the building.

We would come out and crawl underneath and first get the wedged doe out and then crawl around under the building to get the kids.

And it never failed. Us crawling around in that manner towards them always spooked them to the other side of the building. It never occurred to them to simply run on out from under the building. They stayed under the building, running from corner to corner as we tried to reach them. Eventually, weíd get them cornered and drag them out kicking and screaming to the world that there were indeed monsters under that building. Since our area has copperhead snakes, it was always a thrill for us to go under that building.

These kids never learned. The same ones would be "trapped" under the building the next day. Or, better yet, a few of the ones who had been trapped yesterday brought some new ones to experience the underside of the building.

We kept hoping they would learn, but they didnít. We finally got smart and started blocking three sides, limiting the many ways in, in the hope that they would eventually learn that it could be a nice cool place to lay under in the summer heat. We couldnít block it entirely off because it would indeed become a haven for rats and snakes. Yep, it only made it darker and the kids got lost more. So much for that idea.

A couple of years later was the "Broken Leg" year. We have clay soil on our hillsides. Usually under the clay are several underground springs. Get a little rain and one day you have a hillside and the next day you have that hillside sitting down in the valley. Slides are very common in the area. The clay can start sliding a little and then you hear tall trees falling left and right on your place. Really creepy.

Many times this clay will slide off and leave exposed tree roots on very steep hills. These roots will weave in and out of the clay, sometimes sticking out a couple of inches from the clay soil before they bury themselves deeper into the hill. Naturally, these would be the hills the kids would choose to play on.

Play, nothing. They usually came screaming down off those hills at super speed, not a bit afraid of how to stop, leaping exposed tree roots in a single bound, or not. I would find a kid or two with broke legs hobbling at the base of the hill trying to keep up to go back up the hill to try the kamikaze thing again. Our small animal vet got really tired of seeing us and having to set kidsí legs. Since these hills and exposed tree roots were everywhere, you fenced off one area and there were always several more to take their place.

Itís been 5 years since the "Broken Leg" year and I hope to never have another year like that again. Then, there was the "Bucket" year. We carry and use these big white bakery buckets everywhere. They are just handiest things, good for watering, carrying feed, carrying fencing tools, etc.

Maybe weíll leave a bucket or two in a pen for water or just plain olí forget about it and walk off and leave it. One day I saw a shocking sight. The main herd was in a turmoil. They were running hysterically from place to place, some were even hollering in fear. Bells on the collars were jangling so loud you couldnít hear yourself think.

Then I saw what was spooking them. A kid with a big white bucket stuck on his head. He must have put his head in the empty bucket lifted his head up and the bucket came with it. All he would have had to do was lower his head and the bucket would have dropped off.

But, soon as those does saw that kid with the bucket on his head, running around in circles hollering, they took off. No one claimed that child. And, he could hear those bells on the collars and knew what direction to run with them. Everyone was about to drop from fright by the time I got out there and snatched that bucket from the kidís head as he ran by.

Another day I heard the herd in a frenzy again. Ran out and saw a peg legged kid run by, chasing the herd, trying to keep up with a big white bucket on one front leg. He must have stuck his head in the empty bucket, picked the bucket up, lowered his head enough for the bucket to fall off, but the handle dropped down over his neck and withers. This caused him to jump forwards and a front leg must have went into the bucket, trapping it. He could run really fast with his bucket peg leg. He got the herd cornered and they all faced him, heads up, ears forward, nostrils flared, tails screwed so tight over their backs that they would never straighten right again.

He stopped and stared at them like, "You looking at me?" And, thatís when I nailed him and got the bucket off his "bum" leg. We were very cautious for a year or two to not leave any type of bucket anywhere near the kids in an open field.

Last year we weaned a bunch of doe kids in a large run-in shed. I left a tall white bucket in the corner for me to turn upside down and sit on to visit with the girls. I love tame goats. One morning I came down the hill and looked in the shed and saw a doe walking around with a bucket over her head.

Oh, no! She then lowered her head and dropped the bucket off, cool as a cucumber. She looked at it with interest, stuck her head in it again and picked the bucket up with it covering her head and proudly walked around with it, bumping into other kids and walls. The kids didnít pay any attention to her. When she was through, another kid walked over and did the same thing. They were having so much fun with that bucket that I left it in their pen, but took the handle off. I had always wondered why I found the bucket in different spots each day in that run-in shed. Mystery solved.

I keep wondering what year this will be for my kids. Another Bucket-head year? Another Lost Under the Building and Canít Get Out year? Or, something entirely different that it will make me look fondly back on the Broken Leg year as easy times. I shudder to think.

THE END

 

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