‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, but me and my spouse;
The wool stockings were hung by the wood stove with great care,
In the hopes they’d be warm before the next wear;
You see, the due does were all nestled in beds,
While visions of grain and alfalfa danced thru their sweet heads;
And me in my down coat and Lee in his Carharts,
Had just sat on buckets for a long winter’s watch,
When from one of the stalls there rose such a groan,
I sprang from my bucket to see what was the matter.
I flew to the first stall and peeked over the door,
And realized the sound came from Lee on the floor.
Buckets get no softer as the hours go by,
And Lee had tilted too much on one of his thighs,
So what to my watering eyes should appear,
But a big ol’man curled up on his rear.
With great longing I wished I too could be there,
All comfy against barn wall, legs sprawled out in goat berries;
Ah, but I knew I must care and not do the same,
If the girls just happened to call me by name.
"Baaa, Connie, come quick, we just felt a pang,
And it wasn’t from hunger or thirst that it came!"
To the next stall I ran, and the next and the next!
And found several girls all looking in pain.
As quick as the wind, I ran down the aisle;
Tripping over Lee’s feet as I searched all the while,
For kidding supplies all neat in a bucket, you see,
With towels, iodine, plastic gloves, and, oh me.
In a twinkling, I heard Lee leap to his feet
As he heard the antsing and pawing of doe’s feet.
I snatched up my kidding bucket with all those good things,
And tossed Lee’s to him as he turned with a spring.
We both took a stall and leaned over the door,
To watch in great wonder as the girls stood up from the floor.
And what should our ever-widening eyes should appear,
But big bags of water dropping straight from their rears.
This was it! It’s happening! And everyone at once!
Heavens to Betsy! How could this all be? I said with a bounce.
Every single doe is saying it’s me, it’s me,
Who is kidding, so get right over here on your knee.
The does all circled and soon picked a spot,
And laid down with a groan and I was there like a shot.
With barn lights on and oh what a Christmas scene,
Also flashlights turned on in dark places unseen.
We watched as little hooves would quickly appear,
And pray that two hooves instead of three would come here,
Soon little noses on top of the hooves,
Came looking like diving, oh such sweet little kids.
Mothers reaching back to quickly lick noses,
So kids could breathe and make sucking noises.
Those who couldn’t reach or quickly get up,
Lee and I were right there, soft towels wrapping up.
Towels to wipe faces, slick little wet bodies,
Heat lamps to take the chill out of the late nite;
Cutting off tops of socks to put over wet ears,
To keep frostbite at bay on this cold Christmas night.
We worked and we worked until four in the morning,
Making sure kids survived the shivery cold dawning,
All up and eating, all mothers sweet-talking,
To find such good presents on this Christmas morning.
Lee and I moved weary limbs as we walked,
Hoping the wood stove’s fire had not gone out.
Stopping a second under the dark starry sky,
Giving thanks for all the many sweet blessings this night.
Couldn’t help but smile as we stood on the hill,
Watching lights come on as if all of one will,
Children waking up, hoping for great sights,
And we both softly said while heading to bed,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"