DOES ON KIDDING
Connie S. Reynolds
The other day I was watching some does standing around the barn, complacently chewing their cuds as their babies played. Their eyes were half closed, mouths slowly chewing, enjoying their first morning cud as kids charged around them, taking flying leaps off their motherís back.
One kid after another took turns chasing each other and then leaping on their momís back and standing there a second, daring a brother or sister to knock them off. Which they immediately did and off they ran chasing each other or someone else. If one of the kids jumped up on the wrong motherís back, he immediately got the evil eye and tilted off, if it was her kid, she stood still so as not to hurt her little darling. Now, when the kids get bigger and heavier, itís a whole new ball game. The mother immediately shakes the kid off or stands up against the side of the barn so as not to make such an easy target. If they jump up they get splattered against the side of the barn. But, for now the mothers were fondly allowing this new game the kids had discovered.
The way the does were standing around it made you think of them standing there gossiping while watching the children. I can hear them now talking about their perfect babies and having them.
Doe no. 1: "Ooooof! That little Tim is getting heavy. You wouldnít believe the time I had having that one!"
Doe no. 2: "Tell me about it. I must have stared at that wall all day thinking how bad I felt before even trying to have my Sara and Pat."
Does no. 3 & 4: "Ah huh. We hear you, girl."
Doe no. 5: "Well, I donít know about the rest of you, but I needed a little sustenance while waiting for these kids to be born, pain or not."
Doe no. 6: "I know it, I know it. Iíve found that eating a little while waiting helps take your mind off the discomfort."
Doe no. 2: "Eating a little?!" she snorted. "Remember, I was in the kidding pen beside you. Connie had to fill up your hay feeder twice before you started having your kids! No staring at the walls for you!"
Doe no. 6: "Of course not! Keep up your strength is my motto. Who knows how long itís going to take? Be strong and not so mealy mouthed you holler at every little pain."
Doe no. 1: "I heard that! I canít help it Iím the sensitive type."
Doe no. 2 looking at Doe no. 5: "Is it true that when you kid and lying there with the real serious pains that you actually stop pushing and take a bite of hay?"
Doe no. 5, very proudly: "Darn right. It helps me catch my breath and gives me an energy boost. Then, I feel ready to get right back at it."
Several does go, "Wow."
Doe no. 2: "What gets me is that ball of water that comes out first. Whatís that about?"
Doe no. 4: "I know what you mean. You feel absolutely horrible and you finally start straining some and this ball of water comes out. It hurts like the dickens."
All the does murmur in agreement.
Doe no. 6: "And, you know, sometimes it bursts inside you."
Does no. 2, 3, 4: "Youíre joking! That can happen?"
Doe no. 6: "You bet your sweet cud it can. It just flows out of you like you just drank a bucket of water. Some young ones think, well thatís it, false alarm. Ha! Then it starts getting serious."
Doe no. 5: "And, what about that Connie coming into your stall and watching? Is that weird or what? I say, what about privacy?"
Doe no. 2: "Privacy! Thatís a laugh. You werenít yelling for privacy last year when your baby, Brute, got stuck inside you. You were pretty happy Connie was there to wiggle him out. If I remember right, you were screaming at her to snap to it and get the little so and so out of there."
Doe no. 5: "Well, he was stuck and it certainly hurt. I was beside myself with pain and couldnít eat any hay to calm me down. You canít hold what I say at those stressful times against me."
Doe 3 & 4: "We like her in our stalls. Sheíll let us lay our heads in her lap and sheíll scratch us and tell us what brave girls we are."
Doe no. 3: "But, what I want to know, is what is that yucky stuff on the kids when they come out? And, you are suppose to lick that off?! Whatís that about?"
Doe no. 4: "I know what you mean. I just couldnít bring myself to do it. I waited until Connie cleaned the slime off and then I could bring myself to lick the kid."
Doe no. 3: "Thanks goodness she always has towels handy. I could bring my tongue almost close enough to lick that yucky stuff, but just couldnít do it. Iím like you, I could clean the kid after the slime was removed."
Doe no. 5, rolling her eyes: "Young does! Heaven help us."
Doe no. 6: "Donít worry, next year youíll just dive in before Connie gets a chance to use her towels. You were just taken by surprise. Youíll do fine. Youíll be in there licking, eager to get that baby up and nursing."
Doe no. 2: "Ha! Did you see those two over there?" Motioning to doe 3 & 4. "Connie had to hold them to make them let their own baby nurse!"
Doe 3 & 4: "Well, we didnít know what was going on! That cold wet thing staggering under us wanting to nurse. That kid was wet and absolutely froze you when it touched you! Weíd already licked on it. Just wasnít expecting the kid to do that next!"
Doe no. 5: "For heaven sake! Donít you remember nothing as a kid? What did you live on? Air? Of course your babies needed to nurse! I never heard of such a thing," she sputtered.
Doe no. 1: "Now, just settle down. They are young and learning. They have proved to be fine mothers, havenít you, dears?"
A baby flies through the air and lands awkwardly on Doe no. 1, almost bowling her over.
"Well," she says, "I think itís high time we move on out to the fields where these little dickens can find more room to run! Besides, my cud is gone and I need to do some serious browsing."
I watched as they all moved off as if they just had the same thought. They hollered to their kids to come on and they slowly moved down the hill to their favorite multiflora rose patch. Day had begun and all was right in the world in their eyes.