Have you ever wondered where certain terms or phrases came from? From my own personal experiences, Iíd say they come from real life. Snatched bald, bite me, pantsíd, knocked end over end, and scared spitless, are a few that come to mind when being a goat farmer.
The other day I had taken my DE (diatomaceous earth) bucket out into the herd with my homemade duster (one pound coffee can with large holes drilled in the bottom and the plastic lid for the cap). I like to dust with DE if I see any of the girls even look like they want to itch. It does help get rid of lice without worrying if you are poisoning kids or pregnant does. I like using Sevin 5 dust too, but prefer DE. You just have to watch DE if you dust too heavily or too often, it will dry the goatsí coats out.
As I was filling up my homemade duster, a lot of the girls were gathered around the bucket happily eating the DE. Food grade DE is safe and has a lot of minerals in it and sometimes the girls will even lick it off each otherís backs. One girl could not get near the bucket because of the crowd and as I bent down to pick up my duster out of the bucket, she reached over and grabbed a big mouthful of my hair and pulled for all she was worth.
Iím not joking, a big handful of my hair fell out from that pull. I had been snatched bald on the left side, above the ear, by one of my own girls. I let her know in no uncertain terms that it was a no-no to get irritated at Big Momma (me) and bite me. Now, I am considering a serious comb over to hide the bald spot, or wearing a hat all the time until it grows back, if it grows back.
That comes to the phrase "bite me". People think goats donít bite because they have only bottom teeth on the front. Let me tell you, I donít know how many times Lee and I have been innocently standing in the herd and a goat comes up wanting immediate attention and takes a nip out of our behinds. Talk about levitating straight above the herd. My innocent customers have met a few of the "nippers" in our herd. These goats always go for the rear end. I guess because there is more then an inch to pinch there and they always get such a good response.
Pantsíd is another good term. In the coldest part of winter, I like to wear thick, heavy jogging pants when working outside. So much warmer than jeans, they just make me feel warm all over when I wear them. I also wear a long winter coat, about mid thigh length. A couple of weeks ago a really cold snap came through and I put away the jeans and got out the thick, warm jogging pants. As you may know, jogging pants are held up mainly by an elastic band.
I was walking through the baby bucksí field carrying some hay to another pen, when all the baby bucks came running. They were feeling good. They loved this cold snap. They instantly jumped on me to say "Howdy" and their little hooves slid down getting caught in the loose jogging pants. Before I knew it, they had pantsíd me. Down fell the pants, fortunately my long barn coat saved me from complete humiliation. I dropped everything and snatched up the pants. No wonder people drive by our place so slowly.
Knocked end over end was experienced by Lee last week. He went out to the yearling bucksí pen carrying hay and grain. The two big boys were so happy to see him, they started showing off by playing with each other, doing serious head butting and body swingings. They got so carried away, they forgot about Lee stepping into the pen, over the electric fence in front of the gate, and caught him just right, knocking him end over end outside the gate. Grain and hay went everywhere and the boys stood there all puzzled by why Lee was now lying outside the gate and not coming in to feed them. It was no time to take a nap. They were hungry.
Scared spitless happens a lot around here. Have you ever been so instantly spooked that your mouth dries up and no sound can come out? Goats can do this to a person. Lee and I will be standing in the house or eating a meal and one of the goats will let out a blood curdling scream that we can hear clearly inside the house. We look at each other in horror, mouths working but words not coming out, and already our legs have skipped the walking phase and gone into hyper drive to charge outside and see what is going on. Usually it is something innocent, like a goat fight and one doe is screaming a curse at her adversary or someone has accidentally bumped into the electric fence. It still takes a few minutes for the pounding heart to settle down and the spit to return to your mouth.
No wonder we goat farmers look like an over stressed lot. Between being snatched bald, bit, pantsíd, knocked end over end, and scared spitless, who can look relaxed? And, Iím sure if I thought about it for a minute, there are more phrases that would apply to our line of work, goat farming.