After watching several shows about profiling the criminal mind, it suddenly occurred to me that I was a profiler. I have a real knack for profiling goats. Not that they have criminal minds, though sometimes I wonder how they know I am carrying a dewormer. Then, itís really downright criminal how hard I have to work to catch them to worm them.
People call me all the time wanting to know why their goats are acting certain ways. Or, if I'm standing in line at the feed store and people ask what I do and I say I am a goat farmer and goat profiler. After the first burst of laughter, mainly over being a goat farmer, they see that I am serious, particularly when I hand them my business piece of paper. Most people hand out business cards, but unable to figure out how to print the things off on my computer, I've decided that artfully crafted torn pieces of paper written in pencil, with my name and Autumn Farm, Goat Farmer and Goat Profiler, shows the real me. Besides, itís easier to crumple and throw away and people appreciate that you try to be so thoughtful.
"Why does my goat stand on top of my parked car?" is a frequent question. Other than saying, "Why don't you have a better fence?" I explain carefully, "Your goat is a goat. Besides, he might get hurt if it was moving."
"Why does my goat try to take the grain bucket away from me?" Methodically I point several things out to them. "Your goat came from a doe who was bred by a buck. He grew up never getting all the milk he wanted. Either he got too full or mom said enough is enough. But, that desire to always be full is there. He sees your grain bucket as a way to fulfillment. Besides, he sees you as an easy mark and figures there must be some way he can knock you down and take your bucket," I finish triumphantly.
"My buck was so sweet as a baby, now as a grown up, he just chases me out of the pen." I nod wisely, "First, your buck came from a doe, who was bred by a buck." This is my favorite line. Peopleís eyes open wide and stare at me in amazement at my deep thinking. "He grew up with important individuals around him. His mother gave him milk. All the other kids were for him to chase and ride, even their mothers. Hey, sometimes his own. A bucks got to make do with what heís got. But, those goats were important to him. You're not. What use are you? Of course he chases you out of his pen. Now, if you are carrying a grain bucket, then you are of some use. But, you get into that whole other thing of him then wanting to take your bucket and I'll profile that for you in the next session."
"Why do my little bottle babies attack me and bite me?" My first thought was, "They want a bottle?" But, I guide them along the path of understanding and give them a profile. "Your bottle kids come from does who were bred to a buck. But, along the way something happened and they needed to be given a bottle. Now, to them, you are a walking bottle. Go in peace and understanding."
"One of my goats keeps lifting the gate latch up and letting all the goats out." I nod in understanding. "Your escaping goats come from does who were bred to bucks. Zillions of years ago they traveled in herds, dodging huge dinosaurs who might step on them. This tendency to keep moving is still with them and besides, they have learned a cute trick and want to keep on doing it. Nothing is better to them then seeing you turn red in the face as you try to get them back in their lots. To thwart their wayward actions, I would suggest a rope, not tied to them, but around your gate and post. And, please, no simple knot. They will laugh in your face. Have a Boy Scout show you a complicated knot and then your goats will be satisfied with their lot in life."
"How did you become so knowledgeable about goats?" I always look wisely off into the horizon, thinking over the past. "It came from being around goats for years and years. Chasing them over hills, up and down roads, through the pastures. Getting knocked over by adult goats and kids. Being chased around the chicken house by bucks. Having to toss my feed bucket up in the air too many times to count in order to save my skin from a herd of bucket hungry goats. Sitting up many cold nights helping does have their kids, and then being chased out of the stall by the ungrateful ones. The rest of the girls were thankful when I towel off most the slime from their new babies. Just years and years of studying these complicated animals."
"But, what finally pulled it all together was that these goats come from does that were bred by bucks." That wide eyed stare from people is well worth the art of goat profiling.