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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
BABY BACK EXCUSE
BABY MONITORS
BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
BE HAPPY
BEAUTY MISTAKES
BEHAVIORS
BEHIND THE GATE
BIG 10-4 GOAT FARMER
BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
BILLBOARD GOAT FARMING
BILLIES & STICKWEEDS
BLIZZARD OF 92
BLONDE GOAT FARMER
BLONDE HUMOR
BOTTLE BABIES
BOTTLE BABY TALK
BOTTLE BABY WITHDRAWAL
BOXING SUNBEAMS
BRONCHITIS.
BRUISE OR DIRT
BUCK LOVE
BUCKETHEAD
BUCKS IN STOCK
CALLING YOOOOU
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
CARPAL TUNNEL HAY
CATCHING PEARL
CHICK CHICK CHICORY
CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
DUMPSTER RAIDERS
EARPUGS
EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS - DANCERS
ESCAPE ARTIST
ESCORT SERVICE
FALLING SKY
FARM WALK
FARMER C S I
FEEL LIKE A NUT
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
FLOATING MUSHROOMS
FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
GIRL WATCHER
GLIDING
GLOBAL SUPPORT CENTER
GNAWED AND BASICALLY CHEWED
GOAT ADDICTION
GOAT CELEBRATIONS
GOAT FARMER SONG
GOAT FARMER WEIGHT TRAINING
GOAT FARMER'S CREED
GOAT FARMING CAMP
GOAT HOLIDAY GIFTS
GOAT HUNTING
GOAT KLEENEX
GOAT LANGUAGE
GOAT OLYMPICS
GOAT PROFILER
GOAT SCIENTIST
GOAT WHEELS
GOAT WRITER
GOATS RULE
GOOD GRIEF
GOT RUNS?
GOTTA WORK KIDS
GRAND CANYON OF CHILDRESS
GREAT KIDDERS
HAULING GOATS
HAVE MILK WILL TRAVEL
HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE
HAY MONITOR
HE-BE-GEE-BE'S
HELP! HELP! HELP!
HELP! I'M IN THE BATHTUB
HELPING HOOVES
HERD OF TURTLES
HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (A GROANER)
HOME DECORATOR
HORNLESS
HOT CHOCOLATE
HOW TO BUY GOATS
HOW YOU FEELING?
HUGS
HUNDERD YEARS
HUNTING LUMBERJACKS
I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE
I FEEL PRETTY
I PREFER LONG EYE LASHES
I REALLY DO HAVE A HOME
I'LL HOLD HIM BACK
I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
I'M STILL HERE?
INDIAN SUMMER
INNOCENT 1ST TIME KIDDERS
INTERNET AUCTIONS
INVESTMENTS
IRON WILL
IT TOOK TWO
JINGLE BELL GOATS
JOKE - GET A JOB!
JOYFUL
JUMPY LITTLE SNOWBIRD
JUST 1 MORE GOAT
KEYSTONE KOPS
KID CATCHING
KID IN A BOX
KID SENSORY OVERLOAD
KIDMARES
KNUCKLE SANDWICHES
LADYLIKE BUCK SELLER
LAST BUCK STANDING
LEFT OVERS
LETTERS
LETTERS FROM THE FARM
M. D. GOAT
MAD AGGIE
MANIPULATE WHAT?
MASTER BLASTER
MAYBE THIS TIME
MEMBER ME
MIND CONTROL
MR. SNUFFY
MUSHROOM HUNTING
MUTTER MUTTER
NAMING GOATS
NANNY BERRIES ~ DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
NEW "KID" ... SHOWING
NEW HAY IN THE HOUSE
NEW KIDS.
NEW YEARíS RESOLUTIONS
NORMAL
OCTOBER KIDDING
ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
PANIC ATTACK!
PAW PAWS
PHILOSOPHY OF HYPOCRISY
PHONE CALLS
PHONE CLASS
PICK POCKETS
PIRANHA PEN
PLAYING DEAD
PLEASED AS PUNCH
PLEASING GOAT CUSTOMERS
PLOP
POOF POOF
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
PRESENTS
PRISCILLA THE HUN
PRO WRESTLER OR PUPPY
PROFESSIONAL POO CHECKER
PSYCH ME OUT
PUTTING ON A SHOW
QUIPS & QUOTES
QUIPS-N-QUOTES II
REAP THE WILD WIND
RECORD KEEPING
REDNECK TANK TOP
REFEREE
REQUESTS
ROAD TRIP 2003
ROCK ON
ROLL'UM ROLL'UM
ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'
RUB DIRT ON IT
S-T-R-E-S-S
SANDWICHED
SAWDUST.
SCHEDULING
SCREAMING BANSHEES
SECRET AGENT
SHAGA GOOBLE SHAGA BLIP
SHANNIGANS & KID SLOBBERS
SHORT TIGHT STEPS & OTHER ODD EVENTS
SHOTS
SHOULD EVERYONE VOTE
SLEEP DEPRIVATION
SMART GOATS
SMUDGED
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP
SNATCHED BALD
SNEAKY
SONG OF THE FROG
SPIES, SECRET AGENTS, SPOOKS, AND OTHER GOATS
SSSNAKE
STAMPEDE!
STARGATE BOERS
STEAM-IRON SANDWICHES
STEP BY STEP
STICK IT WHERE
STOMPING ORANGE STRINGS
STUCK AGAIN
STUDENT ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS
STUPID IS...
SUNSHINE BOO BOO'S
SUPER HERO
SUPER SUCKERS
SUPPER AT SEVEN A.M.
SURVEY SAYS
SURVIVING KIDDING
SWASH - BUCKLING BUCKS
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
TALKING POCKETS
TATTOOING
THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
THE DACHSHUND AND THE LEOPARD
THE DANGERS OF GUM BOOTS
THE FARM WOOKIE
THE FLYING GOATZANIES
THE FRAGRANCE OF HAY
THE GAME'S AFOOT
THE GOAT WHISPERER
THE MOB SQUAD
THE MORAL BUCK
THE PET CHICKEN
THE PIED PIPER
THE PLAN
THE SCARECROW GOAT SELLER
THE SMELL OF MONEY
THE TALKING GOAT
THE TARP ANNIHILATOR
THE THINKER
THE TICK
THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS
THE V WORD
THE WINDY TAX
THE WORM HAS TURNED
THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
THIS END UP
THUMP, BANG, WHOOP, AND HOLLER
THURSDAY, THURSDAY
TIE THE ROPE TO THE HAMMER
TOO MUCH FENCE
TORNADO ALLEY
TORPEDOS AND TIDAL WAVES
TOSS THE BLOCK
TOY TRUCK
TRAINING HUMANS
TRUE LOVE
TWITCHY HANKEY
UGH DAYS
UNCLE ARTHUR
UNWITTINGLY
USING CAFFEINE WISELY
WALK LIKE A TURTLE
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
WALK THIS WAY
WANNA BUY A GOAT (WINK, WINK, WINK)
WARNING LABLES
WAS THAT 65 OR 66?
WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
WAS THAT THE WIND
WATER BUCKET TOAD
WAY TO THE HEART
WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
WHAT A DAY
WHAT DAY IS IT
WHAT'D YOU SAY?
WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
WILD GOAT MILKING
WINTER LIST
WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NOÖ
ZAPPED!
STOMPING ORANGE STRINGS
by
Connie S. Reynolds
autumnfarmboers.com
Ravenswood, WV

Itís been a busy morning. Iíve been industriously leaping, jumping, stomping and stampeding out of the barn. And, itís all because of that black snake. It all started when I innocently stepped out of the feed room and a three foot long black snake, quite leisurely, went past my foot and under the feed room floor.

He/She was so casual in doing this that Alice, the backyard dog who was assisting me in barn chores, never even noticed it slithering right under her as she stood there. Which I should be grateful because if it had been a dog we had years ago, Katie would have immediately pounced on the snake and shook it. She had a thing about snakes and once she shook a snake so violently that she flung it out of her mouth and it shot past my head. After that shock, letís just say I barely crawled back into the house.

I called this snake a he/she, but I think it was a she. A PBS documentary once said the larger snakes were female. But, then, we do have this five foot long black snake at the upper barn, so maybe this was the male, or maybe another female on her way to being five, six foot long. Or, longer. Oh, my.

Last week a black snake the same length went unconcernedly past me and went under the feed room floor and the next I saw, it had gone into the stall beside the feed room, went up the wall to the board over the stall door and continued on that way. She was either looking for mice or for baby birds up in the rafters. Lee then found another one at the other end of the barn, quite happily snooping through some hay bales we had down. We had two big black snakes working the barn that day.

Lee will not kill black snakes. He says they are too helpful. But, when I start hyperventilating too much, he will pick them up and carry then out into the field. They seem quite unconcerned about the lift to a new place, wrapping around his arm and looking content. He points out that it is better to have black snakes around than the poisonous Copperheads. I agree whole heartedly on this, though when I unexpectedly come upon a black snake Iím sure it adds a few years on my age and adds even more gray hair to my head. Itís a knee jerk reaction I canĎt control. Snakes are so slithery.

So, as I was finishing out my chores after seeing the black snake, I was shocked to see how many things actually resemble snakes. Something I hadnít noticed before during winter. The electric heat lamp cord lying there almost sent me into a stampede out the barn door. That stick the dogs had carried in to chew on, that little darker shadow than usual over in a corner, and the orange strings from the hay bales that hadnít been picked up, sent me in a tizzy. Now, how many times have you seen an orange snake? By this time color did not matter, everything was suspect. Senses on hyper alert, Iím sure I could have sailed out of that barn in seconds flat if my mind said, ďSnake! RUN!Ē

Oddly enough, the goats donít pay attention to these big black snakes that wander around them while they are napping. Weíve only had one snake bite I can think of on the goats in all our years of goating. Years ago, one yearling came in with a badly swollen left leg, the swelling going up into her chest. I called the vet and the vet said nothing was to be done with snake bite on a goat. I went ahead and put the girl on penicillin and if I had thought, I would have also put her on Benadryl. Even the livestock guard dogs are unconcerned about big black snakes sliding by them. Either these dogs are so laid back nothing rattles them or they have seen so many black snakes, they are unconcerned. Wait a second, I have to go and breathe into a paper sack and get my breathing back under control.

And, I donít know how many times I have gone and looked in a stall at a goat and see her looking at me and then look above me, watching something moving just above my head. Now I know it is that black snake scouting up above, searching for mice and birds. Thereís even a black snake thatís the same size as the one I saw at the barn, it passes me as I am going into the cellar houseÖÖÖ.. Wait a second. They are all the same size, are they the same one? Do I have a stalker? A Black Snake Stalker?!!!!!! That particular size and color of snake is everywhere!

Okay, get a grip. Thatís ridiculous. Right? Anyway, if ever you do come to look at my goats, youíll recognize me. Iíll be the tall goat farmer that looks one hundred years old with lots and lots of gray hair.

THE END

 

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