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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!

HERD OF TURTLES
by
Connie S. Reynolds
autumnfarmboers.com
Ravenswood, WV

I had forgotten what young animals are like. Sure, I know about goat kids. It seems we have some somewhere all year long and they can both exasperate and keep me laughing. But, I had forgotten what it was like to have kittens and a pup on the farm.

All of our farm dogs and barn cats are mature to down right old. Not an extremely lively bunch, they know their jobs and they do them. They are a competent lot. Then along came a wild young beagle that ran the road all summer, starving. You couldnít get near him. People threw out some scraps, but didnít really want him hanging around. I couldnít take it any longer and asked Lee to live trap him.

The beagle sometimes hung out at my brotherís camp down the road. Lee set the trap down there and the next morning I went to check it and there was the beagle, not a bit happy, cowering to the back of the trap. He looked to be 6 months old. I named him Buddy and loaded him and the trap up in the back of the truck, took him home and opened the live trap in a large cage in the garage. I had food in there and water. Which he immediately wolfed down.

Beagles can be a bit of a snappy dog, but he let me drag him out of that cage and put a leash on him and take him for walks, and then back to the cage he went. He was one of those tiny beagles, cuter than a bug. Slowly he came round to allowing me to do anything with him. Eventually, he even happily learned to come to me when called. But, he never made up to Lee. Itís like he blamed Lee for trapping him. After about two years he allows Lee to pet him every now and then and to feed him, but he finds Lee a highly suspicious person. Lee can be sitting in the dining room eating and Buddy will come to the patio door and bark at him for being in there. He wonít come if Lee calls. Lee says he is my dog because he only will come to me and allows me to pet him any time.

I think Lee clinched the untrustworthy title that one day he took Buddy out for a walk and just couldnít control himself, because Buddy is the cutest little beagle, and picked him up and hugged him. Buddyís response? He opened up that little beagle mouth of his and grabbed Leeís throat. Didnít bite or put pressure on the throat, it was a warning. What did Lee do? He laughed! He still thinks heís the cutest little beagle, but Buddy considers Lee a shady character.

Even though young, Buddy is not very playful, probably because of the hard life he had had before arriving here, so you donĎt see much puppy behavior. After Buddy arrived, a momma cat appeared at the farm and proceeded giving us 7 kittens. Fearful that she and the kittens would be killed by our other neutered male barn cats, they are very aggressive to strange cats. We put her in the garage to have her kittens, with plans to not allow the kittens out of the garage until they were of good size to get away from our mature barn cats.

At that time Buddy lived in his cage at night in the garage and during the day was tied on the back porch, with me taking him on frequent walks to build his trust and let him get to know the farm. As soon as those little kittens could get out of their box, they discovered Buddy in his cage. Like tiny little monkeys they would climb that cage and sit on top of it or sit below on the floor and reach little paws in to touch Buddy. I really didnít know what to do. Buddy could have seriously hurt them if he had wanted to, but he accepted the little kittens trying to reach him and didnít think a thing of it. In fact, when I took him out on the leash, those kittens ran to him, purring, petting on him. They loved him and he put up with it.

Every night he put up with them trying to reach him and slept soundly while the kittens had a great time. Each night the kittens rearranged the garage for us, constantly playing, constantly climbing, constantly falling off things. Every morning I stepped into the garage to get Buddy, a row of seven kittens would be sitting there, facing the door and as soon as I opened the door, I was hit with a blast of purring. They never moved, just all sat there in a line and blasted me with purring. I felt like my hair was being blown behind me by the force of that combined purr. They were so loud. It was the funniest sight and the happiest sound a person could get every morning.

Eventually, they were allowed to go out into the big world and I was terribly afraid for them with our big mean 7 year old neutered male barn cats. Our vet said that a lot of times the older neutered male will act like an uncle to kittens. I hardly believed that until I saw the meanest of our neutered males start stalking the kittens. They saw him and ran to him, butting him in the head with their little heads and purring up a storm. That mean old male just fell apart and cautiously licked a kitten on top the head, after that they just adored him and he would eat with them, sit around with them, he liked them and they loved him. Strangest thing I ever saw.

Then arrived the livestock guard dog pup, Dusty Sue. She was a pup, yet wasnít a pup. She was the most solemn pup, extremely serious. Every now and then she would bounce around and play on the horse manure pile. But, if she bounced around too much, those big legs and joints got her in trouble and she would end up falling end over end.

One day last week I was out at the ridge barn, cleaning out the watering tubs and filling them up. It takes a while to fill them up and I always like to go around and sit on the west side of the barn and look up the valley while I wait. The goats were lying around, enjoying the hot sun, two of the livestock guard dogs, including 7 month old pup Dusty Sue, were lying under the hay building part of the barn, staying cool.

Dusty Sue likes to come out and sit beside me and look out over the valley too when I go out there every day. She came out of the barn so fast this time, that she ran into the door, quickly wheeled around to peek back inside, like something had chased her. She was extremely perturbed about whatever it was and I cautiously went over to peek inside the barn with her. Dusty Sue does not like snakes and I figured one was lying in the barn.

We both very carefully stepped into the barn and then she fanned around to the left and came up on something and stood there bouncing up and down, staring down at what had spooked her. I cautiously came up to where she was at and looked down and saw one of the biggest land turtles Iíd ever seen. It wasnít a snapping turtle, I know snapping turtles. It was definitely a land turtle, the kind you see crossing roads, only this fellow was three times the size of the ones you usually see.

And, he wasnít afraid of me or Dusty Sue. I was worried that one of the older livestock guard dogs would come out and make him one of their chewie toys and quickly picked the turtle up. He was heavy and he kept his head out, looking me over. Then slowly he pulled his head back into his shell, hissing as he went. I carried him down to the creek and turned him loose. Dusty Sue escorted us, but was very happy to leave in a hurry with me.

So, I suppose the young kittens, young dog, and the livestock guard dog pup are working out. The kittens still love their uncles, Lee controls himself and no longer picks up Buddy the Beagle to hug, and as long as a herd of turtles do not attack the goats, Dusty Sue is working out just fine protecting the goats.

THE END

 

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