Sometimes, when you are really tired or stressed, isnít it funny how a goat will make you laugh? Oh, itís not because you are so tired that you have become slap happy, though sometimes thatís it too. Itís just that a goat can have such an innocence and joy, living for the moment, that can make your long forgotten belly laugh happen before you know it.
Take for instance this four day old bottle baby Iím feeding now. Sheís in the house in her Rubber Maid tub and she has learned about the bottle and who usually brings it to her. I walked by her tub the other day and she jumped up from her nap, that little tail wagging like a puppy dogís tail.
She must have seen that happily wagging tail out of the corner of her eye because she jumped and quickly turned her head to stare at her tail. Naturally her tail had quit wagging when the focus was off me and a possible bottle, so she turned back to look at me. Of course, that made the tail start wagging happily again.
She jerked her head around again to stare at her odd acting tail. You could almost hear her say, ďWhat on earth?!Ē She once again put her focus back on me and finally accepted the fact that her little tail was going to wag faster than any puppy dogís at the sight of me and a possible bottle.
A couple of weeks ago I had three newborns in that tub. The youngest was only a few hours old. I walked over to look out the window and passed close to their tub. The youngest one dropped like a rock to her belly and froze. Seeing me suddenly loom over their tub, she assumed a big eagle was on itís way. Now thatís a survivor. The other two were just sort of stumbling around but she had decided in a split second that no stinking eagle was going to eat her. Snatch those other two that didnít have any sense and were still standing with a dangerous shadow overhead, was her thought. She got dubbed the name, Spooky Beauty.
Something that can really stress this goat farmer is when the electric goes out. Weíve had go many artic blasts coming in and so many wind events that I just keep the candles handy everywhere in the house any more. Also our top loading washer is kept full of water for just in case. When the electric goes, the pump to our well goes and we have no extra water anywhere.
Our old generator will run the refrigerator and freezer when needed, but itís not strong enough to run the pump. Sometimes Lee canít sweet talk the old generator into working at all. The first time this winter the electric went out, we ran to town and rented a generator because the old one absolutely refused to start, no matter how much Lee worked on it. As soon as we got home and got the rented generator going, Lee casually walked over to the old one and pulled the cord and it started. Good grief. I guess it got jealous because we brought a newer and a better one home and it couldnít take it.
When the electric goes out and you have a barn full of girls with their kids in stalls, it gets really dark. Usually we have lights on so they donít have to stand in the dark. An animal can go bonkers, like a person, if you make them stay in the dark for long periods of time. The first time the electric went out, it was night. The goats just quietly bedded down in the sudden darkness.
The electric tried to come back on several times that night and we have baby monitors in the barn to keep tabs on any problems we need to check on. Naturally the monitors were off with the electric off, but every time the electric suddenly came on and the lights we keep on in the barn came on, it surprised the dickens out of those goats. The most gosh awful bellerings you ever heard because it had scared them, the lights suddenly coming on. It wasnít a yell to be fed, it was a yell of someone fast asleep and suddenly awakened. We turned the lights off after the second time the electric tried to come back on.
Another time when the electric went off it was late afternoon. The barn was dark on the inside, but through a few cracks the sunshine could get in, making beautiful sunbeams, like mini spot lights shining in places in the barn. One of those sunbeam areas held several weaned kids. I walked by and saw one kid, Tina Irena, walking on her hind legs and with her front legs batting at something in the air. I thought, What is going on? Then I saw, she was chasing down sunbeams and trying to hit them with her front feet. She worked the longest time, having the most fun walking and hopping and boxing those sunbeams. She wasnít shadow boxing, she was sunbeam boxing.
A couple of unexpected belly laughs happened last night. We like to worm, give shots, and band at one month of age on our 4-H kids. Last night it was one single boyís time for all this. He was a huge single, twice as big as the other boys because he was getting all the milk. His mommy believed in feeding him good too. No one watched over a kid as closely as his momma.
Lee will pick a kid up, sit on a bucket, hold the kid in his lap, worm him, and then I give the CD/T shot. Now Hope was very concerned about her boy being in that lap and as I bent over to give the kid a shot, Hope pushed herself between my legs to see her boy better and then walked off to turn and get a better view. Unfortunately she took me with her, riding piggy back.
Always one with a drool sense of humor, Lee calmly said as I rode off, ďConnie, quit riding that goat and get back here and give this kid his shot.Ē If laughter is the best medicine, then a goat is your answer. And, may you have many sunbeams when the electric goes out.