Wouldnít you know, Lee and I go all winter without getting sick once, no flu, no colds, no nothing, and as soon as nice weather appears - BAM! We both come down with bronchitis. No, we werenít walking around all innocent and it hit. We had rain on one Saturday and customers kept showing up and they all wanted to walk around in the rain to look at the different goats and we did get soaked that day. But, we had been soaked throughout the winter with cold winds hitting and not a sniffle. Not so now, Lee got the cold first and then bronchitis and then I just skipped the cold and went straight to bronchitis. I never did like to waste time about doing things.
Lee did get a bit of a throaty voice with his cough, but I got a croak instead of a voice and I coughed a lot. And, you couldnít really call it a cough. It sounded like a seal barking. If youíve ever been to Sea World or out near the ocean where seals are, well, I sounded just like them. People driving by kept looking for the ocean or the newest opening to Sea World. I was loud and often with my barking.
The goats did get highly suspicious of me. I was unusually quiet because if I tried to talk, I would croak a word and then start barking like a seal. They found this very odd. They are use to hearing me talk to them all the time or singing to them, my mouth is always going and they know where I at all times. It is true I am quiet during worming because I am trying to sneak up on them, but usually Iím talking or singing to them.
The younger kids had it the hardest. They had never heard me sick before. I would walk into a run-in shed with a bunch of kids lounging around and Iíd feel a cough coming on, usually because I had tried to say, "Hi, Babies," and croaked out something strange sounding instead. This odd imitation of a giant bull frog immediately put then on the alert. They instantly got quiet and got poised for a fast escape. Then, because I had tried to talk I had to cough, I barked like a seal at them, it was a stampede to get out of the shed. They were running over each other, the hay feeders, lounging dogs, anything that got in their way. They considered me a person of great menace.
The adult does were use to me. They had seen me through a couple of sicknesses and my barking didnít phase them. They would just come up to me and look me in the face to make sure I was healthy enough to still carry the feed bucket.
The bucks took it differently. Older Nico could come over to me in the middle of my barking and talk to me. Heíd say, "Neee? Nee?" Like, "Whatís the matter?" And, he firmly believed if he rubbed his head up and down on my side and got me as stinky as him, then my sinusís would open and I could breathe better. Course, if you smelled like him, who would want to breathe? But, I never told him this. Didnít want to hurt his feelings.
The buck, Strong Man Joe, had a different outlook on my barking. He just knew I was insulting him in seal language. Iíd walk by and start barking and the hair would raise up on his back, heíd arch his neck, roll his eyes until the whites showed, tilt his head and come stiffly walking sideways towards me. Like he was saying, "Oh yeah, you take that back!"
Duke the Buck, handled it differently. He always thought I was a highly suspicious person and now I was just proving it. As soon as I would start barking, his ears would fan out and he would slink out of sight. I suppose the ears fanning out was for him to hear if I was attempting to run up behind him and bark to see how high he would jump.
And, I had to finally give up answering the telephone and just let the answering machine take messages for Lee to call back later. People could not understand my barking and croaking and why I would allow the seal and the bull frog to answer the phone.
I know now that three fourthís of the people who call, do not leave messages. People! People! People! What are these answering machines for? Come on, you really didnít want me to croak or bark in your ear, did you? You didnít realize I was there hovering over the phone, anxious for your message, and I know you did not leave a message, you who ever it was that called. No, I donít have caller I.D. because you are suppose to leave a message. Wonder if thatís why there is caller I.D., because people who had answering machines got tired of people not leaving messages and so they invented caller I.D. to find out who does this? My only excuse for this odd line of thought is the cold medication Iím on. Iíll have to remember that excuse when people look at me strangely in the future.
Iím feeling better now, the croaking has left, and only have a bit of bark going. Nico thinks he has cured me, the young kids have forgiven me for scaring them to death, the adult does didnít care one way or another because I could always carry a grain bucket, Strong Man is glad Iíve quit insulting him, but Duke is still in hiding. All in all, Iím feeling pretty good now and can take your calls. Though I donít think Iíll be getting quite as many because I frightened some people and the word is out I have a seal and a giant bull frog roaming the farm and answering the phone.