You know, itís not always easy pleasing goat customers. I find the four to five year old customers the hardest to please. They bring their parents along because they arenít allowed to drive yet or hold down a job, and they really hate carrying the purses and wallets for any length of time. Plus, counting out the money or writing the check hasnít been taught in nursery or pre-school yet. So, the parents have to come along. But, we all know who the true decision makers are, so the parents and I cater to them.
Take the other day, a young father showed up with his four year old son and five year old daughter in tow. He claimed he was doing research because he eventually wanted a herd of goats of his own to clear the farm off and sell them for meat. He kept glancing down at the children, so I knew who really wanted the goats.
The little boy and girl were quite pleased to find themselves on a goat farm and I had a bunch of does who had had kids in the barn in stalls. The goat stalls are converted 12x12 foot horse stalls, tall, made out of oak, so the little short buyers couldnít see the goats easily. As we adults walked down the barn aisle way, looking over the tall doors to see the goats inside, the four and five year olds marched beside us and regularly stopped at each door. They then reached their arms up in the air and an adult would obediently reach down, pick the child up, and let them look over the door at the goats.
I donít know what it is, but an adult will do this without thinking. Let a child come up to them, hold their little arms up, and the adult has no resistance. They immediately bend down and pick the child up. So, down the aisle way we went, each taking a turn picking a child up to look at the goats.
And, let me tell you, that was no easy chore. Children are little compact bundles of muscle, heavier then they look. And, that little boy far out weighed his sister, even with her being the taller of the two. Soon Lee and the childrenís father wandered on out of the barn to look at another herd of goats, but the children were entranced by the mommas and the kids. So, that left me walking up and down the aisle way, lifting up children to look over the doors, yet again. Now, I wasnít complaining, because I know who the real buyers are, so I stuck with the children.
Soon, we wandered outside to look at some weaned kids in the barnyard. Ever vigilant to the care of goats, the little girl noticed a worm in the water tub of the weaned kids. It was busy wiggling around at the bottom and the little girl thought it should not be in the goatsí drinking water. I very carefully rolled my sleeve up and scooped the worm out.
Solemnly, the little girl held out her hand for me to give her the worm. I was a little surprised because girls are usually finicky about such things. I hollered over to her dad to see if it was all right for me to give his daughter the worm. I knew the little girlís mother would be the one washing the clothes and I didnít want to surprise her with finding a worm in the little girlís pocket.
He said, sure, give her the worm. He said she and her brother carried them around all the time at home. The little girl was enthralled with the worm. Her brother came over to admire it and they passed it back and forth, admiring the length and healthiness of the worm.
For a second, I seriously considered asking their father if he had ever thought of having a worm farm instead. He would have two good little worm wranglers ready to work, but, being a goat seller, I decided not to talk myself out of business.
Now, if I had been selling worms, that would have been entirely different. But, the thought of trying to pick a good worm association to join, figuring out how to tag and to tattoo the worms, and possibly the male worms might be too aggressive for me to handle, I decided having a joint business of both goat and worm farm was out of the question.
Seeing the children were now totally fascinated by the worm, I knew I wasnít going to make a sale that day. Predictably, the father noticed the children were only paying attention to their worm, thanked us for our time and he and the children drove away.
At least I had pleased these almost goat customers. But, next time, I had to remember to hand the customers a price list for any earth worms they take off our farm. Not registered, of course, just commercial grade worms at this time. Remember, try to always please your goat customers. Be prepared.