Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Anyway the point is it never really got hot here this summer and that's part of the reason some of the milkers have started going into pre-heat. They don't really go into heat, but they go into pre-heat, and then they go around and start fights with each other. Or when they don't start fights through a lack of gumption or sheer shiftlessness in the case of Pinky who can't be bothered to start her own squabbles they join in the fights that are already started by the more ambitious.
On a side note Cherry went actually into heat and then realized it was too soon to be in heat but by that time she had jumped into the buck pen where three smelly swains immediately began vying for her favor. Luckily she was able to excuse herself unnoticed as the vying reached a crescendo. As she tiptoed back to the barn, they all continued vying without her. Why not, they had already started.
Anyway this morning I started thinking about some annoying things that have been happening lately. The main one is when people come over and say, "Oh my Gosh! Look at Millie! She is all grown up now! She is adorable!"
That's fine but they are looking at Abby when they say it.
"That's Abby," the farmer explains, "Millie is over there."
"She's cute too!" they say.
The more I thought about this the more infuriating it seemed.
So I went over to Abby and started a fight. The fight lasted for three hours. Even when Wronny wanted me to stop I kept fighting. Even when Jammies the pacifist tried to come between us, we kept fighting. Even when Wendell the Pest circled us yipping like a French ninny we kept fighting.
It was a good one. We both enjoyed it. We were preheated.
(Video from fight coming soon....)
Friday, August 05, 2011
The farmer switched from iron hand which hadn't worked for seven years to velvet glove. Hannah Belle would not get any grain except on the milkstand. The farmer made sure she was good and hungry before she went on the milkstand. No more all-day snacking, just grass hay between meals.
When she got on the milkstand the farmer would begin praising her to the skies. Such a beautiful goat and so intelligent. Such lovely children and grandchildren. Such a pretty face and a long neck and my goodness, the topline, the chine, the hips, the pins, the thurls. Was there ever a more magnificent goat? And by the way, that time she got out of the locked horse trailer - how did she do that? Did she call someone to come and let her out?
More snacks? How about a pretzel with PEANUT BUTTER inside it? From Trader Joe's, not from the convenience store. The farmer showed Hannah Belle the label.
Then the petting and scratching. On the chest. That itchy spot behind the shoulder. More food.
And then the farmer would start milking very casually, still complimenting Hannah Belle and admiring her every little action and movement - the most transparent fawning, really - and stopping frequently so that it hardly seemed the milking had even really begun and before you know it, only seven years later, Hannah Belle was milked ALL THE WAY OUT and there were no hard feelings.
In the end, even Achilles had heels.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Onlookers looked on.
Hannah Belle jumped right on the stand and began eating as fast as she could.
"That's nice," said the farmer. "How nice."
The farmer started milking at top speed.
Things went very well for two minutes, then Hannah Belle began performing milk evading maneuvers which drew oohs and ahs of appreciation from the spectators. Not since Scouty's udder was bitten by a spider have we seen this type of Cirque du Soleil performance.
I was frankly expecting a better showing but in fairly short order the farmer looked into the bucket dreamily, where there was two minutes worth of beautiful Nigerian milk, and said, "this will be enough for several lattes."
And that was that.
7 to 0.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
But she is carrying around about a gallon of delicious Nigerian milk.
Which means that this morning the farmer announced, "Look at you, Hannah Belle, you will get pretty tired carrying that big bag of milk around. I will milk you out this evening."
The farmer says this every year.
"I mean ALL the way out," the farmer clarifies, for the edification of the po-faced onlookers.
"Oh really," says Hannah Belle, t-boning a mini-mancha out of her way at the feeder.
Hannah Belle is seven years old. So the farmer has said this six times. The score is Hannah Belle 6, Farmer 0.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Betty's kids went to their new homes and Betty made the mistake of filling up with milk which made her udder look really beautiful.
The farmer started milking her which Betty didn't like at first. But Betty is naturally agreeable and after a couple of days she could see the upside - free lunch twice a day, followed by a licorice whip - so she quit fussing because that wasted valuable time when she could have had her head in the dish stuffing herself.
I told her Betty, I said, you better watch yourself or you will wind up at Puyallup in September. You will be in a tiny little pen and people will be staring at you like before and they will ask, "how old is this little lamb?"
"Is this one of those alpacas?" they will say.
"Can I pet it?" they will ask, looming over you like dirigibles and reeking of hot dogs and sunscreen.
"Would you mind selling me this goat?" they will inquire. "I live in an apartment but I take long walks every day."
"Why is it standing in the back of the pen," they will complain, "my little boy wants to pull its ears."
Mmm, said Betty.
Betty! I said.
Mmm, said Betty. I could see she was thinking about my helpful comments.
But I could see also that she was thinking about the beautiful stacks of free alfalfa at the Fair. The beautiful dairy alfalfa. No stems in it. Just beautiful leaves from the Columbia Basin. And also the scone crumbs in the morning before the public comes, the sleepy mornings in the barn with goats from all over to look at. And the orchard grass on the side. And the beautiful alfalfa, piled up as far as the eye can see, better than the best wedding cake in the world.
"Betty!" I yelled. "SHUT OFF YOUR MILK! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!"
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Bye mom, luv ya, I'll email you some alfalfa from France if I don't forget. Or Granite Falls?
But there was nothing muted with Percy, he got stuck one pasture over from his mother and screamed bloody murder after going seventeen minutes without milk. Meanwhile Jimmy was swelling up like a beach ball with the milk Percy had not drunk and pretty soon she was crying bloody murder too. Then with all the bloody murder Lucy realized her son Baxter had gone off accidentally with Percy, just following the wrong trenchcoat in the crowd, not through any intention of malfeasance. And so she started in with the bloody murder and when Baxter heard his mother screaming bloody murder one pasture away he took a good long look around him and said, 'wait a minute, these people aren't my mother," and he started in crying bloody murder.
That's what kind of day it was which the farmer knew would happen this morning after listening to the weather lady on the newscast say that today there would be "the threat of partial clearing."
That is the kind of summer we are having. A summer where a weather lady can say with a straight face, "This afternoon there is a threat of partial clearing."
Don't worry, the threat did not materialize. Just the rain. And the bloody murder.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
I think there was one more but really who cares. The important thing is I didn't go.
Apparently there was a pile of rocks there to climb and there was some packgoating and also feeding of the bottle baby. It seems like everyone probably had a certain amount of fun, except Charlie and Belle who spent the whole time thinking about the milk they weren't drinking, since their mother didn't come with them and they don't care for drinking from bottles.
Meanwhile back at the farm we got switched pastures which we don't like so there was a rebellion with Blue's delinquent daughters refusing to stay in the new pasture. For once the usually obedient Duke and Duchess joined the rebellion and by that time I decided to join too since there was nothing else to do.
Then Betty joined and so did Joy and so I resigned from the rebellion because it was old news and also I saw there were blackberries in the new pasture.