Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Water of Life

Plan B we decided was to wait and see as far as the Boston Terror goes. We can wait. Just try to wait us out some time and see who wins. We can wait.

Because time will tell. Time always tells.

Time told us that Pebbles wasn't going to kid because she was due a week ago and she hadn't done anything and since she was the last one on the kidding chart the farmer rolled up all the baby towels and took them inside until next year.

And time told us that Brandy would not be with us much longer which we knew anyway since she was several hundred years old but still one of the farmer's favorites, who knows why. Yesterday she was just so tired so she had a lot of special treats and several apples, which she loves, sliced thin and fed by hand and her spirits were good and she wasn't in pain but she wouldn't get up.

"Will you get up, Brandy?" the farmer asked. But she wouldn't get up.

Today was the day.  In the morning she ate a few apple slices, and had a shot of vitamins and a shot of banamine in case she was in pain. The farmer sat with her and petted her along the neck, which she usually doesn't allow.  Brandy drank a quart of warm water with electrolytes, which made the farmer think she would rally.

"She is a tough old bird," the farmer said to the Boston Terror. The Boston Terror goes everywhere with the farmer.

The farmer got up to go do some more chores and Brandy woke with a start and called after the farmer and the farmer turned around and looked back at Brandy for a long minute. One of those looks between two old friends where only they know what it means.

Then the farmer turned away and went up to look for the paint rollers. And when the farmer came back she was gone.

That ought to be the end of the story. But it isn't. It never is.

The farmer went and started digging a grave for Brandy and the ground was so hard and dry - we have hardly had a drop of rain since June - that the farmer soon had to stop.  The farmer dragged the hose over and ran some water into the ground to try to soften it and then started digging again and then hit a shelf of hard clay and had to stop again and this went on for a while and then in spite of always hating to cause people any trouble the farmer left a message for the kindly neighbors with the backhoe and before long they arrived and lickety split they had the nicest grave dug and that may sound like cold comfort but there is something to be said for a really nice grave, especially for a herdqueen like Brandy.

Well just as Brandy was being laid to rest with an apple and a handful of dandelions there was a distant peeping cry from across the other side of the pasture. The farmer ignored the cry, and thanked the neighbors profusely because after all what is nicer than someone helping you dig a grave on a moment's notice. Nothing, really.

The neighbors left and the farmer fed the Terror and the girls behind the barn and then there was the peeping again so the farmer did a head count and came up one short and so the farmer pushed open the gate and hustled toward the cabana looking for Pebbles but the cabana was empty and Pebbles was lying indolently in the shade at the top of the hill, still fat but still not pregnant. On the way back out the farmer passed Winnie's little shed and happened to look inside and there was Zinnia, wearing a guilty expression, along with a pair of newborn twins, a boy and a girl, still wet.

"How did you get here?" the farmer asked, nonplussed. They didn't answer.

Their names are going to be Applejack and Eau-de-vie. Those are two kinds of brandy. And if you ever had seventh grade French you know that eau-de-vie means "water of life." The water that always keeps flowing.

When we look at them we will think of Brandy. And the backhoe. And the kindly neighbors. And the water of life. And the way time always tells.

7 Cedars Yogi's Brandy 4/18/2000 - 8/3/2013
Herron Hill CB Eau-de-Vie 8/3/2013 - .............


9 comments :

Ozarks Goat Girl said...

Oh, dear goat farmer, I so relate to your posts of life and death. Your sorrows and your joys are my own even though I am far away and we've never met. Goat girls have this special unseen link that non-goat people don't understand. My own recent ongoings parallel yours in a way--my dear, dear whether Blessing had to be put down and there was no way I could dig a big enough hole in the winter ground nor could I afford the services of a backhoe, not having a convenient friend with one. So I found a ravine and covered him with a babillionjillion field rocks so heaped up that someday a beginning archeology student will suspect he has found a long lost Indian mound. And then what happens? but my goat friend gives me the most beautiful curly haired little calico doeling that just takes my breath and heart away. And the river of life flows on. Rest in peace, dear Brandy. And Pebbles, beautiful forever imperiously elegant pageant winner Pebbles, even though I am disappointed to hear you have not graced the world with babies, you remain one of my favorite Herron Hill residents.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed the water of life will keep on flowing, just as Brandy's spirit will live on in these two little, descendants of hers...and it is just amazing that they were born, just as she was leaving, which only means, she really didn't go anywhere! She is still all around us....
I remember her...she was there, when I was born! We will miss you Brandy.....
Love, Q.Quattra

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I cry every time you post about losing one of your goat friends. They are so precious. 13 yrs is a long life - Brandy was obviously well loved and cared for .

Karen C said...

Very sorry to hear of Brandy's death - what a lovely goat.

Goat Girls Rule! said...

Vintage purses never go out of style. Rest in peace.

Jocelyn said...

Touching. Truly, truly touching. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it.

Missy the Goat said...

I'm sorry you lost Brandy and the little one. What good neighbors, who actually own a back hoe, what a blessing.

Rafaela said...

Awesome!

Marigold said...

I love Goat Girl's comment...