Friday, June 09, 2006

Sister Bertrille, cleared for takeoff. Posted by Picasa

Herman Munster. (Note giant head) Posted by Picasa

Penrose and Pilgrim. Posted by Picasa


Well, as it says in the song, life ain't always beautiful. But it's a beautiful life.

The last babies of the year are here. My boys, Barbaro and Huckleberry, came a week ago. As usual I did not cause any difficulty or trouble, and I produced two exceedingly fine specimens, who obliged everyone present by getting up immediately and drinking their milk.

Then a couple of days ago, the farmer put Boo the Nubian in a special stall in the barn, because she was getting ready to kid.

Now Boo, being a Nubian, is no Mensa candidate. But she is pretty, very pretty, and has a good personality. Except for sometimes kicking the milk bucket across the barn, which, from the way the farmer responds, is the reason why I guess people say someone has "kicked the bucket," meaning that they are no longer with us. There were certainly a couple of times when I thought Boo would no longer be with us, when I saw that stainless steel bucket, with two gallons of milk in it, go flying into the alfalfa, which, I hate to mention it, costs $175 a ton around here when things are going well. And right now, with the price of gas, things aren't going so well. But see I already got off on a sidetrack.

Anyway, Boo has an excellent personality, and that is her saving grace, and it appears inexplicably that the farmer is very attached to her. So she hasn't kicked any metaphorical buckets, just a few literal ones. There she was in the stall, pushing and straining and rolling and occasionally gasping in horror in a very Nubian-esque way, and the farmer kept saying, "she will be fine, she always does fine."

Now when the farmer says "she will be fine," in my experience that is usually followed by the farmer running to the house to get the truck keys and call the vet. Boo kept pushing for another half hour, and she popped her bubble out, and still no kids, and then finally as I could have told you, the farmer said, "okay, I'm going in."

So the farmer reached inside Boo and fished around for a while and then said, as I could have predicted, "Oh, no." It wasn't "nose-and-toes," which is what the farmer likes to feel on a fishing expedition, it was just toes. Long-leggedy toes reaching back to a big giant, sideways twisted head, nose nowhere in sight.

Well the farmer grimaced and grunted and pushed and rearranged and after the longest time, punctuated by many screams from Boo - not Nubian-esque screams, but real screams - was able to fish out a big baby buckling who is now named Herman Munster, because of his big (but lovable) blockhead. Herman was followed by Bertie (Sister Bertrille), his sister, who seemed tiny by comparison but actually weighed about 9 pounds. Both of them are Nubian-Lamancha crosses, and as you may have surmised, the girl has little Flying Nun ears.

After the birth of the giant twins there was a lot of congratulations and petting, and good snacks for Boo, and the farmer said to everyone and to no one in particular, "well, that's it for another year," because Boo was the last bred doe of the season. And since it was late, everyone went to bed, thanking their stars that the last babies of the season had arrived in one (large) piece.

In the morning, the farmer checked on all the babies and the mothers, then went down to check on the down-below girls, dry does and yearlings in the lower pasture. And who do you think was down there?

Penrose. Stacy's best friend, also known as the baroness, who has been bred umpteen times every year for the last three years. And never kidded. And who do you think was standing next to Penrose, basking in the glow of her utter and complete adoration?

Pilgrim, the teeny tiniest Toggenburg of all time, a teacup Toggenburg and the REAL last baby of the season. Arrived all unannounced, with no help from anybody, and happy as a clam just to be here.

Ah, an unexpected baby goat. It's a beautiful life.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Here's a shot of me with Huckleberry, also known as the Huckleberry King. Posted by Picasa

Here's Baby Barbaro, aka BB King. Remind you of anybody? Posted by Picasa