Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Last Babies of the Season, Part Three

Well, the farmer is going out of town for a few days and Lori is going to run the farm. This means I will get a lot of cookies, because Lori is not such a cookie tightwad as the farmer is. Sometimes I wonder: what is the farmer saving those cookies for? Is there an impending worldwide cookie shortage? Why not just give me the cookies, then go and buy more, instead of "saving" them? Saving them for what? They aren't getting any fresher.

Lori isn't like that. Lori's policy is "cookies today, who knows what tomorrow brings." So that is very good. Also, Lori doesn't buy the cheap convenience store cookies like the farmer does, she buys genuine Nutter Butters and things like that. Maybe because she eats them too, even though they are supposed to be goat cookies.

Anyway, there has been yet another update in the ongoing "last baby of the season" saga. After Mabel dropped her surprise doeling, the farmer went back and looked at the breeding books and noticed a few question marks that had not been previously noted.

The breeding book either says "good one," as was the case of my productive meeting in the breeding stall with Captain January, or it says "no good," as was the case with Mabel's meeting, where she tried her best to kill the Captain, or it says "???"

??? means a) the romantic results were inconclusive, or, more likely, b) the farmer got distracted by something and didn't see what happened. By saving cookies, or taking cookie inventory, or something like that.

So anyway, way down at the bottom of the book was a little note that said, Aggie + CJ = ????

Aggie is Agnes the mini-Nubian, CJ of course is Captain January. ??? I already explained. Well, the ??? part has been resolved. It was a good one. Aggie will make her bid for the last baby of the season title in May. Whether or not she actually has the last babies of the season, she will have the first mini-Nubians of the season.

We are excited to see Aggie's babies, because she is very sweet and pretty. In fact, she is a movie star. She was in a movie titled "We Go Way Back," playing herself, when she was only a few days old. If you can get it at your local movie store, skip to near the end. Then you can see pictures of Aggie and her sister Maggie and the farm in the background.

Or you can watch the whole movie, but you might be bored - the goats are only in for a minute at the end.

Monday, April 16, 2007

"Fat" Girl Mystery Solved, or the Eagle has Landed Part 2

Well, as you know, the farmer packed up all the kidding supplies last Tuesday, prepared to enjoy a new stress-free life of anytime napping and round-the-clock indolence. This was because all the kidders on the chart had kidded.

So on Saturday night the farmer was planning to go to the movies for the first time in a long time. The chores were done early, including the milking, and everyone was fed. The Fat Girls down in the Fat Girl pasture - dry yearlings and unbred does - were doing their usual complaining, because they had just been switched from alfalfa to grass hay, owing to there now being nice spring grass and the fat girls getting even fatter. A chorus of disapproval had gone up when the grass hay arrived, and the fat girls were doing everything but banging tin cups on the bars of the hay feeder. But they were eating greedily, of course, in spite of their monumental outrage and the fact that they hated and could not possibly stomach grass hay.

In the Fat Girl pasture were my daughter Hannah Belle, Breezy the chief complainer, little knucklehead Bertie the world's largest dry yearling, Willa a nice little mini-Togg, Billie a tough girl, and April's mini-mancha daughter Mabel who carries on her mother's tradition of being crazy as a bedbug (the opposite of her twin Peaches, who is normal as pie).

Of these six tubsters, three had been bred - or sort of bred - and did not settle: Hannah Belle, Breezy, and Mabel. Hannah Belle and Breezy had been bred several times but kept coming back into heat. Mabel, who had always been long and lean, had turned inexplicably into rather a chubby girl, which was surprising because this didn't run in the family. Anyway, she was shopping in the Plus Size rack, so she was assigned to the Fat Girl pasture.

Mabel had been sort of bred: she was put in the breeding stall with little Captain January, who immediately began showering her with teenage goat-boy attentions. This did not put Mabel in a romantic frame of mind. On the contrary, she whirled around like a quarter horse and began attempting to kill the Captain.

The little goat Romeo, by no means a lionheart, was fleeing in circles for his life, screaming at the top of his lungs and occasionally catching a head butt in the ribs when he did not make the corners fast enough. Mabel was whisked out of the stall.

"All right," said the farmer, to Mabel, who was pop-eyed with rage, "we will breed you next year when the Captain is bigger."

Mabel was in the stall with the Captain for perhaps 30 seconds, 27 of which she spent in a homicidal rage.

The other 3, as it turns out, were put to good use.

When it was just time to leave for the movie, an unmistakable bellowing begin to issue from the Fat Girl pasture. The farmer raced down. Breezy had her head planted in the feeder. Hannah Belle the same. From under the cabana came more unmistakable bellowing. The farmer rushed in, just in time to grab a little pink and white bundle.

Yes, you guessed it, Mabel's little daughter. The last - maybe? possibly? - baby of the season.

Good grief.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed

Hello everyone. The Eagle has landed. The Eagle landed last night at 8:40 PST.

The farmer was waiting all day yesterday for little orphan Betsy, the favorite kid from last year and blue ribbon winner at the state fair, to download her babies, which would be the last babies of the season.

Betsy was ready for the download, her ligaments were long gone, but she was not doing anything. She ate. She strolled. She appeared to be considering several ideas for sonnets about spring. She mused. She wandered. She ambled. She chewed. She browsed. She even grazed. She demanded and got several cookies.

She did not: lie down, make a nest, start pawing, start pushing. She just Betsyed around, as usual. Finally at the end of the day the farmer put her in a stall in the barn - kicking ME out, of course! - to wait for tomorrow.

Then the farmer went inside. "I am going inside to watch American Idol," the farmer told everyone in the barn. "Do not make any trouble until 9 o'clock."

At 8:30 during a commercial Lori came out and checked on Betsy. The farmer did not come out because Sanjaya had not come on yet. "Betsy's not doing anything," Lori reported to the farmer.

At 8:40 there was another commercial break, and Ryan Seacrest said, "when we come back, Jordin and Blake." So for some reason, since Sanjaya wasn't coming on, the farmer went out to check on Betsy, even though Lori had just checked.

When the farmer got to Betsy's stall, Betsy was looking in astonishment at two wet babies, one of them big and red, the other small and black and tan. For a moment the farmer thought some of the hoodlum babies (i.e. my triplets) had snuck under the wall and into Betsy's stall, which the hoodlum babies like to do just to see what is going on.

Then the farmer realized that these were Betsy's new babies. Betsy did a doubletake as the little robot babies advanced upon her, hungry and implacable, intent on finding a milk source. Betsy looked up at the farmer, clearly seeking information.

She took a step backward, surrounded by the milk-seeking missiles. She jumped away when one of the babies found a nipple.

Lori and the farmer put Betsy in a headlock and let the babies nurse. After a little bit of oxytocin got into her system, Betsy looked down at the babies again. She looked at the farmer and nodded.

Ok, she said, I get it. These are my babies.

The last of the season.

Twin doelings.


Friday, April 06, 2007

My New Nanny

Hello, everyone.

I am feeling quite a bit better. But still a bit under the weather, so I do not have enough milk to feed my triplets. They are very hungry.

So the farmer has taken over feeding the triplets twice a day, and I add a little bit here and there.

I did not know this system was available, but apparently I am the last to hear of it. This is called a "Nanny." I guess it must come from Nanny Goat.

Anyway, what happens is you find a person (one of those things you see everywhere with two legs) who is not doing anything much besides milking all the goats and cleaning the stalls and fertilizing the fields and making cheese and brushing out the horses and stacking the hay bales. And get them to feed your babies.

You lay out in the sun and eat grass.

It's a good system.

Oh, by the way, little Cammy had a pair of adorable twins today, Biscuit and Pinky. She is feeding them herself - just imagine, how old-fashioned.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Under the Weather

Everyone please send me your good thoughts. I am feeling under the weather. The farmer has been giving me lots of medicine which I hate, and since I wouldn't eat anything, the farmer let me have a bottle of warm milk, like back when I was a baby. Then the farmer gave my babies a bottle, too, since I didn't have enough milk to give them. Then they all came and snuggled around me because they are very good babies.

Anyway, I am just relaxing in my stall and not doing much but I hope to feel better soon.