Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Penrose and Paula

Well, when it is nice like it is today you can almost believe that the spring will actually come. Personally, I think it will.

The spring is one of the most exciting and harrowing times of the year, because that is when the kids come. We never know what they will look like, or if they will have any trouble getting here. We hope not, because it puts everyone in a bad mood when they do.

I am not having kids this year, but two of my daughters - Hannah Belle and Blue Umbrella - are. So we know that at least some of the kids will be astonishingly beautiful.

The farmer is excited, I'm not exactly sure why, because it appears that Penrose has settled - this is what they say when you are going to have kids - on an AI breeding to a very prestigious buck. Penrose's kids will be the first AI kids born here, if in
fact they materialize. Penrose is very sneaky about her kids. When she looks like she's bred, she isn't. And when she doesn't look like she's bred, you come out one morning and a gaggle of tiny toggs has materialized out of nowhere.

But anyway, Penrose's frozen boyfriend goes all the way back to the most famous dairy goat in modern American history, the only goat ever to get a mention in Time magazine's "People" section. If you have a stack of these lying around, you can go and look up May 5, 1961.

That goat is Puritan Jon's Jennifer II, bred by Paula Sandburg (wife of poet Carl Sandburg and sister of photographer Edward Steichen), who was and is one of the most famous goat breeders - if that isn't a contradiction in terms - ever. Jennifer II, out of Paula Sandburg's legendary Chikaming Toggenburg lines, broke the all-time record for dairy goats of all breeds in 1960 by producing 5750 pounds of milk in a single year.

I am here to tell you that that is a lot of milk.

Jennifer II's record stood for decades, back in the days when the Toggs were the smallest of the dairy breeds.

But anyway the funny part is that even though Paula Sandburg was known for her Toggs and her Saanens, her favorite breed was the Nubians. Who could even guess why, probably because they didn't have Nigerians back then.

Oh well, to each his own.