Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Accidental Tourists

The first part of this story is really boring so I am going to skip to the middle. This means you will have to fill in Chapter One on your own.

…Just then, the screaming started.

“Goodbye now, Greg,” the farmer said to Greg, who was in the middle of a story about the price of alfalfa, usually a riveting topic. The farmer hung up the phone.

In the barn using keen powers of observation the farmer noticed something amiss. One of the dry yearlings had a pair of tiny feet sticking out of her rear end. She was screaming bloody murder, for obvious reasons. You would too.

(timeout for a goat glossary entry) dry yearling: an unbred doe kid from the previous year.

“My goodness,” said the farmer, and ushered the yearling to the kidding stall. Not a moment too soon. The kidding stall had been prepared for Winnie (bago) who was overdue to kid and looking like the GoodYear Blimp but, much like the US Postal Service in these parts, making no attempt to deliver her packages.

Out popped a gigantic and very beautiful doe kid.

“My goodness,” said the farmer, inspecting her for any family traits which might give a clue as to her parentage on the sire’s side. None were readily apparent.

“This one will have to be DNA’d,” said the farmer mournfully. DNA services are useful but not free. The accidental doe kid was so pretty that the farmer put the pink sweater on her. When it comes to baby goats, this is like the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. Some years no one even gets to wear it.

The farmer got everyone settled for the night and put another “dry” yearling in the stall for company. The second “dry” yearling was friends with the first and they often did things together. Luckily they do not have a Facebook page because I shudder to think what would be on it.

Anyway, the second “dry” yearling was known to be bred but it was not known how this happened. The farmer wondered if possibly the dry yearling had been bred and it not marked on the chart, although this had never happened before. In any case based on appearances she had been penciled due at the end of April.

The farmer went to bed, neglecting to remember that the two dry yearlings often did things together.

In the morning there was a faint, discouraged mewing coming from the dry yearling stall.

“My goodness,” said the farmer, peering in. It appeared that the second dry yearling had just kidded. But there was no kid in the stall.

The farmer grabbed the kidding box and some rubber gloves and some towels and examined the dry yearling thoroughly, bouncing her. There did not appear to be any kids inside her.

“My goodness,” said the farmer, or perhaps more colorful language to that effect.

Again there came a distant discouraged mewing, and not from either of the dry yearlings.

The farmer looked down. There was a kickboard along one wall of the stall to prevent the goats from standing on the stall framing and pushing the plywood out. Inside this board was a three and a half inch gap. Inside this gap was a very hungry and still damp buckling, who was very good at crawling forward but who had no reverse gear.

“This one will not have to be DNA’d,” said the farmer happily, since he would be a wether and wouldn’t need any papers.

The farmer settled the new new baby in with old new baby and returned to the barn, where Winnie (bago) gave the traditional foghorn bellow signaling that she was ready to kid.

…to be continued.