Friday, April 03, 2009

Little Goat, Big World


Well Winnie as you know is a member of the Soprano Family of Lamanchas. Like Ronny, she is a Brandy daughter, and all the Brandy daughters are professional goats.

This means that they are not amateurs. They do everything according to the Guidelines and Bylaws of the Professional Dairy Goat Association. That includes kidding.

So after giving the traditional foghorn bellow signaling the start of kidding, Winnie went through the PDGA kidding checklist, which goes like this:

1. Site prep: not to exceed 20 minutes. (Includes circling, arranging straw, nesting, pawing, examining water bucket, hollering for an attendant.)

2. Preliminary test pushing: not to exceed 20 minutes. (Includes getting up and down, open-mouth breathing, warm-up pushing from comfortable sternally recumbent position, hollering for an attendant as necessary).

3. Moderate pushing: not to exceed 20 minutes. (Includes stretching exercises, pawing as necessary, looking behind you to make sure you didn’t accidentally kid already, pushing from lying-flat-on-your-side position, muffled or silent screams optional).

4. Serious pushing: not to exceed 10 minutes, recumbent or standing position as suits the mission. Push with all your muscles and scream if you feel like it. Once the head is through, give the trademark “Soprano” wiggle to squirt the first kid all the way out.

5. Break for grain, cookies, and warm water: not to exceed 10 minutes. Relax a little, then repeat steps 4 and 5 for each subsequent kid.

All the steps were completed on schedule, producing two strapping buck kids. The farmer bounced Winnie and did not feel any more kids.

“Is that all?” said Lori, when the second buckling came inside to the baby nursery.

“Yes I think so,” said the farmer.

“Oh really,” said Lori, and went out to the barn while the farmer started the two bucklings. In a few minutes (not exceeding ten) Lori came back in with a tiny bundle and began barking orders. “This one needs help,” she said. She had a teeny-tiny hamster-size baby who wasn’t breathing.

The farmer took it and started slapping it and gave a few puffs in its teeny-tiny mouth.

“Where is the syringe? Get the syringe!” barked Lori, who had gone into ER mode.

I wonder who she is talking to, wondered the farmer, continuing with baby goat CPR. Lori found the syringe herself and started suctioning fluids out of the baby’s mouth. Eventually the teeny-tiny hamster-size baby started sneezing and coughing.

A few minutes later the farmer flipped the baby over, sure this one must be a doeling.

No indeed. Triplet bucks. For the first couple of days the tiny baby was called PeeWee and Squirt and “the little guy” and Hamster and Gerbil.

Then Wendy Webster came over one day and she said his name was Stuart, Stuart Little, and it turned out that really was his name. His head shoots up every morning when he hears it. He is still tiny but each day he tries to double in size by drinking more milk than you would ever possibly imagine such a small body could hold.

He may be small, but he is a Soprano.