Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rules Schmools

The farmer decided regretfully to let Jammies keep her milk for a couple of weeks until her little Bumblebee gets bigger. In my opinion the little Bumblebee is already too fat, but of course no one asked me. Rotundity is a common problem in the Jammies family.

Anyway this morning the farmer milked all the greedy milkers in the milk parlor. As usual Joy waited until last and then tried to dawdle by eating in super slow motion and pretending to have important ideas. The farmer started taking the milk machine apart to scrub and had it halfway washed before Joy finally ran out of food.

"All right then," said the farmer grumpily, and booted Joy out. In just a minute a polite tapping came at the outside hatch door, which is only supposed to be used for an exit. This is a strict rule in fact. Usually when someone tries to come in the exit, the farmer throws a pitcher of cold water on them.

But this time for some reason the farmer yanked open the hatch, and there was Jammies with her little bag of candy, asking to be milked.

"Come in, come in, come in," said the farmer, beaming.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The New Triplets

All our big does had triplets this year. Big Orange followed suit with two boys and a girl. One is white, one is black, one is reddish brown. Their names are Corky, Clarence and Acorn.

Acorn is the girl. For a big baby, she is not that unattractive.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You There

Jammies' little bumblebee was going to be called "Jammies' Little Bumblebee."

But then someone suggested Creamsicle, which is an excellent name and a perfect match for her coloring.

But then someone else suggested Cupcake. And if you look at her closely you will see that she looks like a cupcake with buttercream frosting.

So now there is a quandary.

Cupcake or Creamsicle.

Creamsicle or Cupcake.

Or Jellybean.

Or "Jammies' Little Bumblebee."

Or what about Buttercream.

Or Ambrosia.

Jammies' Little Bumblebee

Mr. Adorable

aka Jackie Boy.

Iota (Pawprint)

Blue Daughter

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Farmer-English Dictionary

Farmer Says: "Oh dear, poor Jammies, you look uncomfortable. You have way too much milk for one little orange baby to drink."

Translation: "Thank God, the Jammies milk is back, I am going to steal as much as I can for myself."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kidding By Spreadsheet

Yesterday Jammies lost her ligaments and the farmer was in a tizzy preparing a perfect kidding nest. Most people probably aren't interested but last year Jammies had a terrible kidding and lost her baby but then triumphed and became the farmer's personal milker because of her candy milk and her sweet disposition.

So the farmer milked all the milkers in a hurry and then turned the crush pen into a private kidding stall and Jammies was ushered in. The farmer does not like nighttime kidding because according to the farmer's spreadsheet nighttime kiddings are 36% more likely to be problematic.

Jammies did not do anything, just looked around all dreamy-eyed and gave the farmer a few kisses. The farmer went and got the cot from the hayloft and the kidding box and special Jammies treats and some midnight oil and a pillow and two new books, one about chickens and one about a town in Vermont, and a pair of reading glasses. And then went and gave our new buckling a bottle. His name is Jackpot but that is another story.

When the farmer got back with all the supplies Jammies had already had a little orange doeling with bunny rabbit ears and everything was cleaned up and put away and the little bunny rabbit was dozing with a bellyful of candy milk.

"Oh Jammies," said the farmer and went to bed but not before updating the spreadsheet to reflect the fact that nighttime kiddings are now 32% more likely to be problematic.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pepe and Iota

Betty had her kids and their names are Pepe and Iota. Betty is a terrible mother. Half the time she is worried sick about her kids. When they are sleeping she wakes them up to make sure they are still alive.

The other half she forgets she has them and strolls off to sniff around the compost mountain to see if there are any delicious new weeds. Then she remembers and runs around screaming. "My kids, my kids! My kids have been kidnapped! I'm pretty sure there are two of them! Help! HELP!"

Pepe is mostly black with a little bit of white and ice-blue eyes. He enjoys dancing, especially Celtic type Lord-of-the-Dance riverdancing. That's kind of funny because we do not have a river. Iota appears to have some kind of superhero powers and is able to disappear when necessary. Her Superhero name is "Pawprint," because that's all she leaves behind when she disappears.

Then she will reappear, usually under a bookcase or in a cubbyhole. She doesn't dance as much as Pepe. She is more interested in thinking about things, possibly superhero activities.

So that's the story of Pepe and Iota. And now the tension mounts as the farmer paces and frets, awaiting the arrival of the offspring of the precious liquid-candy-milker Jammies, who is a frumpy little moth-eaten micro-Mancha, if the truth be told.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

spirit of joyjoy

We just heard some very bad news. It was about our friend Joyjoy who went to a wonderful new home with her twin Gracie several months ago. Joyjoy had an unforeseeable accident and she died. Joyjoy was a very adventurous goat and she loved to explore everything. She had a very strong spirit, you could always feel when Joyjoy was coming close even if you didn't see her right away. We were all very sad when we heard.

So today Zenyatta went to live with Gracie because Gracie was very upset. Zenyatta and Gracie are old friends from when they were babies together. So hopefully Gracie will start feeling better soon.

It made the farmer think because a very strange thing happened here the other day. We had a long day with all kinds of odd occurrences including a horse mishap and several trucks not working and we had to cancel our plans to get hay and the tractor got a flat tire and finally Blue Umbrella had her kids - two pretty little does, the first she has had - and by the time the farmer got around to milking the milkers it was ten o'clock at night and the farmer made a bad decision.

The farmer decided to leave Boxcar Betty and her two tiny kids, Pepe and Iota, in a little corner of the barn aisle instead of putting them in a stall. They were going to go back into the crush pen when the milkers went through to the milk parlor. And it seemed like a better idea than putting them in a stall with other goats when they were so tiny.

It wasn't.

When the farmer came out 45 minutes later after milking, Betty and her kids were gone. And just then the farmer heard Betty bellowing frantically down below in the back pasture. She was looking for her kids and she couldn't find them. It was pitch black and all the night animals were out, bats and owls and all kinds of creatures who could eat Pepe or Iota in one bite.

The farmer and Betty ran around yelling in the dark. No use. The farmer came in and turned the barn upside down: no Pepe, no Iota. The farmer went and got a flashlight and ran around again with Betty, not just in the back pasture but in the side as well. For twenty minutes they looked high and low.

Then suddenly Betty gave the farmer a squirrelly look and ran back up to the barn.

The farmer kept looking for a few minutes and then realized Betty was not bawling any more.

When the farmer got up to the barn, Pepe and Iota were just coming out from under a bookcase to get some milk from Betty.

"They weren't there before," said the farmer, even though no one was listening. "I looked under there before, and they weren't there."

Nobody said anything. "Someone must have been watching out for them," said the farmer.


Or maybe Spirit of Joyjoy.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Master Goat Farmer at Work

Our farmer is a trained professional and notices every nuance of goat behavior with unbelievable acuity. Yesterday it was blowing a gale from the west. One feeder tipped over and two roofs ripped off, one from the baby shed and one from Winnie's cabana. The farmer kept a keen eye on Blue Umbrella.

One lady dropped by and the farmer made the lady go out and look at Blue Umbrella.

"See how she is pinning her ears back like that and has a glassy expression on her face?" said the farmer in a lofty knowledgeable tone.

"Ok," said the lady.

"Now we will feel her ligaments," said the farmer, and tried to catch Blue Umbrella, but Blue Umbrella took off running which was no mean feat for a goat with a 64 inch waistline.

"This is how she acts when is getting ready to kid," the farmer told the lady.

"Is that right," said the lady. "My goodness, look at the time."

The lady took off running and the farmer could not catch her either.

Meanwhile my half-cousin-sister Betty began to get a terrible case of indigestion, and was circling all over the place, trying to sneak up on herself from behind.

"Why don't you lie down if you don't feel good, Betty?" I suggested.

"That's a good idea," said Betty, and lied down. Then it was such a good idea that she got up and lied down again, pawing up the ground to try to make a pillow. There wasn't any straw since we were out in the pasture so it didn't feel right so she got up and moved to a better spot and lied down again.

Meanwhile the farmer called Lori on the phone to ask Lori to go to the farmers' meeting. 'I don't think I can go to the meeting, because Blue Umbrella is going to kid."

The farmer got a nice kidding stall ready and brought everybody in and finally was able to catch Blue Umbrella and Blue Umbrella's ligaments were like a rock. "Hmm," said the farmer, astutely.

Blue Umbrella got booted out of the kidding stall and the farmer called Lori to see if it was too late to go to the farmers' meeting after all and just then Betty started screaming.

"Oh," said the farmer. "How convenient."

Betty was ushered into the kidding stall where she kidded a set of teeny tiny peanut twins.

As you can see, very little escapes the notice of a Master Goat Farmer.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Blizzard Approaching

Every year in the fall there comes a day when four or five does come into heat at the same time.

"Oh how convenient," says the farmer. "I can take them all in to be bred and mark them off the list."

Five months later in the spring they all have their kids at the same time, causing the farmer to become (even more) bleary-eyed and short-tempered.

"Oh how inconvenient," says the farmer. "Remind me not to do that again."

Luckily at least Maddy went ahead of schedule with her mud-pit Easter Bunnies. And my mother Belle Pepper helpfully fooled the farmer and did not settle. That's good, I like being an only child.

But now Boxcar Betty, Blue Umbrella, and the sacred Jammies are lining up on the runway.

Fasten your seatbelts. There's a baby blizzard on the radar.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Bunnies

I am only eight months old so obviously I still enjoy milk. But I have noticed lately that my mother has gotten much shorter and when I go to get the milk sometimes I can't quite fit under her and she actually goes up in the air like if you picked up a wheelbarrow. Because she is so short I guess. It's kind of odd, I used to fit all the way under there.

I hope she doesn't get too much shorter because it's a little bit inconvenient.

Today was Easter here and it was supposed to be a holiday with nothing on the schedule and the farmer was going to go and hunt for some morels because it is morel season. So the farmer did the chores and milked everybody and then went to feed the bucket babies and then heard some high-pitched distant baby screaming.

"What the goodness," said the farmer, and counted the triplets. Two sets makes six. One, two, three, four, five, six.

"What the goodness," said the farmer. Well, maybe it was Abbie and Amarillo, Moldy's twins, yelling about something. Just then they ran silently past. The baby screaming continued.

"What the goodness," said the farmer, looking around like a beagle at a foxhunt.

Maddy had gone behind the barn into the muddiest mud pit on the farm where the tractor even got stuck and had a set of twins three days ahead of schedule. Both were covered with mud and yelling angrily. Maddy was gazing into the distance in puzzlement, perhaps considering updating her Facebook page.

She tiptoed discreetly away from the two little babies as they tried to advance toward her.

The farmer came and got them out of the mud.

"Two little easter bunnies," said the farmer. "No morels."