Thursday, May 31, 2012

Behind the Headlines

Ok well Abby had her kids and they were quadruplets and they were all does, four little girls - an extra-large one, a large one, a medium one, and an extra-small one. Then the farmer went and took a nap and when the farmer came back one of them had grown a small pair of testicles. So one of them is not a doe any more. The others still are.

They are cute I guess if you like the Oregonian look. A little too Pebble-ish for my taste.

Meanwhile the actual Pebbles was not getting any attention since no one was interested in her any more, she was old news what with the impending arrival of her four (minus one) new sisters. So she made a hole in the fence and got outside the fence and then she couldn't get back in and of course she was out by our busy road, so she started screaming and running down the middle of the street. This had never happened before so we all stood and watched it with interest. There was a nice lady in a Jeep coming and she stopped, just as the farmer came sprinting onto the scene, boots flapping merrily.

It was interesting to see the farmer running because the farmer picked up quite a bit of speed, I was rather impressed. Anyway Pebbles was rescued and scolded and the fence was fixed and of course she got the attention she wanted, including a trip to the grain room and a peanut butter sandwich cookie, which doesn't seem like much of a deterrent to me when it comes to handing out punishment.

Note to self: break something, then run around screaming.

Ok on an update Winjay refused to take her kids back even though the farmer kept trying to get her to take them. She bit their little nubbin ears when they pleaded for milk and she tried to head butt one of them.

"Okay, that is IT!" yelled the farmer. "PENROSE!"

Penrose took them, big surprise, so now she has her Grass Babies back and she couldn't be more  pleased. She feeds them and keeps the public from stepping on them and then the farmer gives them a big bottle of Winjay milk twice a day.

Anyway, it is a good lesson to us all, you never know what you might find in the long grass, you just have to keep your eyes open and your hopes up.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Headlines Only

Overloaded Freighter Docks
Passengers have disembarked from the Good Ship Abby. Captain cited for exceeding occupancy limits. All souls safe. Details to follow.... 

Twin Bests Sister in WMOYA Race
Winjay strips Maddy (Sheriff of Crazytown) of (Worst) Mother of the Year Award. "Not even close," marvels bleary-eyed farmer... 

Cabana Looks Worse Than Ever
"How is it possible?" marvels bleary-eyed etc (see above)...

Pebbles' Brush With Death
Don't worry, it's ok now...

Willen Enters Fattest Haflinger Contest
"Why not?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grass Babies

Winnie is very sensible and cooperative and an excellent mother and a professional dairy goat anyone can milk. She is known for it. Her daughter Winjay is the opposite. Winjay's mind is a superstore of bad ideas. Aisle upon aisle of harebrained schemes and crackpot notions.

Today it came time for Winjay to have her kids. What did she do? Did she go up to the barn where there was a nice roomy clean private kidding stall waiting for her?

No. She went down to the old ramshackle cabana which is going to be demolished soon if it doesn't fall down by itself first which it is doing in stages. In addition to being so ramshackle that it would be considered ridiculously overdone if it were used on tv as an example of a decrepit goat shed, the cabana has been slowly filling up with goat berries over the last ten years and by now there are billions of them under the main floor, because everyone likes to lie on the main floor up off the ground and the berries fall through the slats. Overall it is an excellent system.

But Winjay did not go on the main floor which is what you are supposed to do. She crawled and wiggled and wormed her way underneath the floor so that she was lying on a carpet of vintage goat berries to have her kids.  The farmer came down and tried to wrassle her out but she wouldn't budge.

So the farmer went and got some towels and caught the kids as they came out and put them in the middle of the down-below pasture in the bright sun to dry and then came back to try to drag Winjay out but it was no dice. Penrose happened along and saw the kids lying in the grass and she thought they were hers and she started cleaning them and fixing their hair and she showed one of them how to stand up and meanwhile the farmer tugged on Winjay's leg but she has a mysterious superpower of turning herself into a 3,000 pound concrete block when she feels like it so forget about that.

The farmer came back and by this time the kids were dry and Penrose was explaining to them that the milk comes from the udder and not the knee and if they would move towards the back she could assist them in filling their stomachs but just then the farmer picked them up and took them to the barn, jostling them around so that they would scream.

"Winjay will follow us when she hears them screaming," the farmer told Wendell, who was performing his supernanny functions. Wendell goggled his eyes in disbelief.

Winjay did not follow at all, she continued reclining in her sumptuous berry patch. Instead, Penrose trotted along solicitously. "There is a milk tap on each side," she was explaining to the babies, "so you will both be able to drink at the same time. Now just hop down here and I will show you how it's done."

"No Penrose," said the farmer. "You do not have enough milk for these babies. These are LaMancha piranhas, they will suck you dry."

The farmer went into the barn and shut the gate on Penrose. Penrose stood there for a minute thinking, then turned and ran back down to the cabana where she spent the rest of the morning combing through the long grass looking for more babies.

It's dark now so I can't see but she is probably still out there. Good luck, Penrose. Hope you find some more Grass Babies.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pinky's Cup of Tea

Pinky was due May 29, and her younger aunty-sister Pinky Jr. was due May 24, but yesterday they both dropped their ligaments and the race was on. In spite of being a first-timer, Pinky Jr. took a traditional approach to the whole kidding, going through the process methodically, lying down to push, making a nest etc., it was just as if she had read a book on how to do it.

She made it to the finish line first, kidding a couple of little pink does in mid-afternoon.

Pinky is a nonconformist and she did not do any of these things and she certainly would never consider reading a book. It was slow going but the farmer went in and poked enough to find out that the first candidate was coming nose and toes. Fine then, take your time. One foot eventually popped out and Pinky still would not lie down. Another foot popped out and the end of a nose, and still no lying down.

"I think you will do better if you lie down to push, Pinky," the farmer suggested in a knowledgeable tone.

Pinky does not take advice, it isn't her cup of tea, if you know so much about it let's see you do it, and she continued strolling nonchalantly around the stall with two footies poking out the back.

The farmer gave a sigh and said, "oh well, have it your way," and went to feed the bucks quickly, then came back.

What happened? Pinky had sucked the feet back in, and was eating alfalfa with relish. I guess I should say with gusto.

"Orlando, Florida!" the farmer cussed, and scolded Pinky for sucking the baby back in.

Pinky couldn't give a drat, she kept eating and strolling. Finally she set in to heavy pushing and she still wouldn't lie down, groaning and stomping her feet like a sumo wrestler.

"That thing is not getting away again," said the farmer, and caught hold of the two legs once they reappeared and inch by inch pulled out probably the biggest doe kid ever born here, covered with little moonspots. Pinky stood up the whole time, demanding world peace and paid holidays at the top of her lungs.

Then for more eating and strolling as the evening ticked away and finally around nine she backed up to the loading dock and dropped off another kid without ever touching the ground except with her feet. This was a girl who would have been the largest doe kid ever born here if she had been born first but as it was she only came in second. She is black and white like her dad. She looks like a pinto pony and eats like a Clydesdale. The farmer thinks there might be a little old kids' saddle up in the hayloft that will fit her. Her name will be Pinky's Cup of Tea.

As soon as they were out Pinky flopped to the ground and took a nap.

Land Whale Beached...

Pinky the Land Whale has calved. Details to follow...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mother of the Year....Not

You should see Wronny's two kids. Maybe some day there will be a picture. Anyway the point is Wronny feeds them all the time. And she also keeps them spotless. They look like the first day of school, spit-shined with their hair slicked back, fat and happy.

Ok then you should see Jammies' two daughters. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are the two most perfect micro-Manchas born anywhere in the world in the history of time. Jammies keeps them immaculate: when they are sleeping they look like a great idea for a new show on Nickelodeon, the two cutest little miniature hamster-monkeys in the world, fat and happy and storing up sleep for a new adventure in the morning. All they need is a theme song.

Ok I think you know where this is going. Anyway at 11:30 on Sunday night the neighbor called to say that one of the babies in the barn was screaming and wouldn't stop. The neighbor knows all the babies, she is a good neighbor. She was over by the fence and heard this constant high-pitched screaming. "I think it is Mango," she said. "Do you want me to go over and check?"

No, thank you for calling, the farmer zipped out there and sure enough as soon as you opened the door to the house there came a very angry screaming. Loud and offended and indignant and extremely distressed. But it didn't sound like Mango. This was the type of screaming that if there were an app to translate it into English the translation would be: "where is the milk that I was promised? I NEED IT RIGHT AWAY!"

Out in the barn were the fat happy babies and the milkers and some of the fat ladies and in the stall at the back were Penrose and Maddy. Penrose was there so she could get extra food and be milked occasionally since there is just no way to dry her off, she is an everlasting fountain of milk. Maddy was there because she was supposed to have her babies - not this week but next week - and she needed to get on her pre-kidding regimen.

Ok of course she skipped the pre-kidding and went right to the kidding and popped her babies out but she was not in a babyproof stall and one of the babies had rolled under the stall door into the aisle where it was fortunately screaming its head off. The other was inside the stall bumbling around ineptly,  both still sopping wet and  no good at standing up, but with lungs like Luciano Pavarotti.

Penrose was attempting to assist one of the babies, then running to the stall door to look at the screamer stranded in the aisle, then running back chuckling to the other baby and nuzzling it, then running back to encourage the other. Wronny had her head over the door and was offering useful advice - "why don't you stand up? That's what I always do when I want to walk somewhere."

Jammies and even Pinky the oblivious Land Whale looked on sympathetically.

Maddy gazed off into the distance, wishing that high-pitched racket would STOP, how on Earth was she supposed to get any sleep?

Fast forward Day Two. Wronny's babies, spotless, fat, happy. Jammies' babies: immaculate, adorable, fat, happy. Maddy's babies: bedraggled and besmirched, no one cleaned them properly, sad and thin and hungry.

The farmer called for the Super Nanny (Wendell): he came out and cleaned the back ends in very short order. Then the farmer filled them up with milk.

"You will get one more day, Maddy.  Just watch Jammies and Wronny if you want to see how it's done. One more day. And then they are going on bottles for good."

....stay tuned.....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gulliver's Travels. And Also Halfway's.

Well yesterday was a work day at the farm, like every other day, but this time there were helpers to do some of the 10,000 things that need to be done including fixing some fences and reattaching a blown-off roof to the buck shed and clearing the brush from the hot wire and so on.

Anyway it was supposed to also be picture day for Wronny's bucklings, Gulliver and Halfway. But right at the start of the work day the farmer let them out to browse the barnyard with Wronny. One of the kids was supposed to be watching them, I won't name names but it was Seth. The reason he was supposed to watch them is if you don't watch them they toddle off after they have drunk about a gallon of milk and they find a hiding place and they conk out like a light into a  milk stupor and then you can't find them. Once they are in a  milk stupor they sleep for hours.

Anyway after about five minutes the farmer asked Seth where they were because Wronny was walking around without them and Seth said, "who?"

Okay so they were gone and at first the farmer looked for them halfheartedly in the usual places - behind the sheets of plywood, over by the log pile, under the fence posts, etc. Then the farmer forgot about them. The whole morning ticked by.

Then the farmer started looking for them wholeheartedly and even then they couldn't be found. After five or six hours people started to get a little nervous. Perhaps they have been snatched up by an eagle or something or joined the circus.

Okay anyway no thanks to the farmer they were finally discovered under the porch of the main house where they had been planning to enjoy an 8-hour milk stupor but after only six hours they were dragged out into the light of day and returned to their rightful owner, just as everyone was getting ready to leave.

So they didn't get their pictures taken. If they had it would have been a picture of two fast-asleep bucklings, both exceedingly strapping and handsome, one black with white trim and his father's quizzical expression, and one with a big white belly band like a giant Oreo cookie.

So if you can picture that in your mind's eye it will have to do for now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Portrait Gallery

Wronny and Jammies are doing very well. Why shouldn't they, with 24 hour room service. They are getting the new goat grain that is only for milkers and they love it. Also they get nutter butters and fig newtons, which I don't think is fair.

Wronny's two sons have turned out to be so handsome that they will have their portraits taken today. Meanwhile Buckles has learned to walk properly, woop-dee-doo. Jinx has not done anything interesting but for some reason people can't stop picking her up and carrying her around and talking baby talk to her. It's rather embarrassing to watch but I suppose it attracts attention away from that annoying Butter Belle. 

The portraits will go right underneath here when they are ready.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

That's How We Got Here

Well a lot has been happening here, probably too much, first of all after many years of waiting Wronny finally went into labor for real. As soon as the farmer left for town to run errands.

If you would like to jinx somebody when they have their kids, the best thing to do is tell everybody how easy it is for them, how they are a top professional and never need any help. Do that, like the farmer did, then go to town.

So Wronny started trying to have her kids and she just wasn't getting anywhere. The farmer came home a couple of hours later and found her, wrung out with pushing, and just a head sticking out, a big head.

"I'm sorry Wronny," the farmer said, and through some kind of miracle the farmer was able to get one leg around and then a mighty tug of war ensued and finally the kid flopped out like a fish. This kid was a gigantic buck kid and no offense to him but he was one of the deadest looking little gentlemen you ever saw but the farmer spanked and spanked him and swung him around and after about three minutes he spluttered, just like the farmer's Stihl chain saw that won't even pop and causes all kinds of blue language and then finally blurts to life.

Then comes the next one, only very slightly better, this one has a head like a basketball and one leg back and the farmer can't get the second leg so there is nothing for it but another mighty tug of war and this guy plops out and he isn't that much easier to start, both of them have been stuck in there for a while and they are not firing on all cylinders.

And then the farmer bounces Wronny and feels a slight bounce, then bounces again and nothing. And again, and nothing. And so the farmer brings Wronny a special drink, and some alfalfa and cookies and calcium, and goes to let everybody else in and do the milking and the rest of the chores. And when the farmer checks on Wronny about an hour later she looks okay.

But not quite right. Something isn't quite right.

Well the next time the farmer comes back Wronny still hasn't passed her placenta and she still doesn't look right so the farmer decides there is nothing for it but to go in and sure enough there is another kid in there and this kid is about as stuck as you can get and it takes ten minutes of flipping and rearranging and end-of-the-world bellowing and finally the last buck kid comes out but the farmer cannot get him started.

He gets the full 911 but he will not start.

"I'm sorry Wronny," says the farmer and Wronny being a queen reacts in a dignified fashion not mentioning that she never goes to town when the farmer needs help, and after nuzzling the third triplet gently for a couple of minutes she turns her attention graciously to her two other bucklings and the farmer decides then and there to let her keep them instead of making them bottle babies.

It seems like the right thing to do.

Ok fine a couple of days pass and then Jammies goes into labor and if you aren't satisfied with jinxing just one kidding, be sure and invite someone over to watch the next one and that should guarantee another jinx.

Jammies starts to push and the farmer sets the timer for one hour, this is the inflexible ONE HOUR RULE.

If you are ever wondering how long should you wait after your doe starts pushing before you do something, here is the answer you have been looking for. WAIT ONE HOUR.

Well the timer gets to 57 minutes and the farmer goes and washes up and comes back and starts in to poking around and there is no nose to be found, and there are no toes. The nose-and-toes position, which is the position you always want, is not happening.

All right then starts in the bellowing and the fishing and the farmer is getting a very perplexed look and finally out comes a tiny little pancake of a doeling and it is immediately apparent that there isn't really any point in the 911, the little doeling was never made for this world, so back in and what a tangle it is getting the next one out but my goodness it is a normal one and after a kindly thrashing it is wide awake and raring to go, and then back in, and yes, there is another, only this one is UPSIDE DOWN, laying on her back with her toes to the sky, and it takes some swirling but she comes out and agrees to breathe and after a bit she looks like she will make it only she won't be able to walk properly for a while because of her tendons being so horribly contracted but that is nothing of any importance.

And so that's what happened. It wasn't easy by any means but Gulliver and Halfway were born, and so were Buckles and Jinx.

Triplet bucks, then triplet does. Things could have gone better. But they could have gone a lot worse.

So that's how we got here. And here we are.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Diary

The little fat one Clara Belle gets carried around a lot. It runs up to the farmer simpering the way Moldy used to do. Then it jumps up on the farmer which isn't supposed to be allowed. Then it gets picked up and carried around, preening down on everyone with a simper from high above with lordly airs. I really don't like that one. I hope I do not see it get carried to the grain bin. If I do I will make a black mark in my book and a mental note to t-bone it when it comes down in our pasture. When the farmer isn't looking, obviously.

Eo is keeping a detailed list of grievances against it so I will add mine in there also.

1. Simpering
2. Preening
3. Jumping up (not allowed)
4. Lordly airs
5. Obesity

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

are - oh - see

Well the samples went to the lab and Cherry's milk came back 6% butterfat, that explains the sleepyheadedness of the population when placed on Cherry milk. It also explains Clara Belle's waistline, since Iota's milk came back over 8% butterfat. But it doesn't explain Betty's stingy mark of 3.2% butterfat, that doesn't really make sense, unless the milk tester sort of forgot to mix the milk right with the dipper, and took all the milk off the top for Iota and Cherry's samples, and off the bottom for Betty. Anyway we'll see what happens next time.

In other news the milkers and babies got to go out in the front pasture with Willen the Haflinger who is too fat to go in the back and eat nice grass with the other horses who are enjoying some delicious red top. There isn't much grass there since Willen ate it all but there is a large thicket of blackberries poking through the fenceline.

The horseshoer came over and he was in a mood and he used a lot of colorful sayings, including "that's a ration of crap," which is what he says when he hears something preposterous like the cost of vet bills or how much the hospitals charge to take out a little kidney stone the size of a pea.

They charge a lot, and "that's a ration of crap."

Feel free to use this expression if you need to, it comes in handy, if you are in polite society you can say, "that's an R - O - C."

If you still do not understand what it means, here are some examples of how to use it:

a.) Wronny still has not had her babies, and that's an R - O - C.

b) The grass hay has gotten very stale, and that's an R - O - C.

c) They didn't tell us the electric fence was back on, and that's an R - O - C.

( phonetically: are - oh - see. )

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Circles that you find...

We have all become very concerned about Clara Belle.

Her brother went to his new home and Clara Belle has been forced to drink all of Iota's milk. We didn't get the results back yet, but judging by her waistline I think it must be about 10% butterfat. In fact I was going to suggest if it isn't too late maybe her name could be changed to Butter Belle. Or possibly Beach Belle.

By this time she is about twice the size of Midget, who is quite a bit older, and she shows no sign of slowing down.

"How adorable," the visitors say when she comes stampeding toward them to be picked up.

"Oh dear," they say, when they try to lift her.

"Try this one," the farmer will say, and hand them Mango, who weighs about two pounds, or LGO (the little gray one). Even Clover weighs about half as much as Clara Belle.

Meanwhile Coco and Coffee have retained a surprising amount of Nubianity, considering that by this time they are only 1/16th Nubian.

Yesterday when everyone came into the barn for dinner they all ran into the usual stalls, except Coco who started running in a circle and jumping off the milk stands in the aisle. She went around once, and then twice, and then three times, and by that time the farmer had closed all the doors to shut everyone in and just stood staring at Coco.

Even Pinky was perplexed and asked Coco what she was doing.

"I am running in a circle! A circle goes around and around," she answered, panting. "Forever!"

The farmer snatched her up and dropped her over the stall door, or I think she would still be out there putting her views on geometry into action.

I hope she doesn't start trying to run in a trapezoid. Or a parabola.

We continue to be sobered by the circles that we find in the windmills of the Nubian mind.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wronny's Kids....

....Still did not get born.

"This is a little ridiculous, Wronny," said the farmer, showing Wronny the calendar where it was marked in ink that she was going to kid in March.

"It is MAY now."

Wronny chewed her cud impassively.

The farmer showed a list of names of people waiting to take cheesemaking classes where they milk the professional goats and then make cheese.

"Do you want these people to have to milk Cherry?"

Wronny chewed her cud impassively.

"Or perhaps you think they would like to milk Iota?"

Iota's style of milking is that she gobbles the food as fast as she can with one half of her mouth while at the same time emitting a constant only slightly muffled high-pitched scream with the other half. This is really an astonishing trick, it is like something you would see in Las Vegas. Not on the Strip but maybe out on one of the side streets. Pretty far out, actually. In the desert, maybe.

Also while screaming she kicks one of her back legs in a sort of sidestroke motion so that she looks like a little white frog.

The funny part is that she has improved almost 51% since she started: in the beginning she wouldn't eat at all and just devoted herself to kicking both legs and splitting everyone's eardrums with a completely unmuffled banshee howl.

"This is why Nigerians get a bad reputation," the farmer said darkly to Betty, like it is Betty's fault because Iota is her daughter. Betty chewed her cud impassively. "She gets that from her father," she told us when the farmer went away.

"I want those kids on the ground, Wronny," the farmer blathered on. "And no more false alarms. Stop pretending to wax over and loosen your ligaments. Do you hear me?"

Wronny chewed her cud impassively.

Meanwhile while all the charts were being reviewed Poppy popped out a set of triplet doelings without any sermon from the farmer and after a short stay in the delivery room they were ushered out to mix with the other  mothers and babies and this was an occasion for another lecture.

"I do not want anyone bothering Poppy," the farmer harangued the other mothers. " She is very shy and sweet and I do not want any of you monsters bothering her or her triplets. Does everyone understand me?"

Betty, Iota, and Cherry chewed their cuds impassively.

An hour or so later the farmer came out to check the baby stall and Poppy had pinned the other mothers to the far wall with a series of masterful head flips, backed up by skillful earbiting and Sugar Ray Leonard style body blows. Poppy and her triplets lived inside an imaginary line that cut the stall in half. The other mothers and kids lived in the other half.

The hay feeder and the water bucket - you guessed it - were on Poppy's side.

You never know what motherhood will do for someone.

"Hmm," mused the farmer. "Maybe Poppy could train Iota how to milk properly."