Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ida and Earl

Several times throughout the day I head outside with Gibson and the kids for a stroll around the farm. I would like to say I do it because exercise and thoughtful play are important ingredients to a healthy and vibrant production animal, but the truth is seeing them plod around is just so damn adorable I squeak. With the current warm temperatures turning the snow into pools and mud, all they need is little yellow raincoats and song birds around them and you have a Disney movie. Shucks, it's muddy out there—and it seems no matter how much I wipe the quadrupeds down—little brown hoof and paw prints coat the farmhouse floor. It's a small price to pay to watch these guys grow up. Paper towels and diaper-crate liners cost very little compared to having a kid fall asleep in your arms while you watch Firefly reruns by the wood stove.

Ida is here to stay. That's her in the picture. Here we can watch her grow up, get sassy, get bred and have babies and start milking like her mother. She's Bonita's daughter and from big, hardy, alpine stock. I love that breed and I love her parents. Her father was a big boy named Little Britches from Common Sense and he was gentle and funny. Goats, unlike sheep, have so much personality they are pretty much the emoticons of the barnyard. There is no mistaking a miserable goat for a happy one for a horny one for a sick one. They wear their hearts on their fur. I like dramatic animals. We have a lot in common. Life isn't always smooth but it sure isn't boring.

I am torn about what to do with Earl. He's an extra wether (strike that, will be shortly) and while I think he is adorable he doesn't really have a place here. The only point of keeping him is as a packing or companion goat. I've been down that rode before and it didn't work out very well. My little goat Finn ended up at another farm a few years down the road because neither I nor my life was goat-ready. I don't want to repeat that mistake so I am looking for a new home for the fellow or I'll just simply have him join the winter's meat supply. Not the most adorable of stories but there are not little raincoats and songbirds in the chest freezer...

Mud is everywhere. It is full-out spring around this mountain. I had the strongest urge to harness up Merlin for a ride but the design and editing work I had indoors had to come first. I have a few logos and a new book in the works. I do work at home, and have the option of blowing off my responsibilities for some fun stuff but if you start that habit in the raw of spring it is darn hard to break for haying season when everyone's cards are on the table. So today I worked indoors, but I still made time for goat shenanigans.

Anyone who can't make time for goat shenanigans is a robot and should be melted for parts.