lonely no more

If you’re running short on trouble…

If you’re life has too little drama…

If you’re lonely…

Or just have too many rose bushes and honeysuckle vines…

get yourself a goat.

thanks to lisa and dale for the photo

thanks to lisa and dale for the photo

I feel silly gloating over our two little goats when our fellow radicals have milk cows and triple digits of lambs on the ground, but we’re gloating none the less.

We don’t have room for big flocks and herds of ruminants on our little property.  We also have jobs in town, which means time constraints at home.  The bottom of our property is flat and open and completely consumed by the garden.  The middle strip is taken up by house, chicken yard, and some thornless blackberry vines.  This area is also seasonally extremely soggy, as the hillside above it drains down through wet weather springs.  But above those wet weather springs, there is a tangled mass of autumn olive and honesuckle that has begged to have some attention from a goat, or two.kidding around1

Enter Annie and Pepper.  Annie is a year old.  She is a dwarf Nubian cross.  She is curious and vocal and shows a distinct taste for young rose bushes.  She was accidentally bred too early but is proving to be a good mother to Pepper, her little black spitfire of a girl-kid.  They come from a healthy loving home herd of some friends, an easy car ride away.

I’ve spent a little bit of time around goats, but not much.  With their quarters right outside our southern windows, I’m mesmerized by them now.  They are sensitive critters.  They stand and watch Wowee the farm cat cross the woodpile.  They pay attention to the noise of trucks on the road.  They make sounds of contentment and twitch their tails as they eat their way through the field of wild greens, their first assignment here.kidding around6

They want to be with us.  They watch everything we do, and call to us with curious voices when we walk away.  They gently taste our clothes and put their noses to our pockets to see if there’s anything good in there when we approach.  Mostly, that’s Annie.  Pepper is too busy climbing the milking stand to pay very much attention.  She leaps off stumps and twists in mid-air.  She puts her hooves on her mothers back and nibbles her ear.  She runs and jumps and clicks her hooves together before landing.kidding around4

Every time I’m around animals like this, I am amazed at their company.  I love to watch them eat and hear the rumbles of their bellies.  I love the eyes that are not human, but still willing to find my own, if only for a moment.  We share our world with them, and they share theirs in return.  Ours is an old relationship.  People and goats have shared common space since the dawn of agriculture. We find common language in gesture, instinct, and good will.  There is some kind of trust here, and if we can be wise enough, and humble enough, the relationship will serve us all.  I cannot recommend it enough.

These goats have been a long time coming.  The land has been lonely for someone who can eat what it has to offer in such abundance.  Our big girl has been hungry for some responsibility on four legs.  They will keep us at home.  They will keep us busy and sometimes make us worry.  They will eat the brambles and thrive.

Welcome to the family, Annie and Pepper.  We’re glad you’re here.kidding around2

2 thoughts on “lonely no more

    • Thanks – they do have very distinct personalities! We’re learning a lot real fast. And enjoying the ride. Hope your spring is going smooth.

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