Sunday, May 13, 2012

what if my butterfly is a moth?

Happy Mother's Day, all you lovely mothers and mother figures.  I'm not telling you you're lovely because I want to teach you that appearances are the only currency that matters, you know.  I'm telling you you're lovely because I like that word.

I hope it's okay if I talk about goats a little more.  From outside, above me, I can see that the goat stuff is way past being done, and that I need to stop talking about it already.  Shut up about the goats!  They are boring!  But inside me I can't stop.  I am obsessed with my goats.  Obsessed.  I love them SO MUCH YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT.  I talked to John about goats for forty minutes yesterday in one sitting.  That doesn't count all the accessory goat talk I did.  I could talk about them forever; about their colors, whether or not they are eating, which ones are the best mothers, what to name them, their family trees, great goats we have known and loved in the past.  Obsessed, I tell you. 

Yesterday I was riding down the highway in the bed of a pickup truck, holding onto the collar of a nervous pregnant goat, and I thought, "I have done so many things today that I did not foresee."

We were out playing with the goats with my sister and her kids, and Aleece said, pointing to Rita, "Uh, is she having a baby?"  And sure enough, there was a bunch of goop coming out of Rita's hindmost end.  So we hurried and scooted her into the section of the goat pen we call the Annex, or the Mother-in-law Apartment, or the Invalid Grandparent Room, or the Creche.  It's a chain-link pen that we use to keep the babies away from the moms at night once we start milking.  I wanted Rita to have some privacy since it's her first time, and Hazel and Traci and their babies are in the Manor House (the double hutch) and Sally and her babies are in the Cottage (the single hutch that's in the big pen, not separated).  Then I plunked down next to her with my kidding kit close at hand and fed her apple slices while she grunted and strained and tried to bite me.  It looked like a somewhat difficult kidding, but since I've only seen one kidding from goop to squirming baby I can't say for sure.  Aleece and John and all the kids were peeking through the windows  trying to get a look at the miracle of life, and Rita was flopping from side to side crying in discomfort, while I gently tried to push and stretch her vulva around the kid's massive head (that is going to bring some interesting traffic to the blog).  The kids were asking, "Why is she making that noise?"  I was a little concerned that she was going to wear herself out and I'd have to go in there after it, and even sent Emmett into the house to grab some nitrile gloves for me.  But right as I got them on Rita gave a tremendous push and squished out the head and shoulders.  A few minutes later she pushed out the rest, and there was her enormous, beautiful, colorful baby, a buckling OF COURSE.  She got right to work licking him clean, and has turned into a champion mother.  I am so proud of all my girls.  The results are not what I would want, gender-wise, but logistically I could not ask for a better kidding season.  Warm weather, convenient times, all of the babies eating and growing, and even Traci has resigned herself to being a spigot.

As soon as we were done with Rita and her baby (Grant named him Cow) we hurried Julia down to Brian and Wendy's, because we do not need any more kiddings at our house.  I need a nap, is what I need.

So I palpated a goat's ladybits, helped midwife her kid into the world, and transported a pregnant doe in the open back of a pickup truck.  The back of my neck is a rich mahogany color.  I have an ambient odor of iodine and bag balm.  Feeling pretty rural right now.  Feeling like I have earned those multiple pairs of cowboy boots.


Tori said...

I think this is my new favorite post. Even if it did give me unpleasant childbirth flashbacks (as though there is any other kind).

beckster said...

Life, you gotta love it when it's tough! I'm happy for you that you are having so much fun with your goats. If you really love life, nothing beats the real deal, the nitty gritty, slimy creation!!