Monday, 8 August 2011

A Goat Named Lucy(fer)

As many of you know, I milk goats and feed chickens for the neighbors when they’re out of town. Usually, it goes without incident and I have the option of keeping the day’s milk and eggs for my trouble. Lately though, I’ve chosen not to keep the spoils—but that’s not really the point here.
Lucy used to be the easy one. She likes to eat. That means she doesn’t have a problem in the world with hopping up on that stanchion to be milked. Until this weekend when she was suddenly overtaken by whatever demons overtake milk goats when they don’t want to be milked.
I had tethered Carmella and she was patiently waiting for Lucy to cooperate so that she too could be milked and have an opportunity to eat. But Lucy had other plans.
It took half an hour to finally lure Lucy up onto the stanchion and she continued to be a pain in my nether regions. Three times she kicked the milk pail over and I had to start over again. Finally, I decided to tether her foot so she couldn’t kick. Her response? She managed to get her head out of the stanchion and just jumped down, kicking the milk pail into my lap on her way down.
I was so frustrated at this point that I took away her food and just put her out into the other gated area. I figured if she wanted to be that way, she just wouldn’t get grain for that morning. Don’t milk? Then you don’t get grain. She was left to graze for the day.
Carmella was my ever cooperative sweetheart, as usual. She hopped up there on her own, let me lock her in, and stayed completely still for the duration of the milking. I didn’t tether her foot because she’s so good about standing there without incident. I was almost done, with a full pail of milk, when a possessed chicken decided to jump up into Carmella’s face and scare her half to death. The result? She kicked her foot and it landed square in the milk pail. Another batch of milk that I had to pour out on the ground.
And that was just Saturday. Sunday was worse. Way worse.
This time, they were both acting weird. It took me ten minutes in awful heat and humidity to catch Carmella so that I could even attempt to worry about Lucy. (Thank goodness all the goats wear collars or I never would have caught her.)
So, there’s Carmella, tethered and patiently waiting for Lucy to cooperate (again) so that she could have her turn for milking and eating. But Lucy was seriously not going to be caught this time. After forty-five minutes of attempting to lure with food, begging, pleading, praying, crying, sighing, nearly giving up, and then crying again, we were at a stand-off. She stood there looking at me, challenging me, and laughing at me while waterfalls of sweat and tears rolled off my body.
Then, I hear the gate at the far end of the yard squeak open and turn to see my super hero husband headed down to check on me. He came in the yard to help. It took us another 20 minutes to catch the demon goat and then she still wouldn’t get on the stanchion. It finally took Don picking her up and putting her on there for me. Then he held her leg so she couldn’t kick or get down and I got a full pail of milk.
On to Carmella. The easy one. Right?
Not this day. She wasn’t getting up there either. In fact, when I led her to the stanchion, she just completely buckled her legs and tried to go to the ground. Again, Don just picked up the darn goat and put her up there so I could milk. Full pail. No problems. But, she wouldn’t eat. She just stood there completely traumatized while I handled my business…err….her business….or….Well, you know….the business at hand.
Now I hate goats. Now I’m not sure I want to be a good neighbor anymore and tend the animals while they’re out of town.
Goats are evil and I think I understand why some people eat them.
But, I'm sure I'll milk them again. Because I really don't hate them. They just hurt my feelings for a minute.

1 comment:

  1. maybe if you dyed their hair to make them pretty and put bells on them and tok them for walks around the neighbor so they could sight see like they do their goats here then you wouldn't get attitude from said goats..ahem it's jst a suggestion lool