SURPRISE!
Goats

SURPRISE!

I’ve had a few moments lately where I’ve just looked around and thought “Huh. That can’t be good”.

I will admit that as a general rule, we tend to be a bit slow on the reaction time. Like that time when we brought home goats…..and then built the shelter. Or the time the rabbit had babies. And then had more babies 30 days later. You would think that I would get the “breeding like rabbits” comments. But no. Instead I watched her build a nest, have babies…..and then I took the male out. In a thankful twist of fate and destiny every baby in the second batch died. Probably a result of it being -2 outside and Mama didn’t build a nest. Even she didn’t want more.

So, it should have come as no surprise, that as I walked by the goat shed on a cloudy Saturday afternoon, that I heard that cry. As a goat herder you know that cry. The high pitched little squeak of a newborn kid trying to find the teat.

Oh yes.

I jumped the gate, ran to the shed and peered inside. Sure enough there’s Phoebe looking proud, with this half dried off baby staggering around beside her trying to figure out what legs are for. I did what every frantic person would do. I ripped my cellphone out of my pocket and called Dan, who was inside playing video games. He answered, wondering why I was calling him from the yard, but all I could shout out (yes shout) was “WE HAVE A BABY”.

Now this could start a whole number of things. We have a baby….as in the rabbit had more? The chicken laid an egg? Us, personally? Did you walk through the yard and all of a sudden feel movement in your belly, April? Because I’m pretty sure that’s all the pizza you ate last night.

To correct myself, and to hurry up his mind (the silence on the other end was deafening as he was working through all the possibilities), I shouted PHOEBE! Like that helped the situation.  Still silence on the other end. So I shouted again, in a higher octave, PHOEBE HAS A BABY! I’M LOOKING AT IT!

Dan’s mind goes Click. WHAT?

Okay good. We’re on the same page now.

I NEED TOWELS. AND I’LL HAVE TO DIP THE CORD. AND OH LORD THE PEN WASN’T READY FOR BIRTH. (Goes up another notch) IT’S NOT CLEAN!!

Dan (waay calmer than I am): Ok, I’ll be out in minute with some towels.

THE GOAT TOWELS ARE UNDER THE BATHROOM SINK BEHIND THE TOILET PAPER. (So high only dogs can hear it) HURRRRRAAAAAY!

You would think that I was the one who gave birth. I crawled into the shed, and carefully took the little bundle in my arms. I handed it out to Dan who got to work finishing drying it off. Normally, we’re all about letting Mama do everything, but it was cold outside and I wanted to make sure baby was completely dry. Phoebe, who is so trusting of us, just stood at Dan’s feet and watched. While that was happening I snuck a peek under the tail.

A girl. Thank goodness.

Now that that was under control and we had all properly cooed over the baby, I couldn’t help but let it explode from my mouth – the ugliest words ever but oh so fitting; I TOOOOOLD YOU SO! Let’s back track a little, shall we?

A couple of weeks earlier

April: Phoebe looks very large. I wonder if I have the due date wrong.

Dan: She looks fine. Maybe she’s having multiples.

(Time goes by. April goes back in calendar and pinpoints day Newton arrived. Newton is the buck I borrowed from my friend to breed to 3 does – Phoebe included)

April: Newton arrived December 9. The earliest she could be due is the first week in May. Why is she so big?

Dan: She looks fine. Maybe she’s having multiples.

Several days later. 

April: Dan. She’s dropped. She’s definitely dropped. I can see her hip bones stick out. She does that when she’s about to give birth. What if she got in with Hiccup? OH MY GOSH DAN, they broke out of the pen in September. They were out grazing with Hiccup. What if she backed into him and did it with Hiccup?! HICCUP IS HER SON!

Dan: She looks fine. Maybe she’s having multiples.

April: BUT WHAT IF!

Dan: It’s fine. I don’t think that happened.

2 days later

April: She has an udder. SHE IS DEFINITELY DEVELOPING AN UDDER!

Dan: She is not. You’re acting crazy.

2 days later

April frantically shouting into the phone: WE HAVE A BABY!

Let the record show I win this round.

Oh ya, and I have a baby goat to snuggle. That’s the best reward ever.

Amen.

 

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