When I was younger, I loved reading autobiographies from vets and homesteaders. The stories of people and their animals not only made me want to raise animals myself, but also to then write books about them. With this dream in mind, I often recorded my adventures when I had goats.
Time has passed, I’ve sold my goats, and I probably won’t write a book about them any time soon… but I can still tell the stories
This one was written when I was 18, telling a story that happened two years before.
I remember in the very early days I would wake up and immediately think: ‘It’s time to do the goats!’
As I said, those were the very early days. Then time went by, and I began to wake up and think: ‘just five more minutes…the goats can wait.’ Even goat people have those days when all they want is to be a slug in the morning. It was on one particularly sluggish morning when I received a most unique wake-up call. The door creaked open and Mum peeped in, hugging something with a little body and big head under her jacket.
I was fully awake now.
I had been waiting for this baby for a long time, and I really should have been there at her birth. Because of Gala’s* CAE**, we needed to take the kid away before she could be infected. Gala appeared to be intimidated by her offspring, and did not allow her to nurse, so there was some hope that the CAE cycle was broken.
Baby could not stay with the bigger goats; there were many more dangerous things other than catching CAE. And so we brought her inside to stay with us.
The kitchen was transformed into a makeshift ‘stall’, and we prepared for life with Baby. As you remember, she had not had her breakfast yet. Quickly we mixed some formula, and using a syringe, we fed her. It took some time however. Baby at first did not take to the unnatural syringe tip, and every so often she would stick out her little red tongue and caterwaul in the manner of a peacock. It occurred to me, that as the ‘surrogate mother’, would this be what I would hear all night?
But then Baby settled down, drinking happily from a Coca-Cola bottle. A sort of baby carrier was fashioned from a piece of fabric and I had her close by me as I sat down to do school. Thank goodness I was homeschooled; otherwise I would have been as distracting a spectacle as Mary and her lamb.
For the first night or so Baby had her bed in a padded cardboard box by mine (my bed, that is to say, not box), and there she was surprisingly silent. I only needed to dangle my hand over the lid if I heard a peep, and Baby would be content.
*One of my first goats
**A disease that is passed on through the mother’s milk.
The rest of the story can be found in an earlier post.