Sunday, December 25, 2005
I spent most of yesterday worming and vaccinating the goats. I'd go down to the paddock with a bucket of grain and bring them up singly to the house to give shots and feed pelletized wormer to them. Nod was the toughest to catch. She's always been a bad girl but I absolutely had to get ahold of her this time. She'd grown out of her collar and it was way too tight. I have a festive purple one just for her.
Nod is one of my original three goats. She was just a wee doeling when she came here with Winkin' and her mother, Blinkin', and she's never calmed down. This time, I decided to keep her up here at the house for a few weeks to see if I could tame her down. I don't want her fighting me when I help her deliver her kids this spring.
I honestly think Nod will be happier for being gentled. She's not like the other goats. She's actually pretty mean to them. She's always the ringleader when the other goats decide to play "Throw Lucky against the Electric Fence." She bites the other goats and pulls their ears and tails. I've been remiss in not doing this before. Most herd keepers would just sell Nod for meat rather than fool with her, but I'm sort of fond of her ornery self.
When I was a child, my favorite Christmas myth was "The Night the Animals Talk". Supposedly, on Christmas Eve, for a time...the animals can speak. I'm not sure if they are supposed to speak English or not. I always just assumed that I would be able to understand them in the way I understand people.
My parents foiled numerous attempts on my part as a child to confirm this. My plan was to sneak out to the stable and finally hear my horse, Sonny, tell me that he loved me every bit as much as I adored him. I'm not sure what other sorts of horsely wisdom he might have had to tell me.
We once had a Siamese cat named Itty-Bitty who was taken from her mother too soon. She had that typically odd sounding cat cry that Siamese cats have. My root woman nanny was terrified of this cat. She swore the cat was saying, "Maaa-maaaa, maaaaa-maaaa".
It's not that I haven't always known exactly what my animals were saying. I just thought it would be neat to actually hear what their voices sounded like.
This midnight as the clock heralded in the wee hours of Christmas Day, I went out onto the porch to check on Nod. I think the part of me who was still eight years old was half-hoping to hear her say something.
"Blah. Blah-blah." She said, looking up at me with her topaz colored goat eyes and snorting.
I understood perfectly.
"Screw you! Give me some damn corn, you bitch!"
I scratched her under her chin and told her she was a good girl. Because it's important to tell homely creatures they are beautiful, and naughty creatures that they are good.