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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2007 edited
     
    My Secret Life

    6:45 a.m. My fire-truck like alarm goes off with blaring suddenness. Remembering that I have scheduled a warm-up for the oncoming milking season, I roll out of bed. It only takes me a seconds to wake up this morning and I'm soon filling a bucket with warm soapy water. Sticking a washcloth in my hip pocket, I head out to the barn. The goats spot me right away from where they're sleeping and come out to bray for breakfast. Depositing the bucket of water in the milking stall, I grab the dog leash and head for the gate. My very-pregnant nanny-goat steps up to the fence. As quickly as I can, I unlatch the gate and hook the leash to her collar. Then, before she hurts herself, or me, by trying to walk between my legs, I push the gate wide to let her out. The other goat screams indignantly and buts at the gate as I latch it one-handed. The other hand is straining to keep the leashed goat from dragging me behind her in a rampage through my mother's spring garden.
    When the gate looks secure, I pull the goat into the barn behind me, leaving her bellowing son behind. Trying not to be too rough, I tug on the leash, coaxing the goat to jump onto the milking stand. She resists, turning me in circles as I struggle to keep her from leaving the stall altogether. After we've played merry-go-round for a few minutes I'm ready to just shove her back into the pen, forgoing this practice run. It would be easier, plus we wouldn't have any disgruntled neighbors complaining about the other goat, who sounds deceptively like a child being tortured. Then I realize that he is no longer screaming, he is in the barn with me. The situation did not look good. One goat can do extensive damage in a garden and all of the newly sprouted seedlings outside might just look too tempting to resist. The newborn kittens in the next stall over would be easily squashed by the unexpected arrival, who, when I locked him out of the milking stall, tried to enter their den. Furthermore, he had no collar, so it was going to be difficult to catch him. Putting an arm around his neck, I pulled him away from the defenseless kittens. Spotting the scoop of grain I had measured out for appeasing my nanny-goat, I poured it on the milking stand, trying to gain a moment for thought. Fortunately, goat will do anything for grain and they quickly stationed themselves there, munching happily. Unfortunately, they eat rather quickly and my brain whirled as I tried to sort the situation out. A glance showed that they had finished with my bribe and wanted more.
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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2007 edited
     
    Grabbing the unwanted goat, Buckskin, by the neck, I pulled him out of the stall, shutting the door as we left. Strawberry, the pregnant one, protested this by rearing up onto the door. Our stalls worked when they were constructed, but they have since fallen into disrepair and are impossible to latch unless you have time and both hands free. Since I had neither, I leaned my back against the stall door as a temporary obstacle, trying to ignore the hooves above my head. I knew that if I could reach far enough, I could close the barn doors, thus effectively cutting the goats off from the garden. Holding onto the loose goat with one hand, I pulled on the two sliding doors of the barn until they shut. Breathing my relief, I released Buckskin, who cheerfully headed towards the first food he spotted, the bale of alfalfa I feed them from. Just then, I heard a welcome sound, the clop of Strawberry's hooves on the wooden milking stand. Entering the stall, I hitched her collar to the ring there for that purpose and reclaimed the dog leash. Objective one had been reached. Fervently hoping that she didn't try to jump off and strangle herself, for goats have been known to do things as silly as that, I headed for Buckskin. He protested as I looped the leash around his neck and pulled him towards the shut doors. The bleats started sounding a little choked as I kept pulling, while I pushed one of the sliding doors open.
    Seeing a chance for freedom, He suddenly bolted forward, getting his hooves outside on the firm dirt, while I slid helplessly along the concrete of the barn floor. Reaching out, I tried to slide the other door back. Buckskin, however, was not waiting for the door and I felt it lean outwards from the bottom, as I was pulled against it. With some quick footwork, I managed to get into the open doorway and brace myself against the wild goat. I wanted him in the pen, He wanted in the garden, so we pulled and he screamed. Finally, after I had been stepped on, grated against the metal fencing of the goat pen and gone through some more remarkable acrobatics, the goat was safely locked up again ... I hoped.
    I returned to the barn, feeling glad to sit on the milking stool. Taking the rag from my pocket, I dropped it in the soapy water and washed my hands as well. Strawberry was exceptionally polite as I went through the preparations for milking her. Never kicking once, she stood primly on the stand. The walk back to the pen was uneventful, except for one moment, when I though I was going to be pulled head-first into the mucky ground inside, when she decided not to wait for the removal of the leash before entering. This accident was averted and I went back into the barn to gather my supplies. The kittens were still staring, petrified, out of the next stall and there was grain everywhere. The milking stand had been jostled out of its assigned place and a section of hay had been pulled apart and scattered throughout the main barn area. I corrected things and headed down to the house, humor mingling with despair. If this was just practice, I wondered, what was going to happen when I actually had to do the milking?
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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2007 edited
     
    So this is actually from last spring. I have two goats to milk this year, my notoriously stubborn nanny who is a main character in the above story and a not quite year-old kid from last year, who, obviously, has never been milked before. I should have some more stories to add soon.
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    This is hilarious. And even funnier since I've had similar experiences!

    Anemone
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      CommentAuthorDakoru
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2007
     
    Oo, glad I don't live anywhere near a farm.
    • CommentAuthorCrazyThor
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2007
     
    WoW Trenchcoat your goats sure do have the strangest way of showing how much they love you. I mean Buckskin came into the barn because he wanted to be with you LOL They must really love you. Happy Goat Milking LOL