"Oh come on Jana! It's LUNCH time." Elisha gave me a scowl. "I'm not giving up my lunch for a wild goat!"
"Well I'm going!" Able said as he jumped up. "Lunch or no lunch."
After a brief pause, the four of us burst out the door and grabbed for our shoes. We were off on yet another goat chase.
Goat hunts. To us, that spelled fun. We were ready for one any time. Though we didn't generally go on goat chases in the middle of lunch, they did happen quite frequently. Our goat herd was steadily increasing, with kiddings and catchings. Mum decided that something had to happen. No, she knew we'd never get rid of our bright and cheerful pets. Her decision? It was time to get some goats that had some use other than being weed eaters. And we don't eat meat. We thought hard. The only solution was to get... Dairy goats! Yep, that was what we needed now! Mum went internet surfing a bit and finally found a registered Togg herd that was being sold. There were 3 pregnant does, 1 buck, and 1 doeling. Elisha bought them. They were our starter dairy herd.
A few months later we experienced our first kidding season with dairy goats. Triplets everytime. Things were going good! With the kids, we decided it was time to find out about the Dairy Goat Society. How much was membership, what about registering kids? Though the yearly membership fee was quite a bit for our starting farm, we decided to give it a go.
|My kids, Zing and Zeste, and I.|
Three years later, we're still in goats. Loving every bit of it. Learning what feed to give the goats (Thanks to Pat Colby's book). How to worm them and then doing it naturally. (After all, what you put into them, goes through their milk into you..) Helping with births. The fun of naming the kids and seeing how interesting a name we can give them. Bonding with them. Facing the problems and getting through them. It all gives a satisfaction that feels good. I personally have 5 goats. Two are beautiful little bush does and the other three are purebred British Alpines. Names are: Chrissy and Misty. Kenita, Zwingli and Zeleste. (Misty is Chrissy's kid. Zing and Zeste are Kenita's kids)
Back to the goat chase.... We stormed down the backstairs from the veranda, Elisha stabbed a potato onto his fork as he ran. He told us that he didn't want to be cheated out of his lunch. I didn't really get why he needed the fork, but anyway! As we headed over the paddock, it started raining. It was just a drizzle, but it was enough to get us lightly wet. A previous time I'd complained to Able that the reason that I never managed to catch any goats myself, was because he was always off running before I could even start! So, to be fair, this time he said he'd let Stella and I go first.
He left us with instructions as to what we were to do. Then he and Elisha disappeared into the overgrowth. Stella and I concentrated on the herd, naively nibbling the grass.
"Ready, set.... GO!!!"
Stella and I jumped out at our cue. The goats wheeled around and started running. The boys ran after us, easily overtaking us. I realised that it was time to accept the facts. I just wasn't fast enough to catch a goat. And certainly not with thongs on! Since it had rained a bit, it was slippery and there were bindies (prickles) everywhere. I slowed to a stand still as I passed someone else's thong. Not thongs, thong. There was only one. It was Able's. I picked it up and headed on in the direction I'd seen the goats go. When I reached the fence, I started wondering where the rest were. I couldn't see anyone! I walked alongside the fence. Dusky forms. Who? What? It was Able and a goat.
"Able!" I gasped. "What is it?"
"A doe." He panted.
"Umm, how'd you get so muddy?" I wondered out loud.
"Well," he explained, "I was chasing the herd and they went under this hole here in the fence. I figured that if they could go under it, then I could too!"
"But that wouldn't get you that muddy!" I interrupted.
"I know," he continued "so I'm chasing this goat and suddenly we're going down hill. And since it's just rained, I slipped and started rolling."
Ah... I got it now.
"And then I found, to my surprise, that I could roll faster than I could run!"
He was talking very animatedly. And I was seeing it all happen in my head. I couldn't help but laugh. Wow!
"So I rolled so fast that I rolled into her! Before she could start rolling too, I grabbed her leg. And then came back up here."
I envied his ease in catching them. Or maybe, just maybe, was it how it how he told it? I smothered a sigh of dissapointment. Another chase and I didn't catch anything. Oh well, I thought to myself, this girl is nice enough. I'm going to make friends with this blue-eyed black beauty. That's Dolly.
*the neighbor didn't live there, he just came every 3 months to check up his horses that were there. And yes, we'd asked permission.