Monthly Archives: January 2014

WE ATE TATE (poem)

from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #4)

February 2011 (desert outside Las Cruces, NM)

 

A ‘good breeder’
With ‘fine structure’

               Tater
               Billy’s favorite

Over 200 pounds of solid muscle mass
And mango-manhood display

               Tater
               Billy’s favorite Continue reading

HEY! Where are you going?

from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #3)

February 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)

One of my semi-regular chores while living on the compound was to feed the goats in the morning; usually just before or right at sunrise.  Goats are no different than any other farm animal.  They let you know by their bleats of protest that they want to be fed and that you are already late in feeding them.

One morning I left the house, walked the 15 yards to the first gate, opened the gate and started my 25-30 yard walk to the pens where the goats were housed.  The first pen held Mama Goat and her two male offspring, Terry and Larry.  The second pen held Papa Goat. Named Tater, and nicknamed “Tate” he was also a son of Mama Goat.  Tate was kept separate because he could be pretty rough.  He was nice but he tended to be overbearingly strong in his pushiness, thus he was penned separately.

In order to feed the goats I had to go through another gate behind their pens to get to the hay and, if we had some, sweet feed from an open shed also behind their pens.

As usual as I passed through the first gate, Mama, Tate and Larry were standing there facing me, starting in on their usual cacophony of bleating chorus to let me know that I was as usual not punctual enough for their liking.  Terry was lying down which did not seem out of the ordinary to me especially since I was still some distance from them.

As I drew closer, I noticed that Terry was not only lying down, he was stretched out.  The closer I got the more I noticed.  He was stretched out, not moving and there were dark splotches on the ground around his head and neck.  Oh no! A coyote must have gotten to him during the night!  Continue reading

I WILL LIVE

from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between-homes
(Goat Suite Saga #2)

January 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)

As it is on any ranch or farm, the livestock does not wait for convenient times to place demands upon the caretaker.  Feedings, caring, banding, releasing and other tasks must be done without delay and at times, as stated above, most inconveniently.

My wife Laura and I had the opportunity to live in such an environment for a while. During that period of our life Mama Goat had given birth to two male goats.  Because Laura was the discoverer of their birth and instrumental in saving the runt of the litter she was given the honor of naming the goats.  She named the first arrival after me, Terry, and the runt, Larry.

At first I was quite honored that she would name one of the goats after me, but after watching his character develop I became all too keenly aware of his flaws.  And, I didn’t like the fact that they seemed to also reflect my own character flaws.  Fear and mischief were the two main flaws of Terry.  I quickly asked if we could rename Terry to be named Scape.  Laura was gracious and renamed the goat Terry Scape.  Not exactly what I was looking for, but I could call him Scape and introduce him to every new visitor as Scape.  I could get away with this as long as nobody else that lived there was present when I introduced him.

I would have been more than honored if Larry had been named Terry.  He showed great character.  He had a huge will to live.  Since he was the runt, Mama Goat soon started shunning Larry.  Very rarely was Larry getting to feed off of Mama.  This was a problem as he was too young to feed off the hay and sweet feed.  It soon became an issue of what we should do with Larry.

Karen feeding Larry while Deb holds him

Karen & Deb: it takes two to feed Larry!

At first we bottle fed Larry by hand, hoping that Mama would relent and start showing compassion to him.  But, no, she would not relent.

Larry soon learned that when brother Terry was being fed that it was an ideal time for him to run in, grab a few gulps of milk before Mama would either walk away or butt him away.  Thus he barely sustained himself during that hard existence of early life.  Yet he hung on and seemed to be more determined to live. Continue reading

Saga of Mama Goat and Her Babies: The Beginning

from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three-year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #1)

January 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)

Mama & baby Tater

Mama & baby Tater

Mama Goat has always been Mama Goat to me.

From the time of her rescue with ten day old billy-kid Tater by her side around Christmas 2009, and now through my daily encounters with her during this part of our life journey.

Mama Goat has always been Mama Goat to me.

Living up here on the compound since October 2010, I have gotten into a routine of sorts involving all our rescue animals.  In particular, feeding Mama and Tater, her now grown billy-goat son, treats.  These treats consist of the nubs and tips of carrots, cabbage and old lettuce cores, lemon peels, apple bits and the occasional melon rind; all the fresh scraps of our everyday eating.

Mama loves her treats!

Mama loves her treats!

Each day I call out while on my rounds, “Hey, Mama!  How ya doin’?”  To which Mama Goat responds by sidling up to the gate, pushing against the fence in a gentle head butt and bleating out to say, “Hi back at ya.”  Then, tilting her head sideways to get a better view of the treats in my hand, she waits patiently for me to pass them her way.

As the weeks from October to November flew by, we all noticed that Mama was getting a bit large.  Fat and sassy Mama had probably gotten pregnant by Tater during their romps out on the range.  Okay, gross about the “in-breeding” but that’s just a fact of life for most animals kept on the ranch, no matter how hard one tries to manage their love-lives.  In fact, Mama got so big by the beginning of December, all the experienced ones here predicted her delivery date to be somewhere around mid December.  It was quite the game, each declaring with authority just when Mama would deliver her baby-kid.

'Hi back at ya'

‘Hi back at ya’

Once everyone’s birth-date guesses came and went, without the sound of teeny tiny goat hooves pounding about the pens, the experienced ones then decided she must be carrying twins. Since this is quite common for goats, that would certainly account for Mama’s great girth. Continue reading

Goat Suite Saga: Table of Contents

Note to readers & followers of this blog:  Listed below is The Table of Contents for my Goat Suite Saga. It will remain in the ‘feature’ spot of this blog until each vignette within the Saga is posted.  The plan is to have these presented in sequence during the next two months.  There may be non-Goat Suite Saga related posts inserted from time to time, but the main focus for the weeks ahead is the unveiling of my Goat Suite Saga!

I would love to receive constructive feedback on this beta-set of vignettes.  Please consider making comments either by personal e-mail or in the reply box after each posting.

To view the most recent blog article, goat or non-goat, simply scroll down past this featured post.

Enjoy!

Goat Suite Saga (or ‘Life on the Hoof’ by Mama)
(12/2009 ~ 9/2011)

from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three-year journey between homes
(6/2009 ~ 6/2012)

Saga of Mama Goat and Her Babies: The Beginning

I WILL LIVE*

Hey!  Where are you going?*

WE ATE TATE! (poem)

Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon (part one)

Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon (part two)

“Goats are Good!”*

Saga of Mama Goat and Her Kids: FINALE

*written by Terry W. Lilly