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 & 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