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Saturday, June 28 2014

Each morning while the baby goats are drinking their milk, Briar walks around and carefully sniffs their butts. I'm not talking a casual sniff-sniff here, I'm talking a detailed inventory for each and every goat. This appears to be an important part of her day, and nothing struck me as unusual about it until last night.

Yesterday Other Half had been 'in charge' of the barnyard because he was off and I was at work. When I left for the office I cautioned him that the Girl Goats were in the back yard. (Code: DO NOT TURN POLICE DOG OR TRACE LOOSE UNTIL YOU PUT UP THE GOATS!) Boy Goats were loose in the pasture. His job was to confine everyone at dusk in their separate pens and feed them. 

Easy, but it requires some planning. For instance, the goats are still close friends and so if you simply choose to walk through the main gate, you will have a crush of friendly goats on both sides of the fence. Since this fight is rather like trying to push toothpaste back in the tube, it's easier to just walk through the gate with a dog. The presence of the dog will keep friendly goats from mobbing you because dogs are icky and if you have a dog beside you, then you have cooties. Thus, you should take Briar or Lily with you when you walk through the gate. I can explain this until I'm blue in the face, but since men seem to think they know what they're doing and shun any female assistance, my advice falls on deaf ears.

And so it was that last night I returned home to find that Other Half had put the goats in their pens but had saved the task of bottle feeding them for me. Oh joy. I pointed out that at no point on my days off do I ever have a day off from barn chores, and yet, when he has a day off, I still end up doing most of the barn chores. So while he's working, I'm doing the barn chores. And while I'm working, I'm doing the barn chores. On my days off, I'm doing the barn chores. And on his days off - I'm still doing the barn chores!  And so there it was, almost midnight, and he was off ALL DAY LONG - and the goats still hadn't been fed.

Blah, blah, blah.... he tuned me out like Charlie Brown's teacher.  This is something I'm sure every other woman in this world is familiar with too. You can see a man flip the switch in his head. Like a remote control. You have been muted. Your mouth opens and closes, but no noise comes out. Nevertheless, I had my little fit, and he nodded his head. On the surface while this appears to be agreement, experience has taught me this is merely the male version of "Let's get on with it."  And so we trudged out into the dark, armed with flashlights, and a large bucket of milk.

I went into the Girl's Pen. Immediately warning bells sounded in my head. The Robot from 'Lost In Space' was waving his arms wildly shouting "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"  I was missing a goat.

A baby goat. The tiniest little girl.

My intial reaction was to panic, but then I remembered that they had been with Briar all day long. I glanced at Briar. She was unperturbed. Other Half headed for the back yard where Trace the Troll and Cowboy (aka Snidley Whiplash) were now running loose.

That's where the baby goat had been all day. So while he searched the back yard, I took one look at that Big White Dog and trusted that if a goat was really missing, that dog would have known it. I gambled, and with Briar in tow, I headed to the buck pen.

Sure enough, she was sleeping in a pile of cuteness with the boys. Apparently Other Half had not noticed that she had squeezed through the gate with him and joined the boys when he put the boys in their pen. Now had it been me, instead of Other Half, "I" would have noted that I had FOUR goats in that pen instead of THREE goats. The DOG would have noted that there were FOUR goats in the pen instead of THREE. The dog would also have noted that one of those goats was a FEMALE. But Other Half does not concern himself with such things. Everyone was in a pen. No one was screaming. Everything must be okay. Right?

Okay, whatever.

So Briar escorted Little Lacey back to the Girl Goat Pen where she sucked up her milk and all was well in the world.

Other Half was visibly relieved. The absolute last thing he wanted to happen is for one of those goats to end up hurt or dead on his watch. Because even though he accuses me of doting too much on them, he knows that hell hath no fury like a woman who is right!

He defaulted to the one phrase we use that reminds us to see the humor in things around us: "You can blog about this."

Yeah. I guess so. And I thought about that as I watched Briar take a careful inventory of baby goat butts this morning. Their little tails swished like windshield wipers across her face. She counts. I swear the dog counts. I'm certain that Big White Dawg knows how many goats she has, what sex they are, what they had for dinner, and how they're feeling this morning. And so while Other Half doesn't have a clue, (Until last night, but I bet if you asked him today he could tell you!) which goats are male and which are female, I can assure you that Briar has it all carefully mapped on a spreadsheet in her head.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 01:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
"You can blog about this." UH OH! Isn't that man just asking for trouble? Any time that phrase is associated with his behavior, you should take his photo (ideally WITH the goat or any other animal involved) and paste it in your report. ;) Would that shame him? Perhaps not, but it may be worth a try. ;)
Posted by Terri's Pal on 06/28/2014 - 01:39 PM
Had a coworker once who insisted that "switch" gets activated when a boy goes through puberty - makes sense to me! Briar is very very skilled at all aspects of her job. She just lets OH think he's minding her goats when you are at work.
Posted by clairesmum on 06/28/2014 - 03:53 PM
Points well taken. I'm reminded of that facebook picture of the woman freaking out who complains that no one takes her seriously until she becomes a stark raving lunatic. I've often pointed this out. It doesn't help. I think guys just prioritize differently.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 06/28/2014 - 04:22 PM
Briar is a librarian and a cataloguer to boot. My Blossom (pyr) was one. She had subject headings keysmells [words]and classification numbers assigned.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 06/28/2014 - 04:53 PM

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