I found myself in kind of a bizarre situation this past week…
It was 6 o’clock in the morning. The world was still kinda gray and chilly. My shoes were soaked, my socks were soaked, and I was wet almost up to my knees from walking in the tall, dew-covered grass. (I definitely shoulda worn my Ariats that morning!)
But, at least the sun was finally starting to peek over the horizon.
And there I was, squatting next to an old wooden milkstand.
We’d had kind of a rough time getting our little monkey to sleep the night before, so I rested my forehead against one of the damp 2x4s and closed my eyes for a minute — listening.
Robins and magpies were singing. A proud old rooster was welcoming the morning. Somewhere in the distance, somebody’s dog was barking.
I could smell the sweet grain and hear the soft munching of a happy old dairy goat as she went to town on her breakfast. And occasionally, I’d hear the clack-clack of her hooves as she shifted her weight on the wooden milkstand.
Oh — and there was also the sound of the warm, frothy milk squirting into a baby bottle!
So how did I end up milking a stubborn, smelly old goat this week?
Well, as usual, I volunteered…
Y’see, for quite a few years now, I’ve kinda been enamored with the idea of raising dairy goats — so when Lindsey’s cousin mentioned he was going out of town for a family vacation, I jumped at the chance to “test drive” his herd!
I know that goats can be cantakerous and smelly. I know they can get pretty loud sometimes too. I’ve also heard that they’re notoriously hard to contain. In fact, there’s an old proverb that says if your fence won’t hold water, then it definitely won’t hold goats — (and once those stinkin’ goats get out, you can pretty much kiss any saplings you have growing goodbye, because that’s the first thing the goats are gonna munch on!)
And then there’s the fact that milking them is a huge commitment.
You gotta do it twice a day. Every day. No days off. Ever.
But for some strange reason, I still want ’em!
I love the idea of bringing in a bucket of fresh milk first thing in the morning. And, when you consider that our small family of 2-1/2 goes through a gallon of milk about every other day, I’m thinking it’d really cut down on our grocery bill!
In addition to the milk, there’s also the entertainment factor. I had a heck of a good time watching the zany antics of those little baby kids prancing all over the place!
And if you ever want to have your heart melted, just wait for one of those funny little things to come up and snuggle into you, with their little tails a-waggin’ and those big old ears a-floppin’!
But really, it all comes down to this crazy dream of mine…
Have you ever heard the song “Old McDonald Had A Farm”?
Of course you have!
Everybody knows that song!
I can’t really explain why, but I’ve always dreamed of being a bit of an “Old McDonald” — with an oink oink here, and a honk honk there.
I guess I just love to help things grow.
Whether it’s those tiny bean sprouts that are finally starting to poke their little green leaves through the soil, or the funny little chicks running around the new “mini-coop” — or even that goofy old steer of ours. I just love to be a part of it!
Everything always seems so much fresher when you’re surrounded by life and growth — and even death plays a part.
Plus, there’s a satisfaction that comes from it all. As you watch the miracles and triumphs of life unfold, your heart just kinda swells when you think that you helped play a small part in it.
Sure, it means a lot of early morning chores before you finally go to “work.”
It requires a lot of long days and short nights (and it seems to fill up all your weekends).
You’re gonna get crap on your shoes and dirt under your fingernails, but I crave it.
A sunburned and sweaty brow, some blistered hands, an aching back… Those seem like such a small price to pay, in my opinion.
At the end of the day, THAT is the real reason why I want goats…