Farmer in Spring
One of the biggest advantages to not being tied down in marital bliss is that I am free to make decisions. I don't have to take a vote whenever I want to go somewhere or make a purchase. That, however, can also be a big problem to someone who is genetically disposed to impulse buying - like me. I fight the urge to buy things I really don't need by staying out of flea markets and off of eBay - and, of course, I haven't been in a Walmart in many, many years - so that helps too.
But try as I might to control the urge to splurge, occasionally I find myself totally captivated by something that I truly do not need, and if I happen to have money in my pocket, it is invariably on its way to someone else's wallet - or bib overalls.
That happened yesterday. I headed two miles out of town early in the morning to attend a poultry "swap meet" where I intended to shop for a few more little pullets as well as any Cayuga ducklings that were there looking for a new home. As luck would have it, I came across four little Cayuga duck babies and was in the act of purchasing them from the farmer and his wife for a pricey three dollars each when I heard a baby cry directly behind me. I turned and came upon the most beautiful little Nubian goat in a small cage begging for attention.
The little fellow, a buck, was tri-colored - resembling a calico cat with lop rabbit ears. The beautiful brown, white, and black creature was just twelve days old and already as tall as a grown cocker spaniel. I knew immediately that I would wind up taking the kid home with me, but I walked away twice in order to let someone else root their way in and save me from the impulse buy. Ten minutes later Pa Rock handed the nice lady three crisp twenty dollar bills and left with his new ward.
The little goat was not weaned, but the farmer's wife assured me that he would be eating solid food within a couple of days. In order to meet his immediate needs she gave me a makeshift soda bottle with a nipple and instructions of where to get his dry formula and how to mix it.
The little goat and I went home and I placed him in the garden pen with the little ducks and geese. He followed me around most of the afternoon, almost like a lonely puppy, as he got used to his new environs and his noisy pen mates. One of the names the baby goat and I discussed was "Billy Bob," but he didn't seem to attach to it very well, so we finally settled on "Caesar" - knowing full well that other goats would eventually taunt him with "Caesar, Caesar, nanny pleaser!" We will handle that situation when the need arises.
I tried my hand at making a bottle late in the afternoon, and botched the job. Caesar drank the whole bottle, but I suspect that I got the proportions wrong and made it too rich because he became ill shortly after the meal. Today he has been lying in the sun all day and not eating. Tomorrow he goes to the vet, regardless of how he appears to be feeling. Tonight we are trying a much weaker mixture.
Parenting is no walk in the park, but I have high expectations that young Caesar will make it through this setback, and so will his friend, the farmer.