We had a mini-drama in real life here at the Mansion this afternoon. As I mentioned yesterday, we had a new baby goat born last night. The Pony went out to check on it several times this morning. Around 11:00, he came in and stated that the baby was taking a nap, and he KNEW it was taking a nap, because he could see its sides moving. Poor Pony. He still hasn't gotten over last summer, when he was in charge of the Dead Chicken Watch. At noon, The Pony went back to the goat pen, and said he didn't see the new black baby. He thought it was just laying down somewhere for another nap.
Have I mentioned that Tank the Beagle can get into the goat pen, and we had to throw him out three times last night, and that he was in there again this morning, sniffing after that new baby goat? Or that there is a spot in the fence where The Pony caught the week-old white baby goat getting out and wandering around by the barn before going back in? I was walking around the porch earlier, on one of my 5-minute exercise jaunts in an effort to recover from my throat-slashing, and saw all the goats and chickens gathered in one corner, looking out toward the sinkhole area of the woods. I thought nothing of it, as there were two of the multitude of roosters strutting around there.
At 12:15, Farmer H climbed down off his lawnmower and went to the goat pen to show off his new black baby to his Number One Son and his family. Except there was no black baby. The white baby was there, frolicking about like the carefree orphan that his momma made him, but no black baby could be found. They walked around the goat pen. They walked around the fence. They searched all the nooks and crannies by the trees and buildings. They peered inside every shack and shed and coop in the pen. No black baby. The black momma was unconcernedly munching on sticks and hay, acting like she knew nothing of a baby. She, who had taken such good care of her little kid, chasing off Tank the Beagle, chasing off the little white baby if he got too close, standing over her little black baby and licking him and nudging him and grunting to him all the livelong day.
The search party moved to the Mansion grounds. They peered under the 5th-wheel camper parked in the front yard, where the dogs are wont to lay in great dust holes underneath. They searched Tank's mouth for any signs of blood or fur. They let the black momma out of the pen in hopes she would go look for her baby. I had to join in, cut throat and all. I walked all over the pen and fence line and barnyard. I quizzed Farmer H and Number One on whether they had looked in the outbuildings and picked up the various shelters to look under them. They assured me that they had looked in all of them twice.
Tank the Beagle did not go into the goat pen. He wandered around outside. He sniffed the wind. He did not look full and bloated like when I throw an old loaf of bread off the back deck, so I did not think the black baby goat was in his gullet. I was ready to give up. It was hot and muggy. My sweet oxycodone was wearing off. As I started back to the Mansion, I saw Tank on the outside of the pen, sniffing at one of the little goathouses where I had seen all the animals standing earler. I called to The Pony, "Tell your dad that Tank is sniffing that building. Maybe he should look in there." Farmer H and Number One both assured me they had already looked. Number One said he had crawled in and stuck his head inside, but nothing was in there. Tank started scratching and whining at the corner of the goathouse. The Pony leaned way down and peered inside. "There he is, laying in the corner."
WHEW! A tragedy averted. Farmer H's Number One Son crawled in and grabbed the black baby, and everyone oohed and ahhed, and all was right with the world.
Shame on me for suspecting Tank the Beagle of foul play, and then him being the one to find the baby.