Friday morning, my first day of NotSchool, no workday, no nothing, except for the evening graduation ceremony at which my presence was demanded, I had seriously thought about sleeping in until SEVEN O'CLOCK. I know. I'm such a slacker. But it was not to be. Disgruntled H reared his envious head, as he does every summer because he chose a career that actually requires him to work year-round.
I thought he had left for work, but NO. While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a stomping, as of someone gaily romping, romping to my chamber door. Of course it was Animal Hoarder H. "I know you don't want to hear this, but we have a baby goat." Well. Who can lay a-bed at 6:00 a.m. with a newborn goat just yards from her Mansion? Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, that's for sure. I'm surprised Proud Papa H wasn't passing out cigars. This baby was not from Goatrude, the very first goat, the goat that Ignoramus H told everyone was pregnant for an entire year. Nope. This was from a little bitty goat. Try to keep it under your hat, but I suspect her brother is the father.
Because nobody appreciates a newborn goat like The Pony, I woke him up and we traipsed out to the pen. That baby stood shaking and shivering all by itself. Mensa President H had opened the corn bin and tossed food to the goats, which meant that Mama left her baby and went to eat with the herd. And eat, she did. She was the last gorger standing, even after the rest of them trailed off to butt heads and climb on a stack of firewood and sniff at the 111 roosters. It was 50-something degrees that morning. Not good for a newborn goat. Faulty-Tasker H left us on the horns of a dilemma, stating, "Well, I've got to get to work."
Throwing a monkey wrench into the mix was Tank the beagle, who can worm his way through the fence into the pen. That baby goat was the size of our big fat rabbit when it laid down. We caught Tank sidling up to it and sniffing it with his beagle tail at attention like an exclamation mark. I was afraid he would eat that baby if we left him in there, because Tank is a well-known chicken-killer.
Making matters worse, Mama acted like she had nothing to do with this new goat on the lot. In the human world, she might have left her baby in a dumpster. She ate some corn and hay and wandered around, oblivious to the pitiful, high-pitched bleating of Baby. The big goat with the straight horns paid more attention to Baby, sniffing him and looking at The Pony and I like, "Do something!" That dang Mama hadn't even licked the goo off of Baby. I was sure he would succumb to hypothermia before he was eaten by Tank the beagle.
I sent The Pony into the Mansion for some old washcloths. We went into the pen, and I massaged that Baby right where he had collapsed on the cold wet mud. I tried to get Mama to come after him, but she maintained her distance, even when I picked him up to put him on the hay, and he moved his legs like he was running through the air, and bleated in panic. The old brown goat was so curious that he rooted in and inadvertently poled me in the eye with a longhorn. That should be his name. Longhorn. He also stood up and put his hooves on The Pony, leaving a muddy trail on his pajamas, and a red mark on his belly. I sent The Pony outside the pen to rattle the corn bin and toss in a little more. That brought Mama and her posse, and while she munched some more, I got hold of her business end and squirted a little milk on Baby's nose. He showed absolutely no interest, but Mama didn't seem to mind. She still wouldn't acknowledge him, though. We tried for 2 and a half hours to get that Baby feeding, to no avail.
I called Goat Abandoner H, who didn't answer. I made the #1 son get up and look for the pet carrier in the garage attic to lock up Tank the beagle. It was nowhere to be found, Animal Auction H having squirreled it away somewhere. We tried locking Tank in the garage, but as I feared, he escaped through the broken cat door, even though we piled coolers weighted down with cases of soda on both sides of it. Finally, I lured him to the porch with the promise of baloney, and shoved him in a wire chicken cage that #1 carried over from the animal staging area. I think he is still mad at me. Tank, not #1.
Not-Earning-His-Salary H called back around noon and said his buddy who raises goats said that sometimes they don't know how to take care of their babies, and we might have to bottle feed it that evening if Mama hadn't accepted it. Lucky for us, Baby grabbed a mouthful around noon, so the boys and I went off to town to do some last-minute stocking up before my impending throat-cutting on Tuesday. Slacker H came home for a doctor's appointment, and called us to report that Baby was kicking up his heels, and that we also had 4 baby chicks that had hatched. What a bummer for The Pony, who had checked on them faithfully for the last three days, and wanted to be the one to discover the chicks.
So...I had kind of a busy first day off, and couldn't stay home to play with my new menagerie because #1 and I had to get to Newmentia in time to get a parking space before we had to participate in graduation. Neither of us graduated. I had to march in like some grand high-fallutin' scholar, and #1 had to wear black pants and sing. At least this time, he didn't wear white socks.
Here are the newest additions to the Mansion:
This pic makes Baby look bigger than he is. That's not some giant Keebler Elf tree, just a small one, but Farmer H took the pic, and it's not up to par with those of the #1 son.
It's hard to see in this little nesting box, but that old biddy hatched two yellow chicks, a black one, and a baby turken. You can kind of see the turken. He's gray, with a bald neck. Turkens are the ugliest chickens EVAH, but this little chick is so ugly he's cute.
That now concludes this episode of Wild Hillmomba.