Yesterday morning I woke to the insistent sound of one of my babies bleating-bleating-bleating. I pride myself on knowing my goats’ voices apart. Clover’s voice is that of the bossy, demanding queen. Nutmeg is the needy, whiny princess. Honey–well, Honey is a quiet lad. Soft-spoken and demure. He doesn’t like to call attention to himself and is generally just happy if he can nab a leftover cookie.
But I couldn’t tell who was talking to me this time, and usually, if there is this much bleating going on, it means Nutmeg has gotten out of the fence. But I hadn’t even let them into the goat yard yet. I crept halfway down there with a flashlight. The bleating stopped as soon as they saw me. It was still dark. Nope, Nutmeg wasn’t out. It was so cold! I hustled my frozen feet back up the stairs. They could have breakfast later. Too cold and too dark for food delivery.
The bleating started up again. It grew light and I went back to feed the goats. Of course, the bleating stopped as soon as I arrived. And started up again as soon as I left.
Naughty little wicked goats!!!
I sat down on the porch to watch them as they emerged into the goat yard. Clover and Nutmeg piled back and forth on top of each other, playful. Honey hung back.
Honey hung back bleating. Bleating madly. Standing and straining oddly. Clearly so miserable.
The voice I couldn’t place–of course, it was my sweet little Honey who barely speaks at all. And something was wrong with him! I went down to the goat yard, looked all over him, felt all over him. Couldn’t figure out anything.
I called Pete, the goat guru from the goat farm where we got Clover and her babies. Can I just say that I love Pete? Because he came right over to look at my poor little straining, bleating, upset Honey and diagnosed that he was trying to pass a stone.
Ack! What do you with a goat with a stone?
Pete left and I called the vet, who advised giving Honey a teaspoon of white vinegar twice a day to help him pass the stone.
Okay, no problem, I’ll just get a teaspoon and we’ll do that!
A syringe, a syringe, my kingdom for a syringe, but I couldn’t find one. I did find….barbeque marinade! And look, Honey’s name is on it!
And it comes with a syringe! And a sharp, pointy thing for injecting the marinade.
I have vinegar.
Of course, there is a problem with this hole at the bottom of the syringe.
It’s where the sharp, pointy thing goes.
I don’t think Honey would like the sharp, pointy thing.
I just gotta keep the vinegar in while I’m loading the syringe….
I have a finger. That’ll do.
Only, and I am not kidding, I then promptly poured a teaspoon of vinegar into the syringe and forgot to plug the hole with my finger so it poured right back out.
Sometimes, I really am too stupid to be a farmer.
The second time was the charm.
Marinade injector loaded, cookies stuffed in my pocket, I headed for the goat yard. And was instantly mauled by the cookie monsters.
How am I supposed to stick this syringe down Honey’s throat with Nutmeg on my back and Clover in my face?
How am I supposed to stick this syringe down Honey’s throat AT ALL?
One mustn’t get ahead of oneself…
I dragged cookies out of my pocket and did a quick back and forth dangling cookies here, dangling cookies there, move and managed to get Nutmeg and Clover in the pen. Whew.
Clover wasn’t real happy with being separated from me and my cookie pocket.
“Would you like a cookie?”
“How about some vinegar?”
Yeah. Not so much.
I’d have wonderful, fabulous pictures of giving a goat a teaspoon of vinegar from a marinade injector except I left my third arm back at the house. Basically, I did it with my one and only animal skill, honed from years of practice–I pretended I was pilling a cat. I moved like lightning–cuz I’m like all cool and together like that–and wrapped my arms around him, pressing him against me while pushing his jaws open and stuck the syringe down his throat.
Boy, did he love that vinegar.
Seriously, he licked dirt afterward to get the taste out of his mouth.
Meanwhile, back in the pen……..
Clover: “Cookie, cookie, cookie, COOKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My COOKIE. Where is my COOKIE????”
P.S. Honey is doing well, marinating quite nicely, thank you!
Honey: “I feel so…..juicy!”