It is rare, these days, to take an hour out of one’s day to do absolutely nothing.
I don’t mean the kind of doing nothing that involves checking email and Facebook; nor do I mean the kind of doing nothing that involves watching t.v. or even reading a book. I’m talking about just sitting, quietly, like Ferdinand from the old children’s book. This is something I almost never do. There are always chores; there is always laundry; there is always cooking; there are always children needing things.
Yesterday, I stole away for over an hour and sat in the meadow with the goat babies. It was heavenly.
Ever since the untimely passing of their mama, the baby goats have been understandably needy. Anytime they hear our voices, they start bleating and carrying on as though they’ve been neglected for days. Because I am a total sucker for such behavior, I’ve started taking them out of their enclosure for walks around the farm as often as I can. I let them eat the apple tree and browse around the weeds and pine trees. They get to run and frolick and be cute, and then we snuggle and I put them away.
On one of our walks yesterday, they lead me down below our field to a small clearing toward the woods. The grass is incredibly long and lush there and they started grazing so happily, I didn’t have the heart to move them along. Instead, I just watched them.
Then I sat down.
After awhile, I realized I’d been perfectly still and totally silent for longer than anytime in my memory. The babies would periodically walk over and nuzzle me or walk over me, and then resume their browsing and grazing. We were so quiet, birds were landing within feet of us and rabbits were hopping just yards away.
At one point, I looked down and saw that a wooly bear was making it’s slow journey right across my legs.
The goat babies are the most gentle, loving creatures you could meet. I’m sure part of their demeanor toward humans was shaped by the fact that we were present at their birth and held them right away. We’ve always been very interactive with them, giving them loads of hugs and kisses and love. It is remarkable to receive gentle affection from a goat.
Up until Cindy died, we’d planned that Dot would be bred for babies and milk and Short Straw would be used for meat. Now, the connection with both of them has grown to the point that that is no longer a remotely conceivable plan. Using him for meat would be like using one of the dogs for meat. It simply isn’t going to happen. We realized he needed a new, more fitting name, since things have started to look up for him.
We played around with different ideas and Sophie finally settled on Ramyu. He’s a buck, not a ram, of course… but the alternative didn’t sound quite as sweet.