Our two goats, Dot and Janie, have a pretty nice set-up on our little farm.
Their water bucket is heated to prevent freezing, they always have a good deal of hay, they get fed a mixture of organic goat pellets and alfalfa in the evenings, they’ve got minerals to snack on, and when we’re feeling particularly generous, we even break out the apple-flavored treats.
These drive them particularly wild.
But, driving goats wild is overrated, so we dole these out frugally and mostly when we want to lure them somewhere.
The feed mixture comes at night because that is when we milk Janie. I’ve mentioned before that Janie is a precocious goat. This does not mean that she’s smarter than all the other goats in her class, it means that she makes milk hormonally. She hasn’t been bred in years, but we still get anywhere from a quart to three quarts of milk a day.
So, whoever is milking that night will go in and do his or her best to avoid Molestation by Goat, as they are eager (to say the least) to be fed. Goats, much like dogs, tend always to act as though they haven’t been fed in DAYS anytime you get anywhere near them.
Dot and Janie will double-team that night’s caretaker, vying for position to be the one who gets to knock the feed bucket to the floor.
Luckily, both Dave and I are slick and crafty and can get into the shed reasonably unscathed.
Typically, each lady is waiting at her own feeder in eager anticipation of dinner.
Janie knows dinner time is milking time, so she waits on her milking stand while Dot gets her scoop. Once Dot is eating, Janie gets her scoop and positions herself into the head catch.
At this point, milking can begin.
Except for tonight.
Everything happened exactly as I’ve described, except that when I placed my pail and settled in to milk, Janie’s udders were gone.
They simply weren’t there.
I waved my hands underneath her a couple of times (as though perhaps they would reappear?... I don’t know) before realizing that the ladies had switched spots on me for the first time ever.
Jumping up, laughing hard, I unhooked Dot from the head catch and made a dash for Janie. I’d lost precious time as Janie had started eating already and is only patiently milked when food is in front of her.
So, squatting like a yogi (although decidedly less serene), I sunk down into the hay to speed-milk.
At one point, Dot came over to see what was happening, forcing Janie to walk off mid-milk and return to her original spot on the stand. This allowed me to finish her in our usual spot without further travel or excitement.
I still got about a quart of milk, but the entire affair was udderly ridiculous.