May 13, 2010
They leave with first sunrise. The small northwest pasture draws them. The exodus begins with one doe fed up with waiting for me to come and load a bale of hay into the feeder. Once she begins to walk down the run, others follow—afraid she will find a new patch of open pasture and they will miss out. They walk in single file until the kids arrive. Kids stand behind nosing the stems from yesterdays feed or butting one another playfully but intentionally. Then one raises its head, sees its mother a quarter ways down the run, yells, and runs after her. Others quickly join and a melee of kicking, jumping, running, and butting heads occur as they catch up with the does.
Ditch water now runs in the ditch that runs the length of the run on the south side. The kids, jump back and forth across the ditch as if to show off goat prowess. Sometimes, a little full of themselves, two running along the ditch on either side will jump across at the same time and find one another in mid-air, then again in the middle of the ditch. Both climb out, dripping, disconsolate, cry for mamma, and run to her and the teat.
The pasture is light this morning. It isn’t a large pasture. Only a day on the pasture and they will need moving to another this afternoon. The goats have held up their end of the bargain though, mostly. The invasive weeds are for the most part gone and valve openers clear of grass and weeds, ready for the next watering. They all spread out and begin eating. Some can’t settle in on a place and constantly move trying to find something better. Some are content with the first patch of ground they come to. The kids are kids, eating and running, moving from grass to teat, with seemingly, no worries.
© David B. Bell 2010