Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

The Weaker Sex

Posted on | July 6, 2009 | 1 Comment

So, I arrived last night at my friend’s farm to milk and guess what I
found?  8 happy males loose in the all-female (obviously) milking herd.  Turns out
the little stinkers (and I do mean stinkers—they like to wear their
own urine as cologne) broke the bottom hinge on their gate.  The small
Nigerian males slipped right through, leaving the large Nubian males
behind to sulk and fume.  As cool as it was to see the little guy come
out on top, so to speak, the exasperated looks on the girls’ faces let
me know it was time to put the boys back in their proper pen.

Now the milking herd has a large pasture with lots of outbuildings and
trash mountains to play in and on. There are tons of things to climb
on or under out of the farmer’s reach.  This is not a problem as, being
female, the herd is sweet and compliant, lines up and ambles into the
barn for some grain and some milking time.  Stragglers do not run away
and hide but are generally just waiting for a personal invitation.  They
bat their eyelashes as if to say “Well, I wondered when you would notice
that I wasn’t around!!” and after a couple of scratches under the chin
come on in.  Hey, every girl needs some attention.

However, I figured I was in for a rough time putting those boys away.
After all, they had a strong incentive to stay loose and there was only
one of me.  I pictured myself chasing them endlessly around and around,
sighed, and set off to do it.  But to my surprise I had them all locked
up in no time at all.  How did I do it?  Turns out males of all species
are subject to the same downfalls:
*names have been changed to protect the horny, um, I mean, innocent.

Everyone else eyed me suspiciously and sidled away. But not Spike*. As
a lowly milkmaid, I was just a woman placed there to serve his harem.
He had nothing to fear and, indeed, it was below him to even acknowledge
my presence.  Only when I touched his collar did he look up and then he
simply snorted in disgust and started to walk off.  Too bad he was on
the tight end of the choker.  This is how we moved up in corporate
America, boys.  One minute we were typing your reports and the next
minute we had your job.  Turns out we were actually busy typing our own
report while failing to fix the misspellings in yours.  Night, night, Spike.

Boyd* was prepared to make a run for it.  He dashed past me when I first
reached for him.  But just when I thought we were in for an all-out
chase, Lady Adda Lily strolled by and Boyd was dumbstruck.  Her long
Nubian legs and soft floppy ears stopped him in tracks.  He tried to
call out to her, but all he manged was a little slobber.  There was
nothing is his world except him, her, a dark corner of the barn yard
and, oh yeah, me scooping him up and carrying him to his pen.  Thank
you, Lady Adda Lily.

Overconfidence: (for Nigerians, due to their small stature, this is
also known as Napolean complex)
He thought he could take me.  Really.  Standing at 3 feet tall, Hardy*
lowered his head and took a fighting stance.  Obviously, he forgot
someone disbudded (dehorned) him at about 5 weeks old.  He gave a good charge,
though, and the ladies seemed impressed until he bounced off my knee.
Still, I have to give him credit.  He held himself proud and erect over
my shoulder as I carried him off, no pathetic struggles for him.
Probably even told the boys he ordered me to take him back to his room.
“That’ll do, milkmaid, that’ll do.”

Learned helplessness:
There’s a gate that opens into the barn where the hay is kept.  It’s
always kept open a bit so the girls can help themselves to a snack if
they want.  Mickey* headed straight for that gate with grand plans to
hide among the hay rolls.  I could almost hear him laughing as he
imagined me squeezing through gaps in the hay, squealing at spiderwebs
and praying it was too cold for snakes.  Quite pleased with himself, he
rushed up to the gate and stood there.  And stood there some more.  And
waited for someone to open the gate for him.  After all, someone always
opens gates for him, he’s never had to do it himself.  His job is to
want something and someone else’s job is to figure it out and do it for
him.  He would have gone around to the opening in the gate but he wasn’t
sure where the opening was.  Doesn’t matter that he’s lived on the farm
for his entire life, how was he supposed to know where the opening was?
He tried to look around for the opening but he couldn’t see it by
standing in one spot and looking straight ahead.  So he never made it
into the safety of the hay.  Better luck next time, Mickey.

George* didn’t even get up from where he was laying on his side in the
goat stall.  He couldn’t get up.  He’d had 12 hours of unlimited access
to the opposite sex.  He’d been “up” all day, so to speak.  Enough said.

Stupid friends:
Blackjack* and Winston* never even heard me coming.  They had been
butting heads, literally, all day.  Each was convinced he was the
strongest and determined to prove it.  Their ears were ringing from all
those collisions but they refused to give up.  It had started out as a
little friendly competition—a couple joking remarks, a little push and
shove— but now reputations were at stake.  Never mind, everyone else
was having fun with the girls while they were hashing things out.  A
man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.  I only had to walk one of them
back to the pen.  The other one just followed along trying to get in
sneak attacks.  Too stupid to even save himself.  Don’t you love men?!

The last one was smart enough to hide under the barn. Huck* knew there
was no way in hell I was climbing under there.  So he just climbed under
and waited me out.  He knew I had to milk the ladies sometime.  And
while I milked some, he played with the others.  When I came out between
milkings, he slipped back under the barn.  Too bad when I put the grain
out he made a beeline for the dinner bowls.  And he was so busy hogging
more than his fair share of food, he was an easy catch.  Turns out he’s
a bad multi-tasker (surprise, surprise) and just couldn’t chew and run
at the same time.  Grandma always said the way to a man was through his
stomach.  Off we go, Huck.

So, all’s well that end’s well.  The boys had their fun, the girls have
been rescued.  And I probably haven’t told you anything about men you
didn’t already know.

© Stevie Taylor 2010. All Rights Reserved.


One Response to “The Weaker Sex”

  1. Sarah
    January 19th, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    This has got to the be the funniest blog i’ve ever read! I’ve spent 2hrs reading your posts, laughing out loud, & reading out loud (gotta share the funnies, otherwise my kiddos just look @ me like I lost my mind). I Should be out doing “chores” of my own, but I cannot put this down.
    I am subscribing & look forward to more laughter.

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