Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

“My goat is down and he can’t get up”….and other interesting excuses.

Posted on | February 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

“Hi, um, I won’t be there for Girl Scout cookie pick-up.  My goat is down and he can’t get up.  I’ll call you later.”

If you know me, then you’ve heard these sort of excuses.

You may even have been talking to me on the phone when I screamed “Big, get the hoe!” and then clicked off.  That usually means there’s a black snake in the nest box.

If you heard me call for the BB gun then it means the neighbor’s dog has slipped under the fence (again) and is trying to make chicken pot pie out of my flock.

I have been late for Sunday school when a guinea flies into the neighbor’s yard and squawks under his window because she cannot possibly fly back without her GPS, which she left sitting on the roost by mistake.  If you’ve had  a guinea squawking under your bedroom window at 8am on a Sunday morning then you know why this is an emergency.  If not, count your blessings.

Little and I have dragged ourselves into preschool, long after line leader and table wiper positions were assigned to the lucky children who weren’t late.

“Sorry”, I mumble.  “I was up all night intubating a hen with an impacted crop.”

Little shakes his head sadly.  “She didn’t make it.”

This is normal.  This is life on a farm.

“Gotto go.  The goats are out!”

“Oh no. I see vultures circling the pond.  Can I call you back?”

“Sorry, we watching a hatch going on in the barn and totally lost track of time.”

“We were going to stop by your party but we had to drive all the way to Tractor Supply for the terramycin ophthalmic ointment for the pony’s eye.”

“I just found a duckling saturated in the automatic waterer.  As soon as I’ve warmed him up with the hairdryer and returned him to his mother, I’ll be there.”

No one says much to these explanations when I show up late, tires squealing into the parking lot, hair in a clip.  Farmers will nod sympathetically, no words needed.  They’ve been there, done that.  Civilians will just stare silently, wondering what the hell I am talking about, and hoping the stains on my shirt are not what they think they are.

Once I was the last parent to pick up kids from school.  The place was empty except for the two poor souls assigned to guard my children while the secretary read and reread my contact information sheet which said I did not have a cell phone.  Unfathomable.

I pulled into the deserted student pick-up lane, jumped out of the truck and   gushed, “Oh my gosh.  I’m so sorry.  We had a 10:30 appointment at the processing plant but they took a truckload of 1,000 chickens before they butchered our ducks and it slowed down the whole line.  Plus they didn’t preheat the wax for the feathers so everything took twice as long.”

The irritation on the women’s faces was replaced with a mixture of fear and revulsion.  They took in my splattered sweatshirt and boots and said nothing.  They just silently pushed my children toward me and stepped as far back as possible.

“So,” said Middle, as the kids headed for their car seats, “did they charge extra to harvest the livers this time?”

The women were still standing there, open-mouthed and glassy-eyed, as we drove away.

I guess normal is a relative term.

© Stevie Taylor 2010. All Rights Reserved.


One Response to ““My goat is down and he can’t get up”….and other interesting excuses.”

  1. forensicfarmgirl
    February 18th, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Oh Mercy! I laughed so hard that I almost peed in my pants! It’s so nice to know that other people live like this too! What a wonderful site!

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