The first shelter I built for the goats was a pallet pen, with a roof . It was a rush job as I couldn’t hold out from buying goats any longer and had a pickup date for the goats and no shelter ,or fencing , or feed troughs…. oh hell , I broke the cardinal rule of purchasing livestock before I set up accommodations ! I pulled it off though as I was confident that I could . I removed the roof when I built a more suitable shelter but left the pen intact, thinking that it would come in handy as a holding pen at times. Today was the day to use it as I needed to cement some p.t. posts in the ground for a gate on my pasture divider . I put some food in the shelter and called the goats in. They went in happily as it was their first shelter, in the shade of a pine tree. It wasn’t five minutes when Primus jumped out and started investigating all the tools in the pasture . I went back to the house and retrieved my dogs’ leash and tethered Primus to the outside of the shelter . They got used to it after a while and eventually they both settled down for a mid day nap. They looked adorable laying there facing each other through the space in the pallet wall , their noses just two inches apart. As I headed across the field to retrieve something from the garage , Babies stuck her head out through the space and called to me. She always does that when I am leaving them and, just as I always do, I told her I would be right back . About the time I got to the house Primus started balling loudly. I turned to see him at the end of the leash looking at me and balling. As he saw me turn he started screaming louder.I could hear desperation in his call . That is when I noticed Babies . She was whimpering and trying to pull her head back into the shelter but her horns were stuck . I rushed into the garage thinking Primus would think I’m ignoring him . Apparently I was right because when I got out of his sight he screamed louder than before ! I grabbed a mitre saw and ran back to the pasture, trying to console them along the way. They were both obviously anxious when I arrived and Primus started pacing around the pen as I went to work on a panel. I cut the panel out . Babies backed in and stared into my eyes .Then I showed Primus the way in through the new “door” . He immediately ran between her legs , as he always does when he is nervous, knelt down , gave Babies a few good head butts on the udder and started nursing. She stood for him nicely and then , given the situation , I saw the most beautiful thing: she lifted her right leg and reached out and rubbed her leg up and down on Primus’ rump . Not just once, but repeatedly, for maybe fifteen seconds or so , the way we would do to our own children when rocking them to sleep as infants . It was so touching , and I smiled at the recollection with my own children . And , isn’t that the way ? She was more concerned , it seems, with consoling her scared buckling than getting herself “un-stuck”. As I ‘ve said : I think I get more from them than they get from me. There’s nothing like a mothers’ love.
A Mothers’ Love