Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Those Udderly Wonderful Goats-Dy-no-mite!

*Spins in a circle three times while holding a potato*

Wow, that was quite a head-rush, what with bifocals and all. Now you all may be asking yourselves ‘What in tarnation is wrong with that yodeling goatherder?! Has she been adding cooking sherry to her coffee? What`s with the potato? Is she hungry? That`s a terrible Jimmy Walker impersonation.’

I shall answer by saying there is nothing wrong with me * Tosses glare at scoffing husband* and that the reason I performed that old ‘Be gone demon buck!’ routine of my great-grandmother`s was because the subject of this post was, and may still be, an evil unlike any that has ever entered the caprine world. The potato? Well, I just kind of like potato`s and it IS getting close to dinner time……

As I ponder on the telling of this story it occurs to me that there is not one thing that befalls us that we cannot learn from. I learned a great deal from owning Dynamite yet most of what I learned falls into the swear word category and isn`t suitable for a family blog.

Let me carry you all back about six years to tell this tale of horror and severely bruised buttocks… (Imagine wavy lines and an odd feeling of time displacement. Y`all can hold my potato if you wish to quell the nausea time travel foists upon you.) Oh! I have to mention that I have no pictures of Dynamite as his image would not appear on any form of film. No really. I am quite serious.

Okay, back in time several years.

We had come to the decision to purchase a dairy doe and a buck so that we would have fresh milk. Not knowing much about goats we nonetheless were exuberant to begin our foray into the caprine world. We found an ad in our small local paper and off we went to look at the goats for sale!

When we arrived we had quite the selection of goats but our hearts immediately went to Fawn. She was a mature doe at this time, how old she was her owners couldn`t tell us, but she was a sweetheart and she came with her kids, a doeling and buckling, at her side. SOLD!!

Now we had to pick an unrelated young buck since, yeah, y`all know why. I recall they had quite a few scampering about their yard. We seemed to like the looks of a spry black fellow who they had named Dynamite. * Clutches potato closer* His owner`s at the time spoke well of the lad and he seemed to be full of vim and vigor and attitude. How much attitude we would soon learn all too well but I digress…

Novice goatherders that we were we paid for our four goats and brought them home in the make-shift pen we had hastily cobbled together in the back of our truck. As we rode home we came up with names for Fawn`s twins- Alex and Mallory. (Alex sadly had to be put down about a year later when he broke his leg but we still have Mallory who is very much her mother`s daughter personality wise! Sorry, got side-tracked again. *Dashes off for refill of java juice*)

We got them settled and a few days later neutered Alex. All was harmony and lollipops for the remainder of that year. Dynamite did his duty and the following spring Fawn had twin boys which Miss Yodeling named Harry and Ron. (She was big into Harry Potter at the time obviously.)

It was at this time that Dynamite began to show signs of his true nature. It began small-subtle nudges to the backs of your legs-playful, or what we assumed was playful, rearing up on his back legs at us. We were new to goatherding and brushed it off as boys being boys. I know now that his behavior was aggression and perhaps if we had reprimanded him at the time it would have lessened, but I tend to think not. Dynamite was just one of those bucks that you dared not turn your back on. As he got older his behavior got worse and worse.

Mister Yodeling and Dynamite had one major go-around that stopped that evil buck`s nastiness…at least to my husband. Mister was entering the goat barn with two five gallon buckets of water one morning and Dynamite lambasted him in the back of his legs, knocking his knees out and dumping ten gallons of water into his chore boots! A rather swift and loud session of attitude adjustment commenced. As I said, after that Dynamite never did go after Mister Yodeling again. He did though turn his entire wrath towards me and my daughter.

It got to be so bad that Miss Yodeling, who was about six at the time, was terrified to enter the goat barn alone, and I wouldn`t let her to be honest. A six year old girl is no match for a mature Nubian buck and neither was I if truth be told! If we wanted to play with the girls and kids we had to carry a stick to try to keep Dynamite at bay. This was NOT the idyllic situation we had envisioned, yet by most accounts this was what bucks were like and if we wanted kids we had to deal. I will say now that if we had known the goat herders then that we do now we would have known better. Live and learn as they say.

We persevered with that demonic buck through another breeding season. Winter is now upon us (Time sure flies in these tales don`t it?)and as par the course we were up to our keister`s in the white stuff. After a storm had blown in and dumped on us Mister Yodeling began to fret about the weight of the snow on the barn roof. We decided to go down and plunk a ladder up so that he could shovel the snow from the roof. I was the official ladder holder. (We wives have many official titles-ladder holders-flashlight holders-readers of directions. The list is endless huh ladies?)

I`m betting y`all are seeing where this tale of demonic caprine possession is going aren`t you?

Sure enough, by the time Mister Yodeling got himself up on that snowy tin roof with his shovel good old Dynamite stuck his head around the barn door. I saw him and he saw me and a grin of pure malevolence spread across his face. No really! I saw it! Out he sauntered as I held onto the ladder. By this time I had yelled up to my hubby that Dynamite was eying me with evil intent.

“Just don`t let him push you around,” was shouted from the slippery roof.

“I don`t LET him push me around! He just does!”

“If he gets pushy slap him upside his head!”

“Slapping him only makes him worse!” I shouted as the buck neared, head lowered and snickering with a deep, evil goat snicker. No really he was!

“You`re not slapping him hard enough then!”

I know I rolled my eyes. Such a typical male statement and one that makes sense if one can slap as hard as a six foot tall, two hundred and fifty pound man does. I was about to reply to my groom with something witty and slightly cutting about how I`d like to slap him at times when the son of Satan struck! That buck knocked my legs out from under me, I went down in the snow and the ladder crashed down beside me.

Hubby was now stranded rooftop and I was on my back trying to keep that ebony head with the 666 from driving into my chest. Seriously gang I would not lie to you, I saw that trio of numbers on his head as he tried to slam his head repeatedly into me. He should have been named Damien; it would have been more fitting.

I was stuck, back-pedaling on my rear while pushing back on his head. Mister Yodeling was shouting down at me to get up and kick the snot out of the buck. I remember wondering how my dear husband thought I should get up when I had a one hundred and fifty pound buck straddling me. The shovel impacting the back of Dynamite`s rear-end was enough to make that demon seed lift his head from me for a split second and I rolled to the right, or left, can`t recall clearly my mind was filled with terror.

I ran for the gate and only when my husband reminded me that he was on a tin roof covered with snow minus a ladder did I stop. Well this was turning out to be a fun filled day on the farm! I peered over the gate at my groom then at the buck who was waiting and pondered my options.

“How far can you jump?” I called.

I cannot in good conscious repeat his reply. I had to use my superior brain to outmatch Dynamite`s brawn it seemed.

It took me a second of standing and thinking but I finally decided on a course of action. I skedaddled around the gate and reached up to tug a thick bough of evergreen down so that he could reach it. To get to the goodies the buck had to slip around the door which I could latch behind him. I guess his love of pine over-rode his love of mauling yodeling goatherders because he high-tailed it over to munch on the treat.

We finally did get Mister Yodeling down from the barn roof. Within a week of the ‘episode’ Dynamite was sold to an older gent who assured us he knew how to handle such a buck. Since that time we have been blessed with three breeding bucks-Titus, Anakin and Auron- who were and are the ultimate gentlemen and sweet as cherry cobbler. I did learn a valuable lesson that day and from that buck.

We would never, ever, ever, EVER have a male animal on this farm that displayed an iota of aggression.

That goes for bucks, steers, roosters, ganders….whatever. Yes Dynamite was a good looking buck, and yes he sired some strong kids, but that did not in any way counteract his temperament. Also, we now know that temperament can be inherited.

Thankfully his son Ronald did not inherit his father`s temperament even if he is the spitting image of his sire. (Maybe it was the removal of Ron`s manly things that helped make him such a goober lovey-dovey?)*Hears scoffing husband fall into silence*

I guess I can use this potato for French fries now… unless y`all want to hear about my mother-in-laws evil attack rooster???


Brenda said...

It sounds like Dynamite was pretty explosive! A buck like that can really hurt you. I'm glad you made it through your adventures with him safely!

small farm girl said...

I am laughing so hard my side hurts. Sounds like you had your hands full. Actually he sounded like a rooster that we had here. But instead of going after me, he would always go after Hubby. lol.And believe me, it's funnier when the animal is being aggressive to your big, bad Hubby. lol

from our front porch... said...

I have to have J read this! Too funny!
xo, misha

Feral Female said...

Ha! Good one Brenda!

I surely don`t miss the stinker I can say that with all honesty.=)

houndstooth said...

Dynamite sounds just like the first ram my parents had on our farm when I was a little girl! My mom was so afraid of him that she refused to go into the pasture. I carried a wiffle ball bat with me and never had an ounce of trouble from him, but he was an ornery devil!

Funny how husbands change their tune after being stranded on the roof!

Nezzy said...

Sounds like Dynamite was full of spirit and demons. We have a freight-liner sized bull who would fit this description. Thirty seven years on the Ponderosa and now a bull who I am really terrified of. Not fun! I was rollin' on the floor with this post....Great!

Have a fantastically blessed day!!!

Feral Female said...

Isn`t it odd how those of us who have critters always seem to have that one mean cuss that we never forget?

You be careful with that bull Nezzy, they can be deadly dangerous. I recall a time we were doing chores for our neighbor...well, that`s a tale for another time! =)

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Happy to have found your blog; I'm relatively new to the goat world, having gotten our first kid about a year rather by chance. Looking forward to reading more!