I could paint you a romanticized picture of farm life, but then I would feel guilty for leading you astray. While farm life has it’s moments of sheer, picture perfect perfection, it is usually only a brief frame in time before you see reality. Now don’t get me wrong, I love farm life. Real farm life, however, has a version of reality not painted in the picture perfect romanticized version.
There are the cow patties. There’s lots of mud. And then there are the flies, the ticks, the poison ivy…the snakes. The constant capturing of various escapee animals. The hot weather. The frigid cold weather. And let’s not forget some of my personal favorites which have led to more sanctification opportunities in my life over the last year: the turkey poop on the back steps that gets tracked through the house on the boys boots and of course, let’s not forget the dogs dragging home bloody deer parts to the porch steps to chew on.
I’m just being realistic.
Take the new baby goats for example. We just dropped off 4 of our Alpine goats to be bred. The very next day, we bring home 3 Nubian goats my daughter bought. What were we thinking? I am not quite sure.
The momma goat rejected one of the babies and refuses to feed it. So it is bottle fed. 3 times a day. Sounds cute and sweet and the first couple of times it is. The girls oohh and awwhh over how cute he is and they love the fact that he thinks they are his mommy. He follows them everywhere and when they come inside he misses them.
I won’t mention the night we had listening to all the racket coming from these sweet looking goats.
It is a good thing our neighbor down the road was born and raised in the country or he might have already called the police to come investigate.
Nubian goats scream. They don’t maaa or baaaa. They scream like someone is being tortured and is finally dying.
However, I keep telling myself, “It isn’t about me.” It’s about giving our children opportunities, work and responsibilities. Giving a 9 year old the responsibility of bottle feeding a little baby animal is good for her. It’s good for her to remember the times in which she is supposed to go out in the cold and feed him. It’s good for her to see something thrive under her care. It’s good for her to practice because come summer time, she will be bottle feeding several of our Alpine babies.
While we are not keeping all of the Nubians long term, they have given us yet another opportunity to learn farm life in the raw for a little while and have reminded us that those cute floppy ears and sweet looking face quickly fades behind the reality of the sound of goats yelling and crying at 3 am. Such is farm life.