Posted 02-27-2004 at 15:35:59
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I had a man stop by asking questions about raising pigs. Just generic questions. I kept him way longer than necessary, as when I start talking about pigs I tend to not be able to stop. He was real nice about it, and pried himself loose as politely as possible.
Anyway, not five minutes after he left, I went back outside for something, and I heard the most awful baby goat distress call. I haven't ever heard anything like it in my life. I've had goats that got stuck in fences, got zapped by the hot wire, or were being threatened by a dog. I have heard just about every type of distress call. Or so I thought. This was the most gut-wrenching, terrified call, and I can tell you that it lit a fire underneath me like nothing has since my kids were little.
I called back...
Even though I didn't have any idea where I was going, I took off running in the direction of the sound and every time I yelled back I got a louder more urgent response. I was scared to death, I didn't know what I was going to find.
The sound stopped and without it to guide me, I had no choice but to stop.
"Where are you dammit!?" I kept yelling.
No answer for a few seconds, and then another cry more chilling than the last one. The call had a quality to it that I recognized, there was something about it that seemed familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it. The dogs were on the south side of the north pasture just raising he11 and my first thought was that they had a baby goat penned down and were trying to kill it, but as I got closer I could see that that wasn't the case.
By then I was cussing like crazy. I was helpless. I knew I should be in the right vicinity by now but I could not find the baby! Then it dawned on me what that familiar quality was. It was garbled, like coming from underwater. About the time I made the connection, Ruby, Baby's new kid, popped to the surface of the fifty gallon drum we keep out in the grove full of water for the goats. It has a spigot on it, and when the goat's water tub gets low we turn the spigot on and add to it, but the drum has no top on it. I've been telling myself for weeks that I needed to cover that drum up if for no other reason than to keep the water cleaner, but never once did it occur to me that one of the babies would be able to jump into it!
I yanked her out just as she was going down again, and raced to the house with her. She was soaked from her ears down and shivering like crazy. It's only in the upper fifties here right now and the water was probably colder. I held her upside down as I ran, hoping to drain some of the water out of her lungs, and I was reassured by the fact that her cries got clearer and sounded less warbly.
She's in the bathroom now. I dried her off with towels and now Jenny is blow drying her with the hair dryer. I'm going to keep her in the house until the sun comes out tomorrow. I can't help but wonder what would have happened had we not been home, and the first thing on my priority list tomorrow is to fit a lid on that drum.
I would never in a million years have thought that a thing like this would happen but we are talking about Baby's kid, and Baby is a rare goat, so it stands to reason that her kid is going to be a handful. There's eight baby goats out there now, but leave it to Ruby to find a way to try to drown herself in the only tub of water deep enough in the whole grove.