Sunday, October 7, 2018

Goats Galore

      Strange Things Do Happen, 
both in the world of animals and the world of cyberspace.
      I checked back over my list of callers and saw the number of my good friend in Utah, retired post mistress of a small mountain town. She lives on the mountain on a horse ranch with her husband. I thought it was strange that I had heard no ring, but her name and number came up as having called just minutes ago, same month, same day.  I returned the call,--surprised when she answered, having had no success in other times. I was more surprised when she said she hadn't called---but was certainly glad I had. did the name and number happen to come up as having called a few minutes ago?
      In the course of our relating events, she told me she now raised Nigerian Dwarf goats. They were tiny, and popular for birthing triplets and more.
      Her granddaughter had always liked the goats and wanted to see one born, so my friend thought the time had come to let her witness birth, since it was time for the goats to bring forth their babies. Her granddaughter stayed over in anticipation.
      Gram went out to check on one doe, who was as big as a barn and ready to do her thing.  She fetched her granddaughter and they went back to the barn, expecting normal delivery. But first look told Gram that trouble was at hand: When the kid's legs appeared, it was apparent the doe was having trouble.  Gram pulled, but nothing happened. The kid's legs were coming out but not the head: the head was turned backwards along the birth canal. So Gram enlists frightened Girl Grandchild to help.  My friend told her she had to hold the head and front of the doe very tightly so she couldn't move, no matter how loud she screamed and carried on.  Her grandchild didn't want to do it at first, not knowing what to expect--and agonizing over the doe's screams--but Gram told her if she didn't, the Mama would die. So, gathering courage , Girlchild held tight while Gram turned the head and firstborn emerged. Child helped as Gram handed her a kid. She cleared nostrils and followed Gram's other instructions to keep baby alive. 
     Meanwhile, during the interim, Kid #2 was coming, each a tiny, living thing. Then kid 3 emerged.......then number 4........and to the amazement of Gram, here comes number 5! Five babies alive and bleating! Tiny little things........more afterbirth....more heaving of flanks from Mama-----here comes a 6th baby goat!   Then a 7th! SEVEN babies from one Mama.  A miracle in itself....even if the last two were born dead, tangled in the placenta or afterbirth. Five born alive and survived.
       What a first birthing experience for GirlChild, the Granddaughter. Not only did she get to observe firsthand birthing of baby goats, she got to participate. She helped save the doe's life by her efforts to endure the mama's pain, overcoming her fear of the unknown and her fear of doing the wrong thing, her pain of helplessly listening to distress cries from the doe gaining strength and courage from her Gram, who knew what to do when she did not.
       There are still wonders of wonder left in this chaotic world, and unseen guiding hands over us.

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