Monday, December 2, 2013

The Story of Christmas - The Goat

When people find out we have a goat, they are usually very curious to know why.  My husband always says he hasn't figured that out yet.  My son will say because Santa brought him - it was love at first sight.  My daughter will say because she asked Santa for a goat to keep her pony company because he was very lonely the winter after my old horse had to be put down - which is true.

When the children awoke so early that still dark Christmas morning, there was the usual assortment of presents big and small, stockings full of their favorite Goldfish cracker snacks, chapstick and mini footballs. The usual dent had been made in the variety of Christmas cookies and the glass of milk had been polished off.  A few nibbled remnants of the reindeer carrots were scattered on the platter.  But there was also something else - a special card from Santa.  The card said all the usual things Santa said every year about how proud he was of them for being so good and thanking them for the snacks.  But it ended with this "Now we have one more surprise for you so please get bundled up and go to the barn!"
Well, you can imagine the flurry of activity, wonderment and confusion that ensued - all at about 5:30 in the morning...  And when we stepped onto the porch my daughter spotted scatterings of what surely must be reindeer droppings and hoof-prints (funny story about that).  As we slip-slided our way down the hill to the barn, my daughter beat us all there and started "oh my gosh!!"ing as she spotted this little face peering out.  Another note from Santa was taped to the front of the stall explaining all about this new little friend and just what kind of care he would need from us.  As we entered the stall, the love fest began and lots of giggling commenced.  That picture of my little guy kissing him - eyes closed and full on the mouth just says it all.
The kids, of course, named him Christmas.  What else would you name a goat from Santa?!  We sometimes call him Chris for short.
I will confess that I love that silly goat as much as he irritates me on occasion.  He really is a sweet guy who just loves to be loved on.  Christmas is a whether, which means he has been neutered.  As such, he lacks the hormones and glands that produce that sticky/skunky male goat smell.  He smells about the same as the horses.  Although he received a few baths in baby powder and dry dog shampoo after he first arrived because he smelled like the male goat he had been in with.
Nearly all my pictures of him are like this because he always has to be right in my business when I am in the pasture.  He often follows me around the yard and field like one of the dogs.  He knows his name and will come when called and kissed to.  While he is fairly easy to train on things like the leash - he seems to just have sheep brains at the oddest times.  The mower, for instance, makes Chris lose his mind and he will run around like a crazy every single time like he has never seen it before.  When he loses his mind like this you don't want to be at the end of the leash...
He is a handsome fellow though.  He is an Alpine goat and requires very little maintenance.  I do put a heat lamp (chicken light) in the barn to help the horses stay a little warmer and he tends to bed right under it in the winter.  He's a great replacement for a weed whip - I just tie him out around the yard in those funny areas I can't get the mower into and he takes care of it.
He's not a picky eater (what goat ever was) so he does a great job eating the areas in the pasture that the horses won't touch.
Christmas also likes to "help" me around the yard like the dogs.  I will sometimes let him free-range when I am working in the yard or fixing fence and he likes to stick pretty close so he can see what I am doing.  Here he is helping me take apart a section of fence between the two properties to have better flow between the two yards.
He and the horses get along well, although he sometimes gets feisty with the pony now that they are nearly the same size and they have to be separated for a while.  He was bottle-raised so he loves to have his face held and snuggled and often places his chin right on my shoulder to have his face and ears rubbed - a big baby.
The kids love to hug on him too - he likes to "help" them pick rocks in the pasture too.  There is always a lot of laughing as he sticks his nose right in their ears or on the backs of their necks and then takes of running like he wants to play tag.

Anyone else have an out-of-the-ordinary pet you adore?  
Any pets that Santa smuggled in?

1 comment:

Diane Higdon said...

I don't have any pets that are out of the ordinary. 3 dogs to be exact...and they are Blue I have my hands full....but, I have to say, your story about Christmas was so cute, and made me laugh. I would love to have a goat....not sure I can convince my husband of that!
I do have to say, our neighbors have a donkey...he is so cute..His name is Twister....they adopted him after one of our tornados. Seems he was displaced and had some cuts etc from the storm. He is all good now, and is a lot of fun to watch. Thanks again for sharing your story. Loved it :)