I am not often the best of farm girls. It is common for me to forget the farm entirely as I send young Chase down to feed and water the animals while I tend to things around the house. But I love living out here in the fresh air and the brilliant night skies. Well, when it’s not cloudy they’re brilliant. When it’s cloudy, the night skies are dark like a plush velvet blanket, unbroken by the lights of the city. With all the country appreciation I feel, I usually just feel it rather than actually experiencing it.
But yesterday was a true country experience on the Young Family Farm and as Aaron and the boys ran Harper Lee, one of the horses, off to the vet for an abscess, it was incumbent upon me to check on the twin baby goats that were born in the morning.
We got Fern about 6 years ago. She was a runt that Zoe bottle fed and so she thinks she’s a person, just as comfortable curled up by the fire as she is scouting the property for the best grazing spot. Not that we let her in the house… anymore.
Fern is a Nigerian Dwarf and we tried to keep her away from our full sized buck as we were afraid having babies would kill her in the best of circumstances. But, as my kids say, Fern is a gypsy and she does what she likes.
Our concern over Fern’s wellbeing was for naught. Last winter Chase found her in a dog house behind the garage. She and her baby, who was several days old when we found them, were snug as could be, even with no heat lamps and snow on the ground. Animals are so very capable.
When we first had birthing goats we were lost and somewhat overwhelmed. We kept diligent watch over the day and the hour. When one of the goats went into labor, we’d gather and “help” the mother if it appeared to us that things weren’t going smoothly.
As time has gone on what we’ve discovered is that by and large Mother Nature kind of has it going on without us. While problems can arise, for the most part, given the basic ingredients it all moves along quite well without our interference.
I think every member of our family has learned much from our little farm. We are so much closer to life and to death as we watch the natural ways of things up close and personal.
One of the lessons that I’ve learned is that life needs our “help” much less than we think it does. As a matter of fact, when we let nature take its course, more often than not it unfolds exactly as it should, all we need to do is watch and learn.