Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I have a cold. It's not a big deal, but when I'm not at a hundred percent performance, I prefer that life include no surprises. Since I get sick only once a year or so, I don't think I'm asking for much, am I?
Tuesday morning I was milking the goats and trying to work up the nerve to use the neti pot that I bought last winter. I had finished milking my last goat (Ethel, as usual), and when I opened the milking parlor door to let her out, I didn't see any goats, which is unusual, but I thought that someone upstairs really likes me, because I don't have to chase the goats out of the barn this morning. Not so fast!
I completely forgot about Ethel and headed for the house to get Jonathan. I was not going to attempt this on my own. When Jonathan and I got back out there, I decided to lead Little Man outside (through the normal doors that llamas and human are meant to walk through) and hope that Big Mama follows. But Katy was sticking her long neck through the little door and eating the goat minerals and baking soda, so I thought it might be smart to refill the llama mineral feeder in their shelter so that after I moved the first two llamas out, I would not come back inside to find Katy had come into the barn.
It didn't exactly go the way I planned. I took the llama minerals out there, and Katy didn't seem to care, so she stayed by the little goat door. Getting a lead rope on Little Man went well, and Big Mama followed until we got to the barn door. Then she went galloping across the front yard! Jonathan tried to cut her off, waving his long arms to get her to turn around and head back to the pasture where I'd taken Little Man. They did this merry-go-round thing around one of the cars for a couple minutes, where she'd go to one side, and Jonathan would cut her off, so she'd go to the other side, and he'd cut her off there. I don't know what I would have done if this happened on a day when I was home alone. Hopefully I would have been smart enough to not attempt moving them without haltering both llamas. She finally came running to the gate I'd left open as I moved farther into the pasture, hoping that made her feel less pressure from me. Maybe it worked, or maybe she was worried that I was taking away her baby, even though he's not much of a baby any longer.
Now we must remember to only open that little door when we are letting goats in or out. I find it interesting that the cows went through the door only minutes after seeing it, but it took the llamas two or three months to do it.
Wednesday is my solo day on the homestead this semester, so I am really hoping for no more surprises. And I still haven't worked up the nerve to try that neti pot.