Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas on Antiquity Oaks

The day began with the usual fun of opening Christmas presents and eating Mike's homemade cinnamon rolls. Then a couple hours later, Margaret walked in with a look of sad resignation on her face. She held her wet hands out in front of her and shook her head. I knew what that meant.

I jumped up and said, "No! Who kidded? Are they dead?"

Margaret continued shaking her head from side to side and said, "Beauty. It was ice cold and still in the sack. There were two other ones, tiny skulls and legs."

I pulled on my coat, grabbed a plastic grocery bag, and headed for the barn. The fully developed one was a solid black buck. The other two were tiny. The heads were less than half the size of a normal kids, and the legs looked like toothpicks. They had clearly stopped developing a few weeks ago, perhaps a couple months. There was nothing we could do at that point. As we headed back to the house, I said, "At least the ground isn't frozen. We can bury them."

I thought about my comments the day before. "I want Christmas babies!" We had two goats due on December 25, and one due December 20. Surely someone was bound to kid on Christmas Day. I talked about naming them Holly and Ivy and St. Nick. I felt foolish for saying that I wanted Christmas babies. I said to the family, "I understand why people always just say they want healthy babies. I got what I thought I wanted -- Christmas babies -- but really I just want healthy babies."


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