The Vastness, The Vile.
The laughter filled the car on the way back home from the Utah Music Association’s shindig that late Saturday night. It was an eventful evening filled with food, friends and music. We had been slated to play for 30 minutes at the grand “unmasking” of the organization but due to the men in black and blue the musical festivities were cut short leaving the boys and I with a three song set. The brevity of it all didn’t deter us from enjoying the remainder of the night. The location was in the ritzy ritz part of Alpine in the great state of Utah. The yard, house and her surroundings were lavishly delightful, and even a bit much to take at certain times throughout the night. It wasn’t till 1am that we pulled into the drive at Willamette MTN. We got out of the car and began to head inside when we heard it….
The beautiful high-pitched moan of a goat that was much younger than the ones we have living in our backyard.
“COULD IT BE BABES..?” my lover asked.
We were sure that they goats weren’t due for another couple of weeks. As we peered over the fence we noticed something smaller, newer and more fragile. Behold, there they were. Two beautiful baby goats. Newly born. Twins. New to life and the complexity that it brings. Sister, the mother, was feverishly cleaning them, making sure we didn’t get too close. We put down some new bedding to assure that their first night here would be pleasant. We made sure that they were feeding from their mama and headed inside to bring the night to a close.
The Night the babies were born. Beauty.
The next day I went about my day as usual. Feeding the goats and the chickens, checking to make sure the babes were looking and acting healthy, I went climbing up the canyon with my good friend, Timmy, the time was spent with much conversation and contemplation over the VASTNESS of “it all”. After the much needed time spent in the mountains I picked a couple of things up at the local grocer and headed back to the MTN. Upon my arrival home I peered over the fence to make sure everything was as it should be. I looked around and noticed that I couldn’t see Elle anywhere.
“She must be inside the goat house..” I quietly whispered to myself. I walked through the gate and made my way into the house. There she was. Baby and Mama. Elle and her newborn. With no help from me. I made sure that the afterbirth was properly removed and cleaned her up. The poor gal was exhausted. Soon after I cleaned her she fell asleep with her head rested on her brand new baby. My heart leapt.
The TEETH 5.10c Cannabis Wall American Fork Canyon
Exhausted Elle and Baby.
The following day there was yet another birth. Loma, our black angora goat gave birth to a very small baby girl. The baby was having a very very hard time nursing seeing as how Loma’s thick curls were covering her udder, making it nearly impossible for the lil gal to nurse. We quickly grabbed the hand shears and flipped Loma onto her side. After sheering her we noticed that they baby was still not nursing. During the first 24 hours of life it is IMPERATIVE that the babies get colostrum into their system which ensures that the baby receives the natural immunity of her mama aside from all the vitamins, electrolytes and nutrients that the colostrum or “pre-milk” contains. After just one day, a newborn’s digestive tract loses the ability to absorb antibodies. It was a bit concerning that Loma’s babe wasn’t taking to her fresh supply of milk. Fortunately we had some dried colostrum that you mix with milk to feed newborns that don’t take immediately to the Mama. We began to bottle feed her, but with very little response from the baby. She would cough it up and wouldn’t suck at all. We fed her five times that first day. The next day came and she still wasn’t feeding, and so, again, we bottle fed her, but with the same results. No sucking, very little swallowing, and coughing up most of what we could get down her. By the end of the second day she seemed very lethargic and unresponsive, it was hard to get her to stand on all four legs and she seemed disinterested in eating or interacting with her Mama. We gave her some pedialyte and fed her again before laying her down next to her Mama for the night.
The Thin Little Lady. photo taken by Jake Buntjer
Friday morning came early with Emma’s new work schedule. The sun has been coming up so late making 5:30am feel like 4:30. It was a kiss before my lover was off to the hospital; I grabbed Tuck and his leash to go for a morning run to get the day moving. I peered over the fence to make sure that everything was all right. In the dim light of early morn I saw a small black body lying on the front porch of the goat house. My heart sunk. I knew what it was. I rushed through the gate and found Loma’s baby girl, dead. She had passed in the middle of the night. I picked her and placed her next to me near the new willow tree that was planted earlier this year. I dug a small hole underneath the tree and placed her small body in the grave. The harsh reality of life comes quickly when death is a looming presence, passing in and around your heart, as the phantom of doom. With the absence of her newborn, Loma, laid about the house all day, saddened eyes. No tears. Just a sunken heart. My Lord, it was a hard day. I am happy that the other three little ones have been healthy, vibrant, and catching on to the way life leads us all. Down the road of turbulence, ultimately to the arms of our captor, the sweetheart of death.
Here is to the beauty of LIFE
Here is to the darkness of DEATH