“Here to do the sonograms on some sheep.” He pulled his green vet hat down against the freezing wind.
“Yep… meet me out at the barn ,” I stuffed the baby in the snow suit that has managed to survive each and every one of my eight children. Grabbing my camera and two youngest kids I caught up with the vet, “they are dairy sheep so I will just have them get up in the stand… this should be relatively easy.”
“yep… bet you don’t see too many of those.” The wind slammed the barn door behind us.
“You are right until this week… this is my second farm of dairy sheep…. there is an Amish man with a herd.”
“Oh I have seen Amish dairy sheep… I have two… you will see the difference between the Amish ones and the real deal. There is no comparison.” With that I opened the barn door , and without skipping a beat Benita marched right up and Agate stood in line. Garden , wondering what I was doing to her flock, climbed the hay bales and peered down to see all the action.
“Oh I see what you mean.” Part of me held my breath. Did I put Ludo away too early? Should I have left him a week longer? This was Ludo’s first year… what does he know? He was so discreet we barely saw anything happen! Oh geez oh geez. Wait is the vet mumbling something…. ,”What did you say?” as I sushed the girls who sat twiddling twine on a hay bale.
“There it is… right there.. this one is pregnant,” he mumbled with no pomp at all. He said it like he hadn’t just given me the very best news ever! I climbed over him in the cramped space and made him show me…. teach me as much as he could. I grabbed Benita’s face in my hands and I kissed her.
I kissed her right between the eyes and I swear she smiled back. She’s the best.
I opened the head lock and brought in Agate… and in her Agate way she stomped her legs and woofed all her food right down. In a very monotone half whisper, “This one too… she’s about as far along as the first one.” For Agate a simple scratch behind the ears and a hearty, “good girl you did it,” and she was on her way back down the ramp.
Then little Rose… and I had to grab her as she has never been on the milking stand… but she is sweet enough. He couldn’t find it right away and he said she wasn’t pregnant… but right as my internal dialogue was reminding myself that I didn’t care if Rose was pregnant a murmur of …”well never mind right there is the heart beat… she’s just only thirty days pregnant… must have ‘caught’ right before you removed the ram.”
If I could have jumped straight up and spun around I would have.
We went into get his tiny little check for my tiny little farm vet check. I would have easily paid double. While I looked for a pen… are pens as illusive in your house as mine? He filled in the search with a mumbled story… I didn’t think he would be a good story teller as he seemed a bit akward… but I was surprised…
“So my neighbor knows I am a vet and she had a goat who was having some trouble so she called me down. I am not normally that kind of vet but I went because she is my neighbor. So I get there and have to reach in and turn the kid (baby goat) around inside and it comes right out. Her teenage sons were standing there doing nothing so I told them how goats often have a couple of kids so you must always reach back in and check for more… and I reached in and pulled out another kid! So then I looked at them and said now what do I do… and they were just teenagers but you think they would have known what I was asking… but they didn’t and so I said..’you have to always reach in and check’ and I pulled out another kid! So then the one kid thinks he’s really funny and says all smart,’well aren’t ya going to check?’ and I told him that goats this size normally only have three at the max… but I reached in anyway and pulled out a fourth kid! They all lived and did very well… but it goes to show you … you always need to reach in and check, ok?”
I handed him his much too tiny check and laughed,”That is a great story and I will hold onto it come lambing time. You have just given me the very best day ever… so I will see you in January or February for a head count estimate.”
Once I heard his truck door slam… we danced around the house cheering… and cheering… and dancing.. and cheering.