The Pointer Sister
Making coffee, watching a thin stream of light from the belly button in the yurt reflect off of the stained French press.
This morning a goat called the Pointer Sister (the Other Pointer Sister having been slaughtered earlier in the winter) had three seizures in just a few steps out of the barn toward their pasture.
We’ve spent the rest of the morning learning all about goat polio which is simply a B1 deficiency that when caught early could be solved with 5 days of under the arm shots.
The ranch I work for doesn’t often see fit to doctor goats in any way that costs money being as how it is not the primary focus or a very reliable source of income.
I get just as much information here about how I don’t want things to be at my place as I get about how I do want things to be. For instance animals in my charge being more than numbers in a column. If they can afford to give me their children, to give me their milk, to give me their life, I can afford to give them B1 shots or take a poop sample to the vet every once in awhile.
I understand wanting to let nature make a strong flock by allowing some culling to happen by non-human sources and I don’t believe that we always know what’s best or that intervention on behalf of people is always or even often a good thing. That being said I believe we each have a responsibility to notice when and how these ideals are being exercised at the expense of compassion or common sense.
There are also other factors to account for.We lost many baby goats earlier this year of unknown causes. This Pointer Sister ran away from the flock to give birth in the bush. She didn’t let herself and her bub be caught till he was a healthy few days olde. That kind of smarts should be kept around. It’s in the milk.
How often does what I do happen under a banner of my morality when actually I’m just playing out the human centered b******* that I was taught that’s giving people a bad name?
We should know all these different masks that selfishness and fear and scarcity wear and come to call them by name. For my part I’m going to get some practice giving shots this week.
Posted on April 28, 2016, in blessings, bravery, doin things, farmers, farming, love, privilege, queer, sheep, true stories and tagged goats, love, newfarmer, queerfarmer, sheep. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.