We have two new mouths to feed here at the Mansion. Actually, Goatrude has two new mouths to feed. She had twin kids on Saturday. They're not identical. One is a small boy, chocolate brown, and the other is a bigger girl, white with a couple of cream spots on her head and flank. Sorry no pictures. We've been in the maelstrom of a crisis.
Last night, we got home a bit later than ususal. Darkness had fallen. Farmer H arrived shortly after we did. He headed out to feed his furry and feathered children. When he came back in, he was perplexed. That's unusual. Farmer H is generally pretty simple. Animals. Supper. Recliner. Television. Bed.
"I can't find the baby goats."
"I'm sure they're here somewhere. You lost that other baby goat two summers ago, and after an hour of searching, it turned up in a shed."
"But I've looked in all the sheds."
"You did then, too."
"Goatrude doesn't even seem upset."
"See, they're okay. She's hidden them somewhere."
"They're always with her, or in the lean-to. Now they're not."
"There's no evidence of carnage?"
"No. That fur on the porch is from a deer. They were both here the same night that fur showed up."
"If they got out, they'll get back in."
"If something doesn't get them first. Ann was acting funny in the front yard. I drove by her on the Mule, and she ran off."
"She was afraid you were going to run over her. If she killed them, I guarantee you they'd be out there in the front yard. That's where she drags all her victims."
"One of those hawks might have gotten them. I think they got the checkered hen. She's missing."
"The goats were a lot bigger than a banty hen. These are the biggest kids I've seen here."
"Yeah. Goatrude is a full size goat."
"A hawk could not carry off two baby goats."
"I'll check again later."
There was no appearance of the kids before bed. This morning, Farmer H looked some more. No kids. He thought he heard them, but then saw the previous baby goats. As The Pony says, "Their voices haven't changed yet. They still sound like babies."
Farmer H was ready to declare them dead. Remind me to check on my insurance policy for updates. They were not even missing 24 hours yet.
When we got home from school around 3:00, The Pony went a-huntin'. He was gone over ten minutes. That seemed to be a bad omen. I finally heard him clomping up the steps. No spring in his gait. Not good. He slowly entered. "I found them. They're under the BARn. Way under. I couldn't bend down that far last night with the light."
"Are they alive?"
"I couldn't tell. But Goatrude called to them, and I thought I heard them call back. But it might have been the other baby goats."
After much texting back-and-forth, and two phone calls from Farmer H, The Pony was dispatched to check for signs of life. He returned.
"Are they alive?"
"How do you know? Did you see them breathe?"
"Well, last time I looked, they were under the BARn. And now they're under the feeder. So I'd say they're alive."
We're all relieved.