“We can do this,” I say to my mother as we pull on our tough jackets to shield us from the biting cold weather. I offer to go grab the goat and bring her back to the car. My dad helps lift her front feet onto the car bumper. We push, shove, and squeeze her into a dog crate. The crate is too small for her, but I know it will have to do. I tell her that the ride will be only 45 minutes. Daffodil bleats awkwardly from her crate.
We are taking her (as we did our older doe, three weeks prior) to visit a nearby buck for service. If all goes well today, in five months time we will have some incredibly cute baby goats and a greater quantity of fresh milk.
My brother waits in the car, as we direct a wide-eyed Daffy to the buck pen. The buck, named Moe, has a musky smell, similar to the taste of very strong goat cheese. At the sight of this new doe, Moe flaps his tongue excitedly and makes a strange grunting sound like an old car coming to life. He looks gigantic next to my little doe.
Daffodil starts running in fear at the sound of his menacing call. She runs down the pasture, around the goat shed, and back toward me. Moe follows right behind flapping his tongue and grunting with great anticipation. Daffy falters in the mud and I worry if she will hurt herself. Is Moe too big for her? Is he acting too menacing? Why is she being so elusive? How will he be able to mount her if she keeps running?
After a while, Daffodil calms down and stops running. Moe’s owner tries holding Daffy against the fence, but we have more luck when my mother holds her. Each time Moe mounts her I watch carefully to see if his mounting is taking. If it happens successfully three times then we can go home.
Finally we load our tired out goat back into the car. We exchange money and information for our registry papers. An hour has passed at the farm. Everyone climbs back in the car. We are ready to head home in the fading light, past the open fields and dilapidated double-wide trailers.
It has been more than a week since we took Daffodil on her exciting adventure and we have had our first real frost. The goats fluff up their coats to protect themselves from the cold. The fall has turned to winter; and as the light is dwindling I have the coming holiday season and the possibility of baby goats to look forward to. In the evening I lift their tails to check for signs of heat. If they go into heat again it means that they are not pregnant. I relax when I cannot find any. All is well.