Congratulations to Rosa

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

Today was a spectacular day. Rosa, our goat, has been spending time in the backyard grazing, as she is an expectant mother and needs the extra nutrition. She has a collar, and each morning she is led from the goat pen to the fenced-in backyard, where she is staked out. She has a bucket of fresh water and access to shade.

Rosa doesn’t bleat unless she has something specific to say. I was in the kitchen and heard her calling, so I stepped out the backdoor and saw she had wound her chain around the stake and couldn’t reach her water or the shade.

So, I went out and untangled her and led her down beneath the oak tree. She had turned over her water bucket, so I refilled it and carried it to her.

She was panting, and I assumed she was too hot.

Fowler was pounding stakes in the tomato rows when I looked out again to check on Rosa. She was calling out. There in the clover near her was a tiny bundle of something white. It moved. I realized it was a baby goat.

The time was 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 22.

I called Fowler on his cell and broke the news as I rushed outside to see. We went through the gate into the backyard. Rosa didn’t appear skittish but just looked our way. We didn’t want to make her nervous, so were careful not to get too close, about six feet away.

The baby was soaking wet, and Rosa began licking and nudging him. His tiny legs weren’t quite ready to support him, but Rosa diligently cleaned him and he became a little more active. At first we thought he was black and white, but as Rosa continued to lick him and he began to dry and fluff a little bit, we saw that he was really brown, white and black. He was adorable, like a toy. He wobbled to his feet.

Here was this tiny bundle of life, and we were thrilled.

Suddenly Rosa stopped licking him and began to bleat again. Right before our eyes we saw another tiny bundle emerge and slip out onto the grass.

Another baby! At first the baby was still. I was afraid there was something wrong, but it raised its little head and made a sound that was more like the quack of a duck than the bleat of a goat. Rosa began cleaning this baby, who at first appeared dark brown. But as the baby received the same attention and care as her slightly older sibling, we saw she was actually the color of Hershey’s cocoa powder with a dark brown ridge down the center of her back. She was smaller than her brother, and I didn’t see how she could possibly stand on those fragile little legs.

But 15 minutes after she was born she was able to stand and make her way beneath her mother to join her brother, who was already attempting to nurse. It took them a little while to get the knack of it, but finally, after I began to worry about the little nanny, she was able to find a place next to her larger brother. Rosa has an ample milk supply, so once they learned what they were supposed to do I stopped feeling anxious.

The baby nanny may be the runt, but her smaller size isn’t a handicap, as she is the more aggressive of the two.

This day has been a real experience. It is such a wonderful thing to see how beautifully this whole process has unfolded. Rosa is a fine mother, and as I write this, Rosa and her babies are curled up sleeping peacefully in their bed of hay.

We take so much for granted, but the truth is each day brings miracles. We are sometimes so busy we don’t pause long enough to notice. This was one of those special days that just make us glad and grateful we’re alive to see it.