Friday, March 5, 2010


Yesterday, I went over to witness the birth of Poppy's kids. Poppy is a Mini LaMancha Goat. She is one of Karen's goats and Karen called to let me know Poppy was ready. It takes me 30 minutes to get to Karen's house and Poppy did not have the usual warning signs so I missed the first one being born and arrived to see Karen holding a beautiful tiny new buckling. We were watching him try to do all his firsts ( bleat, nurse, stand up, walk). Truly amazing.

Then we noticed that Poppy was still uncomfortable and having what appeared to be more contractions. We watched and waited and watched and waited but nothing happened. It became apparent that things weren't as they should be and we had to ask each other questions, confer, and eventually investigate. In the end Poppy's second buckling was delivered with Karen's help but was unfortunately, a stillborn.

Though, this little goat spent no time alive outside his momma, he taught Karen and I many things for which I know we are both greatful. He taught us to listen to his momma carefully to know when to intervene. He gave us the courage to put on elbow gloves and explore to try and find feet that were nowhere in sight. (We had talked a few times about what others had said about trying to get fingers or hands inside to check position.) It was difficult but we were all (James and his mom were there too) able to remain calm and monitor Poppy for what needed to be done. Karen knew when it was time to get that buckling out and she did it beautifully (with Poppy's help). Unfortunately, Poppy's second buckling was not meant to see the light of yesterday. He did not die in childbirth but before.

Poppy, finally free from pain, began caring for her first born again. Lots of kisses and licks. James took the honor of burying her second born. The whole experience was sad but not so difficult as strange as that may seem. It was somehow just what happened yesterday and what was meant to be.

Poppy and baby Shamus are doing well.


  1. That was beautiful Susan. Thank you. Yesterday was another worrisome day. My blog will fill you in.

  2. Indeed a beautiful portrait of life and death. All part of farm life. Beautiful prose from a beautiful sister.

  3. Very nicely done, Susan.