Monday, March 24th was one of those days on the farm where you keep pinching yourself hoping it is all a bad dream but you finally have to come to grips that this is no nightmare.
The day started out bad! Vince left the milk in the pasteurizer over night. He forgot to put it in the frig before going to bed. When I was getting feeding bucks ready for the babies, I found the milk smelling bad and sour. I poured it out, jumped in the car and went to the store to go get milk. I hate buying something I already have. This also put us behind in our chores.
By the time we get to the barn, everyone is screaming for their milk, grain, hay, water, and to be milked. We are all rushing because Vince needs to leave for work and should be on the road by now. Everyone ate well, the babies were running, jumping and playing. I opened the doors of the barn since it was finally a nice sunny day.
Vince left, I began pasteurizing milk for the lunch feeding and sent Mikey to the mailbox to get the mail. I am going through the mail and notice a letter from the City of Philadelphia. I haven’t lived there for 18 years and haven’t been to the City for at least 5 years. I open it up and it’s a ticket!
It states that I did not pay the ticket that I received on January 22nd on our Harley motorcycle. “Ok, what are they talking about?”, I ask myself. The motorcycle in question was sold 5 years ago through a dealership and besides that we weren’t even in Philadelphia on January 22nd! It takes me all morning to talk to a real person who tells me that I pretty much have to donate blood, stand on my head, and take a lie detector test to prove it. “Just great!” One more thing to consume my time.
I open the next letter. This one is from the State of PA. They don’t have any record whatsoever of me paying my quarterly sales tax from my soap business, so my state taxes are all screwed up too. I have yet to be able to reach a real person to correct this matter.
Now that it is lunch time on the day from hell, I send Katie to the barn to feed the babies. Two minutes later she is running through the door, hysterically crying, and telling me one of the babies died.
I run to the barn. When I get there I notice Skerries isn’t moving. I scoop her up, noticing that she is still warm, I check her pupils. They are not blown so I hope it is not too late. I begin mouth to mouth in hopes of getting her breathing. I try for over a minute and check her pupils. They are now blown and I know it is too late. Katie, Mikey, and I are all hysterically crying. We are just devastated. I keep asking myself why? What did I do wrong? Why, Why, Why?
Skerries was a doeling out of Clover. Clover by far, is the best goat in our barn. I waited two years until she finally gave us a doeling. What a doeling Skerries was! The day she was born, I just knew she was a keeper. By the time she was 2 weeks old, I knew that I had a champion. We were going to take her to every show we could afford to. She was going to the PA Farm Show in January. I was sooo excited and sooo proud, because this future permanent champion was bred here on our farm and blew every other goat we ever purchased, bred, and raised out of the water.
Now she is gone! My dreams are dashed! We are all just heartsick! She was my baby girl. I loved her!
We believe she was smothered as the babies love to all pile together for their naps. I immediately made more baby pens to separate the babies into smaller groups, crying hysterically all the while. Poor Katie, she happened to be the one to find her. Mikey buried her and Katie fed the rest of the babies their afternoon feeding. We went through the motions but definitely had the wind knocked out of our sails. I broke the news to Vince while he was driving to Syracuse, NY. He too was disappointed and upset.
Skerries was named after St. Patrick’s goat. You can read Skerries Goat Legend post to understand why she was given this special name. She was sure to be legendary. I hope there will be other doelings from Clover that turn out just a special as she was.
Katie was on the phone crying to her father. Knowing he couldn’t bring her back, he told the kids…”St. Patrick lost a special goat. Maybe Skerries was just so special that he took her and now St. Patrick has his goat back.”