Our mightily pregnant nanny goat finally gave birth at dawn on December 12, el Día
de la Virgen de Guadalupe. She had TRIPLETS spaced about an hour apart. My son took one look at them and declared them “unremarkable”. They are white, with no real distinguishing characteristics.
Since they were born on such an auspicious day, the smallest, of course, had to be named Lupillo, in honor of La Virgen. It’s still a common practice for babies born on a particular saint day to take on that name in our area of Mexico. All of my husband’s siblings were named that way. However, we couldn’t name all three the same.
December 12 of this year will go down in infamy as the day Mexican icon Vicente Fernandez died. So it was no stretch of the imagination to christen the other two goats Vicente and Fernando in his memory, shortened to Chente and Nando.
Chente was born with weak ankles. He had a set of pipes on him that let everyone know his frustration when he couldn’t keep up with his brothers. My husband crafted a set of splints to shore up his ankles and Chente was up and around in no time. After about a week, the splints were removed and I’m happy to report that Chente’s ankles seem much stronger.
This birth wrapped up the fecundity of the Flores Ranchito for 2021. It was a particularly difficult year on all accounts. I am hoping that 2022 will bestow blessings on our animal kingdom (and human inhabitants) beyond our wildest dreams. Or at least I hope we manage to muddle through again like we do most years.
In the past month, we’ve had a bit of goat drama in the soap opera that is our life.
First, there was Lil’ Blackie. He picked up a mesquite thorn in his hoof, which was removed promptly, however maybe a piece got embedded deeper because over the next few days he went from limping to listless to unable to walk. We started an antibiotic treatment which seemed to help some of the swelling, but after a week, he was just getting worse. After a night of little goat crying and what seemed to be lockjaw paralysis, and talking to Azul the vet, we decided the best course of action was to end his misery.
Stinky Chivo has been the leading actor in our drama life lately. With his ladies in heat, he’s become mighty aggressive. On several occasions, my husband has had to wrestle him into submission to tie him and come in smelling to high heaven.
Stinky then decided to take the show on the road. The other day, when he was supposed to be grazing, he took offense at the shoveling actions of some workers on the other road. They tried to scare him off by throwing buckets of water on his head. That just enraged him more. My son and one of the workers manhandled the beast and retied the raging goat. As soon as he saw he couldn’t butt heads anymore, he went back to grazing peacefully.
Usually, when our macho goat gets this aggressive, we trade or sell him. This year we’ve run into some difficulties since the normal animal market in Puruandiro has been suspended. Furthermore, the young heir apparent, the next oldest macho in the herd, is still too young to assume the throne. So we’ll just have to restrict Stinky’s movement until the estrus cycle is over.
We’ve also been inundated with coyotes in La Yacata. They are always present, but their nightly howls have become direwolf in nature. It freaks Cocoa out (and me too if I’m honest). This morning, my husband reported that a coyote had nearly made off with one of our babies. Coyotes being wiley and all, Cocoa didn’t even notice it until it had already lunged. Fortunately, the goat-napping was averted although the little one lost her tail, but it served to remind us that the goat herder needs to keep a close eye on his charges.
Just as Mr. Cocoa Beans was on the mend, Fred stopped being able to pee. Since we take several walks a day, with Fred and George copiously remarking their territory, we noticed right away something was amiss. We decided to wait and see if it would clear up on its own, but the next day was no better, so off to the vet we went.
Fred is three times the size of Cocoa, so it was a tight fit on the moto. He was also a bit antsy, this being his first ride and all, but we made it there. The vet diagnosed a UTI or maybe prostate disease. He started him on a 3-day course of antibiotics to see if that would help. Otherwise, he’d have to be neutered. We brought Fred home and set out to town again.
The next stop was INE. When my son called yet again to see if his ID was ready, the person said that he’d need to bring another copy of his CURP because there was some problem with it. So that’s what we did. Only when he went to drop off the copy, the person there said that he needed to get a new CURP card because the old one wouldn’t do.
We then went to a “ciber” to print out the next payment sheet for my son’s class through UVEG. He’s nearly finished, maybe 2 classes left, and maybe some community service. Yippee! Seems a race whether the pandemic or my son’s high school career will be finished first. Of course, this time around the class couldn’t be paid at OXXO for whatever reason and would require a bank trip. Whatever.
While he was at the ciber, my son asked the desk clerk about the “new” CURP. She knew exactly what he needed and licketly split, he had a copy on the memory stick. Hallelujah! Later, he was able to email it to the person at INE to move along the process. Maybe he’ll get it before his 19th birthday. Maybe.
Pleased with our success, we stopped for a bit of Chinese takeout to celebrate and headed home. Less than a minute after our arrival, we heard some bleating from the animal area. Dashing out, we discovered not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 new-born kids. Two looked just like their mommas (one brown and the other white and brown) but the two black ones, identical in every aspect–whose babies were those? Each black kid was literally shadowing the other baby, one with the brown one and one with the white/brown one. At first we thought maybe they were twins. However, it appears that one will have horns and the other won’t, just like the mamas. So maybe each mama had a black kid? Either way, it worked out well that way as all four are assured of sufficient milk from their mamas. The next day the four stooges were playing Houdini escaping the enclosure, leaping on the alfalfa bales and causing a rumpus. It’s good to have babies around!
The next day we headed to the vet again for dose 2 for poor ol’ Fred. Then we had to go to the bank and pay that class. Strangely enough, the bank was closed, but I didn’t have any problem getting in and using the ATM machine. That evening, another goat baby chose to make an appearance. The mama had a terrible time and some intervention had to be done. My husband’s sciatica was acting up, so he presented quite a memorable sight at 3 am out there in the goat corral, crouched in his underwear, trying to assist the birth.
Exhausted, the next morning we headed to town for the last antibiotic dose. Fred had perked up some, but he wasn’t back to normal just yet. Only, the vet was closed. It seems he was sick and wouldn’t open again until who knows when. Uh-oh. COVID???? Then we come to find out the mysterious bank closure was also COVID related. EEEK! And here we were blatantly out doing errands (albeit masked and gelled up while maintaining proper social distance). But never fear, AMLO said that as long as no gifts were exchanged during the holiday season, we’d stop the spread. Sigh.