Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Goat kids & hummingbirds

I do truly wish I had a photograph to accompany this post. Alas, I did not have my camera with me for either of the encounters that made my week tolerable.

In background, let me just say that Wesley was laid off from his job of 27 years and the last couple of weeks have been pretty darned awful. I briefly thought about starting a whole new blog to ignore, Bay's Tragedy Blog, but I decided I just can't concentrate on the crud that thoroughly.

Color me nutty; I just prefer to look on the bright side. Even when it's really hard to find that side.

Then two things happened to make me laugh out loud with delight, so I'm gonna blog about those fabulous events.

First, Wesley and I were at the foot clinic. (Wesley got laid off on a Wednesday night and he had bone spur surgery on Friday, and then he had an ingrown toenail fixed the next Friday, so we have spent the last of our employment-paid Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance on the care and keeping of Wesley's delicate little size 12 EEE feet.)

While we were waiting for the numbing to take effect in Wesley's toe, the nurse was running around and asking the teenaged assistants exitedly, "Did you feed him yet?" The teenagers rolled their eyes and said that they would rather clean the biohazard baskets than feed him.

"Can't it wait 'til I've mopped the kitchen?"

"No, it can't wait! It's been three hours! He's starting to yell!"

Just as she said that, down the hall, I could hear a faint baa.

As the nurse and the teenagers (who turned out to be her ungrateful daughters, and boy, do I understand that family dynamic) argued over how long it would be before "he" was fed, the bleating down the hallway became more urgent and insistent, and we finally came to understand that the critter who needed feeding was a two-day-old kid named Wilbur.

And of course, when I say "kid," I mean the kind that is a baby goat.

The nurse had purchased two breeding does. The mother of this particular kid was apparently not cut out for motherhood, and she had stomped Wilbur's twin to death before the nurse got home from work a couple of days before.

Dang, and we thought it was impolite of Wesley's former employer to let him go in such a careless manner. I think I'm glad his plant manager wasn't a breeding goat.

I was clapping my hands together in delight ever time the baby goat bleated somewhere away from me, and the nurse said I could go pet him. I found him in the office kitchen with two irritated teenaged girls who had absolutely no appreciation for the cuteness of a kid that small. Wilbur was sooty black except for a snowy white blaze on his forehead, and he was bouncing around on stiff little furry legs and bleating merrily while licking anything that he ran into. While I stood there watching him and in the space of about five seconds, the things he licked included a metal doorframe, a wall, a table leg, the carpet, and one of the teenager's jeans-clad legs.

The other teenager sat cross-legged on the floor with a towel across her lap, and she grabbed the kid and tried to cram a bottle in his overeager mouth. While she complained at him that he was not bright, he finally latched on and started drinking, and his little eyes nearly closed in contentment.

Now, my mother would take in any orphaned animal and we raised more than our fair share of orphaned kittens and puppies, so I'm pretty well acquainted with the cuteness of a nursing animal. For a city girl. But this sooty kid, nursing so hard you couldn't see his freaky-weird rectangular pupils --

It was just disgustingly cute. I was enraptured. I don't recall ever seeing such a baby goat live and in person. I have seen plenty of bigger kids and oodles of mean adult goats, but a baby that size is nothing but pure cuteness. I want one. I want it now.

I did a little reading up on goats, and when I started to tell Wesley about them just yesterday, he exclaimed in a fair amount of dismay, "No! We're not getting a goat! We're not! I know you! You're going to do research today! In a year, you'll say you really want a goat! You'll do more research, and a year from then, we'll have a goat! That's what you do! I'm putting my foot down now! NO GOATS!!!!" Give me a year or two. I'll wear him down. That's what I do. Besides, if you have a goat, you don't have to mow the yard so much. And Doris Daylily needs something to herd. I'm just sayin'. Is all.

The second really disgustingly fabulous thing that happened to me during this otherwise wretched week was that I cleaned out the hummingbird feeder yesterday. Oh, that's pretty normal. I clean it out and put in fresh nectar all summer long, after all.

But yesterday, when I went to hang it up, I put the loop over the hook and before I could let go of the bottle, a hummingbird zoomed right up to the feeder and started drinking. RIGHT THERE!!!! Right there next to my hand! Not a foot and a half from my face!!!! I was face-to-face with a thirsty little female ruby-throated hummingbird, and all she did was slurp nectar from the feeder!

I stood still and waited for her to finish dining, of course, and the whole time my entire brain was shrieking, "WHY DON'T I HAVE A VIDEO CAMERA TRAINED ON THIS FEEDER SO I COULD SEE THIS HAPPENING OVER AND OVER AGAIN?!?" Then I went to trying to silently will my family to walk outside with a camera so that they could see that I was four inches from a blind and oblivious hummingbird.

It reminded me of an old joke about a golfer who skipped church to play golf. God paid him back by giving him a hole-in-one... without a single witness.

That's how I felt yesterday.

On the other hand, I'll always have the memory of that hummingbird so close to me that I could see her little cheeks puffing with every slurp of nectar.

So those little things are why I've not taken to a fainting couch with a bottle of smelling salts. We'll get through this. Somehow. And as long as there are nice things to appreciate, like fluffy little baby farm animals and oblivious fowl, then I won't be bored on our way to happiness.


At 2/6/09 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Listened to the show on my commute this morning. Hang in there. You have a giant spirit that will carry you and your husband through this. Continue to find joy in the little things as you've always done. Be buoyant. :)

Ted (a Grits2Glitz fan)

At 4/6/09 8:33 AM, Anonymous Allen said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

At 4/6/09 10:46 AM, Blogger Bay in TN said...

Ted, I can't thank you enough for your kind comments. Thank you! Thank you!

Allen, what a sweet thing to say!

Y'all are nice. I'm going to go for a walk and try to find some honeysuckle to rhapsodize about.

At 9/6/09 5:44 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

Oh Wilbur ... so sweet :-)


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