Wednesday, January 13, 2016
More than 99%
From the desk of the Tiger Lily (or as others have rightly termed, the Big Softie!).
It seems that just like women choose men, animals choose their humans. This afternoon LC and I got up from a much-needed nap to go take care of the fuzzies outside, and I had promised the little boy-goat named Herman after Herman the German who is recovering from things a bit of playtime so he doesn't feel alone.
He is a sweet boy, and makes excited noises that are similar to a short horse neigh when he hears my voice calling to him as his pet nickname from me is "Goob", short for "Goober". I climbed into his pen, intending to pet him, give mineral apple-flavored treats, and be his battering-ram opponent when he looks to place his head against my hand and push as boy-goats love to mock fight in affection.
Out of nowhere, this searing pain shot through my insides in some major gas flare-up that has never occurred before, and had me almost passing out as I was so dizzy from the pain. Well I couldn't climb back out of the pen, so after a couple of failed attempts I lay down in the hay to keep from completely blacking out.
This worried the little boy, as he was pawing at my legs gently and nudging me, trying to get me up. I petted his head and told him I was all right, just couldn't get up yet. So he decided to lay down beside me with his head resting over my side, and he groaned his little happy sounds just like he did as a tiny goatling in my lap when he was in the house, trying to comfort me while he kept watch.
Anyone who has been around Nubians knows how... amorous... the bucks usually act or as they say in the South how froggy they are, always ready to screw or fight. This behavior usually begins at 3-6 months of age and they don't really ever come out of it, it's just a personality trait like Golden Retrievers are always sweet and happy to be around people. They are still affectionate, but it quickly turns to other things, unlike the does who are placidly friendly and usually come up and nibble on clothes or get in the way trying to be helpful.
LC came up from watering the cattle to check on me around this time and told me this was something new and never before seen in 6-8 years experience of a male goat being so compassionate and worried about anything, let alone a person. Since Herman has been sick lately and went downhill after he initially hurt his front leg (which still hurts as it was clearly painful and difficult for him to lie down beside me), though he is doing better now, LC said what probably happened is that animals learn compassion for others from their own suffering, similar to people.
This particular little boy was unusual from the first hour after he was born, lifting his head and staring at me like he'd never seen anything like me, following me with his eyes as I walked around doing things. For whatever reason, he chose me and for God's reasons, he was given the opportunity to show compassion for others. I was initially resigned to his death, knowing Jesus would take him to heaven, as the deaths of all the other animals this past year have been an emotional overload in taking us way past our breaking points, over and over again. Now it's a constant struggle to keep the tears back as his suffering is even more painful to witness in a little boy that I hand-fed and raised from a tiny kid being subjected to pain, cold, unable to play and cuddle with his twin brother, growing slowly weaker as he is not able to move around very much, and just hoping to God that he is taken quickly without suffering if he has to leave us, but hoping against hope we will be able to enjoy him past Jesus coming back.
It is a very humbling thing to be the focus of concern from a goat. He's just a little boy, but he has shown more true heart from his Creator in giving up his comfort to the point of pain, putting someone else first, and doing his utmost to help than 99% of people in this world.
Just a snapshot of a small miracle in our lives.