The Virgin Goat of Goatalupe

One of the reasons that I raise Alpines is that they come in a variety of colors and patterns. I would get so tired of looking at goats that all look the same. Every year I hope to get spots and stripes and bands, and am disappointed when I don’t. Any goat that is born on my farm with spots or splashes has a guaranteed place on my farm. Forever. Even if she is fat and non-productive. I yearn for the goat with the Mickey Mouse pattern on her side. I pray for a Virgin Mary image. A map of Maine would do.
I am constantly tempted to add Nubians to my herd. Not so much for the butterfat, and certainly not for their hideous voices or frost-bite prone ears, but for the possibility of spots and frosting and new colors. I need to be able to look out the window and see a canvas of patterns in the herd.
Last year we added a Nubian buck. Of course we claimed it was for the butterfat his daughters would add to the milk. Secretly, though, I was hoping for those spots. His kids turned out to be oh, so cute, and oh, so marketable. Of course, those kids went first, and we’re left with monochromia (if that’s a word). So, this year, we’re adding a Saanen buck. Perhaps next season we’ll have little white babies running around. With spots or an image of Jesus.
But our farm is still not open to the public, so the faithful need not stop by to check.

A disturbance in the force


Zelda is gone. She had the best life a barn cat could have: born in the barn, loved by a 6-year-old as a kitten, loved by many adults as a cat, food every day, hot water in the winter, hot snacks (as many as she could catch and eat), a warm bed to sleep in, a job, and a peaceful end after 14 years. She was about as useful an animal as you could ask for. She will receive the highest honors awarded at the farm: a place in the memorial garden, a shrub planted for her, and Brad will play the pipes.
She is survived by her mother Genny and her brother Maynard.