|Dad and Rosemary, 1976ish.|
My grownup self hopes vindictively that he also shot out his windshield, but we'll never know...
I remember deciding, when I was 6, that I wanted to change my name officially to Rosemary. I don't remember why I chose that name--maybe I was really attached to our goat? Or maybe it was my favorite name, and then we brought this goat home, and she needed a name, and I probably insisted on giving her my favorite name? Chicken-or-egg kind of question.
She was pretty cool, even with her poor little stump of a thigh instead of a back leg. I remember learning how to milk goats with Rosemary, and the particular sound of the milk hitting the pail. We'd put her up on a perfect little stanchion that my dad had built, where her head fit through a V slit to a bucket of oats on the other side, and of course she was easy to milk, because without that back leg, hello--no kicking. It turns out I hated goat milk, and goat cheese, (still do--EW), but I sure did love hanging out with our goats as a kid.
I remember bottle feeding the babies on my lap. I remember being fascinated by their floppy ears, their little stubby, nibble-y muzzles, and their funny square pupils inside dark wood-brown irises.
They were also really good at getting untethered, or getting out of their goat pens (notice she's loose in the picture?) and destroying my mom's garden plants, so eventually Mom must have gotten tired of dealing with them, packing water to them, keeping them safe from mountain lions, chasing them, and dragging them back, screaming, to their pens. If you can't imagine "screaming goats" --yeah...they're exactly that loud.
Eventually she gave up trying to fool us into drinking the milk, too, so that was the end of our goat years.
We had several more Nubians over the years, including one that rode in a playpen in the back of our van on our move from California to Idaho in 1977, but that's another story.