Goat Ropers. It was a term we used in junior high on up to describe the kids that dressed like cowboys at school. They wore the tight wranglers, belt buckles big enough to fry an egg on, and sounded really country. (Like more country than me). No disrespect to the “goat ropers”…it was not to poke fun, it was more like an association. For instance…those kids are baseball players, those are basketball players, those girls are cheerleaders, those are band kids, and those kids rodeo/show, etc. In fact, I always wanted to be in FFA and to this day don’t know why I didn’t participate.
Make no mistake, I was no city slicker. In my mind, I was a cowgirl. I loved helping with the cattle, enjoyed the horses and didn’t mind to get dirty. My summers were filled with long days in the hayfields and I loved getting to check out of school early for “cattle working” days. I caught crawdads and went fishing, and did stuff with my cousins like sort chickens for the sheer enjoyment of it. I never grew out of doing that stuff, but somewhere between my forest green Rocky Mountain jeans and junior high, I traded in my Justins for a pair of Nikes.
However, I also secretly dreamed of being a “goat roper.” I loved the country life, the adrenaline that comes with competing in an event, and I thought about the day that I would not be too scared to fly around a set of barrels effortlessly.
That day never came, so I married a goat roper. More like a calf roper, but stay with me. Then, when I had a couple of kids of my own, it was important to me for them to be “country kids.” Not because that makes you one iota better than a city kid. It doesn’t. But just because being around animals is a learning experience…an adventure…it teaches you about responsibility…and it helps you to appreciate the mighty God that we serve! Every day, you can see his handiwork displayed in the gentleness of a deer grazing in an open pasture, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, or the miracle in the birth of a new baby calf or a long awaited foal.
These are the things that I loved about growing up on a farm. In my lifetime I have had cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, geese, rabbits, horses, cattle, fish, turtles, frogs, and probably some other stuff if I thought longer. I have nursed wild rabbits with broken legs, and held baby deer rescued from the hay cutters. One thing I never had though, was a goat.
But last night, that all changed. Here goes the wild and crazy tale. Mario’s calves had gotten huge and were too big to rope. So he trades in with our friend, Matthew. Matthew comes over to get the calves. I mention that he should be on a lookout for a little goat for Jeryn to practice roping and tying on. Mario rolls his eyes. Later I called Matthew on the phone and left a message that Mario and I had discussed, and we agreed that it might be good for the kids to have a goat. A local rodeo has goat ribbon racing and goat tying every weekend, and if they showed interest, we might think about that. So I ended the message with, “So in all seriousness, be on he lookout for a little goat.” As I’m thanking him at the end of the message, Jeryn is in the background saying, ‘no mama, not a lil’ goat—a BIG goat!” We went to community group with the kids last night and Mario’s parents were up for letting the kids spend the night. I needed to study and Mario and I thought it might be nice to have a quiet evening to ourselves. Except we ended up getting a goat. And castrating it.
On our way home from community group, phone rings. It’s Matthew, and it’s 9:00pm, he’s leaving the sale barn. “You still want a goat for your boy?”he asked. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
Closer to 9:30, Matthew shows up with a goat. I asked for a female…It was a male. A guy that had bought a full load at the sale barn couldn’t fit him on his trailer so he told Matthew to grab him off the back if he wanted him. I hated to complain about a free goat, but I wasn’t planning on a male…
“Not to be picky, Matthew, but this is not a female.”
Oh but he’s been “fixed.” As we stood there talking, Mario discovered that he had indeed NOT been “fixed.” Matthew offers to “cut” him on the spot. So here I stand at 9:30pm with my new goat, being castrated on my lawn in the light of the moon and porch light, enjoying a romantic evening at home with my husband like any other.
The kids were tickled too pieces upon hearing the news of the goat. This morning we had Moms and Muffins at school and I ran back by the school to take J’s lunch. I stuck a note in her sack that said I enjoyed the morning with her, and to be thinking of a good name for the goat.
When I picked her up from school, she said his name would be “Max”…that is if Jeryn was in agreement. He thought that sounded good, and said he would ‘fwank’ and tie Max. When he heard the noise Max makes, he decided he would NOT flank and tie Max, at least not right now. Just as well, Max had a tummy ache (i.e. the runs) and Matthew came by and gave him two syringes full of pepto bismol.
Which is why Max has what looks like lipstick on in these pictures. But don’t be confused by that. He is a male. And now, he is wethered (proper term for castrated goat, I think).
Meanwhile Max has settled in to his new home by getting in Esther’s dog crate and standing on our back deck. The dog and the goat have made fast friends, and Esther is enjoying the company!