Welcome to the family, MaryAnn.

To each her own, as the saying goes … and so it is with goats. They each have their own personalities and have specific positions in their hierarchy of life.

At first glance, our dairy goats are spindly legged, long-eared, Roman-nosed skeletal creatures that appear rather benign and shiftless. They carry the reputation of eating all things, even soda cans, and especially the neighbor’s prize roses. And, someone new to goats might expect them to escape from their pen specifically to perch atop unsuspecting parked cars. When you become a goat owner, you quickly learn where the saying “stubborn as an old goat” comes from.

In our herd of four does, the ranking is as follows: Lucy is No. 1, Canela No. 2, Snowflake No. 3 and MaryAnn No. 4. One is the boss, the other is the assistant to the boss, but doesn’t care for a promotion. The one in third place constantly challenges the assistant, while the girl in fourth cowers to all others.

To the naked eye, it’s not apparent that these girls have their own method of communication, but sit around and watch for a bit, and you’ll see I’m not talking about bleating. The way they communicate makes you thankful you’re not a member of the caprine family.

Picture this:

You’re a goat (I know, weird, but just go with me here). You walk into a pen full of goats you don’t know. You’re appropriately timid at first — knowing you’re the new kid on the block — then WHAM! You get side-swiped with a head to your gut by one of the attendees. (You didn’t come in full football regalia and definitely were not prepared for that one.) You stumble, catch your breath and regroup. “Man, what a jerk,” you mumble to yourself, while incoming from the left, just inside of your peripheral vision, comes another cranial attack to your midsection — different jerk this time.

Now you realize you’d better put up your dukes or you might just not make it out of here without significant internal bleeding. So you ruffle the hairs on your neck, stand as tall as your new bruises will allow, and prepare to take on the boss.

You rear up on your hind legs, suspended in the air for a breath-stopping second, mirroring the boss and her aggressive posture, before crashing down to the ground, butting hornless heads against each other. “Dang, that hurt.” But you shake it off, thank your lucky stars that you were born with a thick skull, and rear up again. You butt heads again, and again and again — until your headache is worse than you can handle and you cower away.

She won. She’s Lucy and you are MaryAnn. And you don’t care to have any part of her ever again.
She eats first, you eat last. She gets milked first, you get milked last.

The first one to sideswipe you was Canela. She’s been in second place ever since Lucy arrived on the farm four years ago and she’s happy with it. Canela’s job was to let you know that, along with no chance at first place, you’ll also never be in second. The kidney punch from the left was from Snowflake, a rather cutesy name for such a gangster. Her insult to your unprotected flesh was to put you straight out of third place as well. She and Canela will vie for second place, but you, she warns, will have no part in that.

You have just been firmly entrenched at the bottom of the ranking. You’re MaryAnn. Got it?

Welcome to the family, MaryAnn.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

This post first ran in the IndyBlog on 9-7-14.

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
This entry was posted in Farm Life, goats and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Welcome to the family, MaryAnn.

  1. sharon chapple says:

    Love it 🌺it’s a similar story with my chooks here is Australia Sydney very funny xsharon AmoreCheese

    Sent from my iPhone


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