Thursday, February 21, 2013

Boys are kinda dumb.

I am a mother of girls. For this reason, boys scare the daylights out of me. I just can't wrap my mind around the way they think. Their sense of adventure and general curiosity betray all logic. When faced with an opportunity to do something that could very well be inherently stupid, they act first, and then deal with the consequences later. Girls, as a general rule, are so much more cautious. Cautious, I can relate to.

And apparently, boy goats aren't much different from boy humans.

Phillip is trouble with a capital T. He is already a brute, knocking the girls down occasionally in a fit of desperate affection for them. He is an acrobat, flinging himself four feet into the air while performing a half-turn double twist, landing in a belly flop. He loves to cuddle, but only for 2.6 seconds at a time before he's off exploring whatever the highest perch is he can find.

So, so different from Aurora, who simply follows you around on her two hind legs until you notice her and pick her up, whence she settles immediately into your arms and begins nibbling your ear.

Most afternoons, we let the babies and the mamas out of the barn for awhile to run and get some fresh air. Because most of our property is still blanketed in snow, only the horse corrals are clear. I always keep a close eye on the goats because I'm still not sure I trust the horses not to hurt them.

But, as I learned today, the horses aren't the only danger in the corral.

The kids were happily jumping up and down on a platform in the corral made from railroad ties. It's a favorite jungle gym of theirs, and it's great fun to watch them. Near the platform is one of the horse's water troughs. I always vaguely wondered if a baby goat would be stupid enough to jump in, but I assumed once they looked, and realized it was water, that they wouldn't.

Clearly, I over-estimated baby goat intelligence.

Phillip pranced on over to the trough. He looked in. He sniffed. He stuck his nose in, then shook his head to get the water off. He looked back at me. And then he made a flying leap head first into the trough.

It was 24 degrees outside, and the trough had just been filled. What kind of moron goat jumps into a full water trough?

A boy goat, obviously.

What really confirmed for me how stupid little goats actually are though, was watching his reaction. Or really, his lack of reaction. He just kind of floated there. He didn't flail. He didn't try to doggie paddle. He did absolutely nothing. Not that I gave him much of a chance, as I immediately plunged my arms into the icy water and fished him out. I set him on the ground. He stood there for a moment, shook gingerly, and walked away. Then he looked back at me. I could see it there - the embarrassment, the shame. The look of a little boy that just did something that, indeed, turned out to be inherently stupid. He moped around for a minute before throwing himself under his mama and nursing vehemently... less out of hunger than for his need to soothe his hurt feelings, I imagine.

I fetched some towels, dried him off as best I could, and put him in his heat barrel with his (much smarter) sister.

Assuming he doesn't end up with pneumonia or something, he should be no worse for the wear... though hopefully a bit wiser now.

It's going to be a heaven-sent miracle if he survives to see adulthood.

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