Friday, April 18, 2008

"Tails" From The Farm... Part 4

You can read part 1 here.
You can read part 2 here.
You can read part 3 here.

We were going to visit the Jeeters down in Naples again, but now with animals, we had to find someone to take care of them for us. My dear friend Cordelia Rose volunteered to come and do chicken chores with her beloved Road Warrior. The Mountain family came and learned how to milk the goat and do our other chores. The Mountain family would get to keep the milk and Cordelia Rose would get to keep the eggs. We warned her about our mean rooster, which I will tell you about shortly. We were almost to Naples when Michael’s cell phone rang. It was the Greens who lived next door to us. They said that we had a fire in the Back Forty. They were trying to put it out and would keep us posted. We called the Mountain family and they were already on their way to our house. We had smoked some chickens in our smoker grill. The coals had sat several days, so we thought it was just ashes. We had put the ashes in the compost pile. Evidently, there were some live coals still in it. It caught the compost pile on fire and it burned several fence posts up. They got it put out with no one getting hurt and the animals were all fine, just stirred up from having a fire so close.

We had a mean rooster named Rocky who literally ruled the roost in The Back Forty. If any human dared to come into his territory without a weapon, he was quickly spurred. No one dared turn their back on the large Barred Rock rooster. It kept getting worse, and people were being wounded. He especially did not like Joshua. Joshua would walk out in the back yard and call out "voofer" (don’t ask me what that meant, it is just what he said) and you would hear the rooster start his mean clucking, he would drop a wing and then come running. When Cordelia Rose and Road Warrior came to take care of the chickens, they were on the look out for Rocky. Road Warrior picked up a large stick we kept by the gate. Cordelia pointed out which rooster was mean. However, she made a mistake and pointed to our nice rooster. Road Warrior was keeping that rooster away from his beloved. Cordelia noticed that the other rooster kept jumping up to say hello to her. Then it dawned on her, he was not saying hello, he was trying to spur her. She quickly told Road Warrior who came over to keep Rocky at a distance while they did the chores. This was getting old. Some one told Michael that he needed to show that bird who was boss. So, Michael came home from work took up an old broom with no bristles left and headed to the back. As soon as he stepped into the gate, Rocky issued a "cluck, cluck" warning and then he charged! Michael stepped forward and swung that broom fast and hard, but Rocky was very cunning. He jumped right over it. So, Michael swung again, and again. Rocky avoided being hit by jumping over the broom. Michael was very clever also and seeing what Rocky was doing, he raised the elevation of his swing. The broom hit the rooster with a "whack." Rocky tried to stay outside the range of the broom, but did not give up. Michael slowly advanced and swung again stepping into his swing to connect. Finally, feeling like he showed ol' Rocky who was boss, he stopped, threw the broom over his shoulder and headed for the house. As he turned, there was Mr. Green leaning on the fence. He had been watching the whole time. He said, "I thought Mark McGuire moved in next door." SMILE!

We decided to put our goats in the county fair. The Jeeter's had shown their goats and done quite well, so Joshua decided to give it a try. Since Minx originated from one of the best French Alpine herds in Florida, we put all our efforts into getting her ready for the fair. We had met some people who lived in Ocala. They had French Alpine goats as well. They were a wonderful family and were very helpful. They came and showed us how to get them ready for the fair. They showed us how to clip their coats and gave us several pointers. We groomed Minx and made her look the very best, Joshua worked with her the most. He would practice tickling her back, so she would bring her back into line. He would set her feet how they needed to be. He practiced leading her around. We put very little time or effort into Ellie, because we knew that Minx was going to win. It came down to show time and Ellie needed a touch up trimming. Joshua said, "Don't worry about her, she won't win anything!" Ellie and Minx were in separate classes. Ellie won her class and Minx won hers (she was the only goat in it) *Smile* The Pastor family had joined us at the show as well as Marci’s parents. We were all surprised that Ellie had won her class. Next, Ellie went up against Minx and a couple of other goats and Ellie won best Alpine. We were all so surprised by this. Here was Ellie out doing Minx. Then they put her up against the best of each of the other dairy breeds and she won Grand Champion Dairy Goat. By this time, we were all laughing and cracking up. We could not believe this. She then went up against the Grand Champions of the other types of goats. She won BEST GOAT IN SHOW!!!!! We were all in shock. We all kept saying, "Who would have thought it...Ellie?!" Joshua was prouder than punch. He got to hang a sign up over the pen that told he had the best goat in the show. Ellie became our miracle goat in many ways.

To be continued...


Pearl said...

I love these Tails From the Farm. Thanks for sharing them. I love the story about Ellie. Did you feel the earthquake this morning? It was very shaky down here! I hope you have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

AHH! I remember it well.

Anonymous said...

Ain't nothing' worse than a spurin' rooster... put in the smoker and cook him... twice.