The (not-so) Great Flood

December 24, 2009 stephhwilliams 0 Comments

It’s been an exciting Christmas Eve on the Farm today.  Since we moved in here in late Summer, we’ve had a few “floods” way in the back where the tree line of the woods starts.  There are a few stray patches of concrete in places around the grounds — apparently the previous owner worked for a concrete company and would pour in various places, some of which prove useful and some I guess just add character.  There’s one particular patch along the “road” going off into the woods that’s not far past the chicken coop and goat house.  We use that as a gauge for the water level when it rains.  If the patch is covered, which has happened once before, then we’re flooded — otherwise, a little rain never hurt nothing.  Well, today, that’s an understatement.

Before lunch today, we decided to move the goats from the goat house/yard to the dogs’ yard, which, of course, meant that we had to move the dogs somewhere else.  In our short experience as farmers, we’ve learned that the goats and the dogs (that is, Belle and Brix) cannot live peacefully within the same confined area.  I still have to tell that story, but honestly it’s exhausting to even think about.  Wonder what Noah would have done if God had told him to build separate Arks for the different species?  Anywho, while I’m fairly certain that Max the Guard would take precedence over Max the Dog, thereby protecting the goats from the dogs, “fairly” isn’t enough certainty for me.  So today has been a day of shift work on the Farm.  Brix and Belle were shifted to the garage, while Max, Milky and Prada were shifted to the “back yard.”

The bayou waters to the right of us continued to rise, flooding out the road where it turns to gravel right past our house.  And in the back, the gauge patch is just a memory and the goat house has a river for a floor.  But all is well, though, right? Ha ha ha.  Milky and Prada are master escapees through the rungs of the cattle gates, which have satisfactorily confined Brix and Belle up to this point.  So after at least 3 times of chasing down the goats in the mud and rain, we admitted defeat.  Something had to give.

Reevaluation in the back turned out to be reinforcement.  The goat house is in a river and the chicken coop is not far behind.  Fortunately, the chickens can get up in their nest and be safe from the rising tide.  Will they is a whole different question.  ‘Course Bryan said that it’s a Darwin thing, whichever ones survive will make good breeders.  Pepa just said we’ll get smarter chickens next time if we have to.  Lovely, huh?  I’m trying my hand at some positive thinking – the chickens always go up to their nest at dusk and stay there until daybreak – surely the water will start to recede by then.

Anyway, refusing to worry about the chickens, we were still left with a goat problem to solve.  After a little disagreement, I lovingly convinced Bryan that we had 2 choices for the goats – the garage or his workshop.  He was none too happy about either option, but he reluctantly agreed.  So we tried to “goat proof” the workshop as much as possible and got Milky and Prada settled for the night.

Since Max, Brix and Belle have gotten along in the past, we figured they’d be okay in the back yard together.  When Bryan opened the gate to let Brix and Belle back in, Max lunged in attack and then took off.  Max still has a lot of puppy in him which combined with his size makes him hard to handle.  Brix and Belle mind pretty well, as long as there’s no aroma of tasty goat meat lingering nearby.  Not Max.  He doesn’t respond to basic commands like “stay” or “come” and hasn’t yet been trained to walk on a leash.  If you grab his collar, he just falls over in submission, making it even harder to “guide” him anywhere.  Once Bryan chased him down, we finally got all three of the dogs in the back yard.  Hopefully … they’ll all be there in the morning, the goats and the workshop will survive each other, and we won’t find out the hard way whether chickens can swim. Yay for positive thinking.