Drama Queen

Every goat has its own personality and quirks, and if I had to sum up JuneRose in one word, it would be: Dramatic!

JuneRose is the only daughter of our original herd queen Hope, and the mother of Minx herself, and for the longest time she stood in a shadow between those two great does. When she returned to our farm, missing an ear, she was a very quiet submissive doe. It was almost as if she had no personality of her own at the time, and she sort of just existed among the other goats.

When we moved to the dairy, that attitude lingered for a short time longer, but following her dam’s death, JuneRose started to settle in and show a little more substance to her little buckskin body.

 

She made friends and began to stick up for herself, not allowing her slight handicap and her small size to put her at the bottom of our now much larger herd. But it wasn’t until she kidded for her third freshening that she really came into her own here.

It was a normal pregnancy – she was carrying one of the last Blizzard kids, a full sibling to Minx herself. Due a little later in the month, I wasn’t too concerned about her; her first two kiddings had gone quite well and she has always been an excellent mother. So imagine my surprise when I received a text, “Hurry, JuneRose needs help! It’s bad!”

I grabbed my jacket and boots, popping the door open as I went. I could hear a doe shrieking in agony all the way from the barn (I think people in Louisiana heard her squawking honestly), and I doubled my rate of speed and trotted out towards the sounds of distress. Slipping through the gate, I found one of my partners wringing her hands in worry as JuneRose lay prostrate on the ground, moaning in what appeared to be her dying gasps. Two black legs poked out of her backside and I turned the hose on to wash my hands, preparing to go in and find the problem.

JuneRose, impatient with my apparent lack of attention, staggered to her hooves, bleating with eyes rolling around in her one-eared skull, then screamed at the top of her lungs and flung herself to the ground again with an audible thump, letting loose another wail as she rolled about in the dirt. The two forelegs hanging out twitched as JuneRose waved her own legs in the air, upended like an angry old tortoise.

Of course, now we were terribly worried! Obviously she had to be in great pain to be behaving so. I’d never seen a doe act like this in all the kiddings I’ve attended. Even as we stared at her, she jumped to her feet again, each one stomping out an erratic beat as she scrambled in a silly little circle.

Once more she threw herself to the ground and rolled about, bellowing as if there was a lion attached to her hind end. The other goats were as shocked as we were, and nearby does looked over with wide eyes to stare at the spectacle. I could practically see some of them exchanging glances of disdain for the show that JuneRose was putting on.

At this point I’d seen enough; my partner seized JuneRose by the collar to prevent her from rolling over again. I got a grip on the two admittedly huge forelegs being presented, bending over for a better look. I could see just the tip of a nose, so the kid was in proper position. As JuneRose pushed (and shrieked) I gave just the slightest pull, and with what I swear was an audible *pop* the kid flew out and landed on the ground with the same startled expression I had.

JuneRose immediately shut her mouth and was on her feet again, turning around to softly talk to and nuzzle her newborn buckling, who only looked around like, “It’s about time.” I checked her to find no tearing or bleeding. The kid was a monster and looked several weeks old already, but despite that – and JuneRose’s dramatic labor – it was a good birthing. We couldn’t help but laugh now that the theatrics were over – what a sight it had been! I’ve never since seen anything like it, that’s for sure.

JuneRose loved that buckling, and how I wish he would have been a doeling, but alas, the time came too quickly for him to find his new home. Being such a handsome and stout little man, he easily landed a home as a hobby breeder’s new herd sire. I know he surely made some great kids. His mother moped around for a time before recovering – but her antics were not quite finished.

A couple of years later, after her twins by Khan were sold, JuneRose decided enough was enough. She was determined to have her own kids here – while Minx is her daughter, they were separated when Minx was quite young, and although they are familiar with each other and friendly, they were not close companions like many mothers and daughters are.

So JuneRose stole two kids that year – taking Kiyoko’s little daughter Kiki was easy as pie, as poor Kiyoko can never remember which kids are hers, and in fact ended up taking care of kids that weren’t her own that year herself. Sneaking away with Hot Spot was a bit harder, as Anise is a attentive mother herself, but JuneRose did it.The three are close now, but JuneRose and Kiki are inseparable to this day.