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The Bean To The Rescue




Yesterday, The Bean saved the day not once but twice. We returned home from taekwondo last night to be met with an emergency. Thank goodness for my fast thinking and faster-moving daughter. As we walked to the chicken coop to check on my two broody hens, we heard a baby goat’s frantic, distressed cry. Often, baby goats will not pay attention to the herd’s movement, and it is not unusual for one to be left alone at the other end of the pasture. There is often a frantic and dramatic cry followed by a comical dash to catch up with everyone else when this occurs. This cry was different.


The crying was not from across the pasture field but close to the barn. This cry was not just a panicked shout but a repetitious and desperate bleating. My girl, who was still wearing her white taekwondo uniform, said, “I think one of the babies fell in the watering trough!” Without hesitation, she took off fast as lightning and raced into the barn, through the gate, over the fence, and to the trough. Thank goodness she is quick-witted and fast! Indeed, one of our smaller babies was struggling and unable to get out of the water trough. The Bean, still wearing her pristine white uniform, climbed onto the side of the trough, grabbed the baby by its front legs, and hoisted her out and onto the ground. The poor little goat looked like it was half-drowned because she was and went running, bleating and whimpering to her mama. Ugh! There is never a dull moment around this farm!


Our watering troughs are the ingenious creation of one bib overall wearing wonder buns. Eric took two colossal tractor tires, centered an overflow pipe, placed them on a level gravel bed, and filled them with cement that sealed and anchored them in place. The troughs are located at the corner of the barn, with the rain spouts pouring directly into them. The result is that the goats always have fresh water and the environmentally friendly system uses two objects that would end up in a landfill and uses rainwater. If we have a dry stretch, we just fill the troughs with a hose. My bib overall wearing sugar bottoms is not just a pretty face…insert wink.


The baby goats are now of the age where they enjoy climbing on everything and view every object as a challenge to conquer. They will spend hours climbing upon rocks, hay bales, the edge of the barn, and, yes, the watering troughs just to jump off and climb them again. Like unsupervised children, they push, shove, and don’t watch out for the other kids when challenging each other. Thus, knocking each other off the objects of challenge, which happened to be into a full watering trough.


With that crisis averted, we settled into our usual evening routine of snacks, showering, and then bed. The Bibbed Wonder came in from one last barn check around 10:00 p.m. He excitedly told me that our friend Jenna had texted to say her show pig was finally having her babies. Although Jenna is experienced with animals, graduated with a degree from Penn State in Animal Science, and is our go-to girl if we have any issues with our farm family, she asked Eric to come over and assist her. Of course, The Bean begged to be allowed to go despite it being a school night. Of course, I could not refuse my girl the experience of delivering piglets and helping Jenna, who is always ready to help us. So away, my dynamic duo went to help deliver piglets and hang out with one of our favorite people.


The Bibbed Wonder informed me afterward that it could have been more complicated and even dangerous for the mama pig if The Bean had not been there. The first two piglets of the litter were very large and deceased in the womb. Eric said without Jordan’s tiny hands and skinny arms, he didn’t think the mother pig would have been able to pass them. Eric told me that Jordan was calm, relaxed, and collected and worked patiently to pull the little piglets, which were difficult to get ahold of and elusive. Once again, my little bean saved the day. By the way, Jenna’s pig went on to easily deliver seven other healthy little piglets without issue.


The dynamic duo did not get home until after 1:00 a.m. As I write to you, she is readying herself for school and an impromptu breakfast date with her dad. Such acts of heroism deserve to be rewarded with sleeping in and a good breakfast at Krouse’s Café. She doesn’t have to be at school until 11:45 to get credit for the day. As a former teacher, I know there isn’t much going on in the classroom at this late date, so I don’t mind her missing. Even if she does miss something, I’m confident she will diligently work to make it up. She’s a good kid.


Not a day passes that I don’t thank The Powers That Be for the opportunity to be the mom of this amazing girl. Her intelligence, bravery, quick wit, strong convictions, and HUGE heart make me very proud. On this lovely Thursday, stay safe, be smart, don’t be afraid to act when you’re called to, and keep washing your hands.

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