Never, and I mean never, send a city girl to feed the goats. That is the lesson I learned this weekend. Now it all worked out okay. We all got a good laugh but it was a lesson in life and a good topic to share.
I am a city girl. While I do not live in a town, my housing development probably has 1000 people living here. I would not even call myself rural. I live in between a city, Omaha, NE and a smaller city, Blair, NE. I have never lived on a farm. I grew up in the Omaha area. I am not necessarily fond of farm animals. I will walk through the livestock barns at the state fair but that is more for the family than myself. I would rather be in the quilting building or the building that has all of the canning items or the retail building.
The Girl Scouts in my county had an overnight to celebrate the birthday of the founder of Girl Scouting, Juliette Gordon Low. I organized it so it was held at Camp Fontanelle, the church camp where our family volunteers and our children attend. We are very devoted to this camp.
This camp offers a lot in the fall. There is a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, tree climbing, hiking, outdoor evening movies, overnights and there is even a petting barn that houses numerous types of animals. Our troops were taking advantage of these opportunities. As we are Girl Scouts, we wanted to perform some type of service for the camp. Some of the things that were suggested were a little too difficult for the younger Girl Scouts so I suggested we go to the petting barn and take care of the animals. The director and asst. director of the camp thought that was good and said that we could feed the goats. They said I need to feed them two leaves and I would find them under the tarp, that they were square. I heard what they said, but not really. I went on my merry way to get help from the girls.
I, with another adult, looked under the tarp and could not find any small squares of hay. All I could see were bales. My thought was, “Oh, they must mean 2 bales and they just used ‘country’ language.” Now mind you, there are four goats and one sheep. No way could they eat 2 bales. But I was doing what I was told. I told my friend that we should just put one bale in and then check to see about the second bale.
This is when the girls could help. I got my camera out and snapped away while my friend and the girls dropped the hay bale into the pen. We were so proud! I snapped away photos of the goats eating the hay (above), of the girls posing outside the pen. This city girl can do country work; so I thought.
I found the director and asst director working with the girls and their tree climbing (BTW, not the way that I climbed a tree. This is more like rock climbing without the rock, just the ropes hanging from sturdy limbs. photo below) I told them what I did and asked if that is what they meant. They both laughed and said that I gave them enough food for about 5 days! I immediately headed back over the barn to correct my error.
Those goats never looked so happy. They were gnawing away at the bale and if they could have talked, I think they would have told me they were delirious with joy. Such a table we had spread for them. We needed to get that bale out so I took 2 leaves (which, by the way, is a section of the bale that is naturally made in the baler when it is being formed. You just have to grab from the end and it will naturally break) and threw them in the pen to get the animals away from the bale. My friend jumped in the pen and lifted the bale to me and I put it back under the tarp. Crisis averted! I couldn’t imagine how miserable those animals would have been. And to think I thought two of the bales was what was needed!
So what is the lesson. There are many. The obvious is, don’t assume that you can figure out what is meant. If you don’t understand, ask questions.
Secondly, you don’t always know what is best. Those goats and that sheep were excited to have so much food. They went to town and were being very gluttonous. I think they would have eaten on that bale until it was gone. That would have been very bad for them and made them very ill.
Thirdly, it is okay to not know everything. There are many things in which I excel: cooking, baking, singing, organizing/managing. I know my limits at home. I choose not to use the riding lawnmower. It scares the livin’ daylights out of me.
And lastly, don’t send a city girl to feed the goats. Except now I know what a leaf is so I actually could feed the goats now! Let’s hope that this lesson is remembered when I run into the next time when I think, “I can figure it out when I get there.”
After the Girl Scout event was over, I, with 3 of the women that were at the campout, went shopping for fabric to make a quilt for the annual fundraising auction for Camp Fontanelle. Hours later, my friend was still laughing so hard about the escapades that tears were streaming down her face. We definitely had our fill of laughing for the weekend.
Life is good!
My latte’ for the day was chocolate, almond.