Goats and Bloat
Last night Felicia came in from Ms. Donna’s crying hard. I was totally freaked when I saw her come in like that, having no idea what was wrong.
Me: Honey, what’s wrong?
Felicia: Sobbing loud and very dramatically.
Me: Felicia honey, calm down and tell me what’s wrong.
Felicia sitting down beside me lays her head on my chest and sobs that much harder.
Me: Felicia, please tell me whats wrong honey. Are you hurt?
Felicia in between sobs: We lost a baby goat Grammy.
Me: Oh honey, I’m so sorry. What happened to it?
Felicia still in between sobs: Goats can’t fart like we do and it got bloated up and couldn’t fart and it DIED! (now sobbing uncontrollably.)
Me, pulling her tightly against my chest so that she cannot see how hard I am trying not to laugh: I’m so sorry honey. That’s part of life though and if you are going to stay up there with the goats, you are going to see one of them die occasionally.
Felicia still sobbing: I know, that’s what Ms. Donna said too.
Hailey being the typical “in the moment” preteen, busts out in loud laughter: Are you telling us that the goat died because it couldn’t fart? Oh my God! That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my life!
Me: Hailey stop!
Felicia screaming at Hailey: IT’S NOT FUNNY!
Hailey laughing that much harder: Yes it is!
Me, still trying not to laugh because now Hailey is laughing uncontrollably and Felicia is crying that much harder: Felicia calm down honey. I know you are upset and I’m sorry the goat died. Hailey, stop laughing now, your sister is truly upset.
Hailey: Why Grammy, you are laughing too!
Felicia sits up, looks at me, and then looks at Hailey and thinks about what she had said and how it must have sounded to us and finally starts laughing through the tears herself.
For the next twenty minutes, after calming down, Felicia explained that certain kinds of hay will make the goats bloat up real bad and since they can’t fart like we do, they will bloat up and it can kill them really quick. She was very detailed in her explanation of how she had spotted the goat go down on it’s front knees and then fall to the ground and begin flailing about. She screamed for Donna, who was across the yard and together they tried to get it up and mash on it’s stomach to push the gas out and tried to get some baking soda in it. With all of their efforts it still died. Donna buys top notch hay but sometimes it will have alfalfa mixed in with it and the alfalfa will cause them to bloat. The babies tummies just can’t take it.
Now, I’m not uncaring by any means, and I was heart broken that the goat died, but listening to that child wailing that the goat couldn’t fart and seeing Hailey’s cynical reaction to it was hysterically funny. To top things off, it has been many years since I’ve dealt with the “every day” interactions of siblings and especially since I’ve had to deal with a dramatic episode such as this. I’m sure if anyone had seen my face, it would have been the funniest part of the whole thing because I was really trying not to laugh and wanting to cry for this child and the goat at the same time!
Poor baby goat. Donna said she would get it buried today before Felicia comes home from school this afternoon.