People Are Who They Are!

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.


37 responses

  1. poor Felicia ((hugs to her)) I would have been heart broken too. but the fart thing is a little funny.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

    • Thanks Lav. She was pitiful. I’ll tell her you sent hugs. It was really funny too though since Hailey and I don’t know anything about the goats and all we knew was the goat couldn’t fart. To hear her crying talking about the goat not being able to fart was funny as crap until she explained it all to us.

      October 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

  2. Farts are always funny unless they come from my dad. Then it’s just deadly in a whole other way. Hopefully she can see that things like this happen in the animal kingdom and as much as we might not like them, it is just nature’s way.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    • My ex husband was a beer drinker. Not much worse than beer farts! ugghhh

      She is learning so much being up there every day with the animals. These are “show” goats and Donna has won shows with them more than once. She is teaching Felicia everything about the goats from how to take care of them to grooming them and how to interact with them. She learned the hard way yesterday that sometimes things do go wrong though.

      October 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm

  3. I’ve never eaten goat meat – we had friends that raised a heffer from infancy – the dog and the kids would nap next to it. Oops, when it came of age and was butchered, the kids refused to eat it. I understand – I couldn’t do it if I were a child. Hope this hard lesson, mixed with laughter will get easier with time and experience.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    • Oh these goats aren’t raised for meat. These are “show” and “breeder” goats. Gosh I’ve learned a lot about them myself. There is big money in them if you raise them this way. Donna and her husband and I were talking yesterday (before all of this happened) about a breeder goat that was sold for $60,000. If you breed these show goats like this you can make big money with them. I never had any idea about any of this.

      October 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

  4. Am I glad that I am not a goat. I’d be dead by now too lol.

    Okay – joke aside, I think every person would have a hard time. At least I would have reacted the exact same way.
    I guess it is what life makes with us, when we’ve first experienced a few losses. Just being able to deal with it compared with someone still so young.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    • It’s hard when something is in front of you like that and it’s a mixture of something that is hysterically funny and horribly sad all at the same time. I just couldn’t help but laugh listening to her saying “the goat couldn’t fart” as she was crying so hard, but then I was just heart broke for her at the same time because she truly does love these animals.

      October 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  5. Freedom Smith

    That is a great story. You handled it very well. It is quite difficult, when a younger child thinks something is the end of the world, but you and maybe someone else in the room see some kind of humor in it. I don’t blame you all one bit for laughing.

    When one of my daughter’s hamsters died, she held a funeral that we all attended. She had him gently placed in a wooden box that I gave her for the casket. She read scripture and had us sing hymns. There were several times that my son and I about lost it. The first one was when she was reading the scripture about,”I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence my help comes,” since this is a verse that is used in real funerals. The second time was when she declared that we would all now file by the open casket. How on earth she knew that that was a tradition in some places, I have no idea. I have only seen it done once, at the end of a funeral, at Mr’s grandfathers funeral. Anyway, I was biting my lip by this time. We did manage to make it through the burial but it was at tough one. She was so darn cute! It did not help that the hamster had been named “Meme” and that is what they call my mother. Anyway, sorry for the long comment but this is just an example of when something is sad but things happen to make it funny.

    October 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    • I am so glad you had been through something like this too. I had to read and reread this to make sure that I didn’t make it sound like Hailey and I were being cruel because we weren’t, but if you could have heard her wailing about this goat not being able to fart, you just couldn’t help but laugh. It was truly one of those rolling on the floor laughing your a@* off moments. At the same time, I felt so bad for her that she had watched the goat die and she was so heart broken. I had just had to write about it and share it with everyone. This child is very dramatic just like my daughter was.

      I can only imagine you having to go through an entire funeral service for a hamster. Oh my goodness. I’m so glad that Donna didn’t have us ALL up there today having a funeral for the goat. I would never have made it through that.

      October 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

  6. Freedom Smith

    I love your header!!!

    October 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    • Thanks. I am having to get in the “spirit” for holidays now with the kids here! I’m actually going trick or treating tomorrow night for the first time in probably 25 years. OMG! lol

      October 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm

  7. Doug

    Well, I know I shouldn’t, but I really laughed the first time I read it. Had one of those, you know, “you’ve got to come read this” moments… Better now, sorry about the goat. Must remember about the alfalfa…

    October 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    • I’m glad you saw the humor in it Doug. I was kind of worried everyone would think we were cruel for laughing, but it was truly funny even though it was sad. lol

      October 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm

  8. It’s definitely a good thing for kids to learn that if they are around a lot of animals they are going to see some die. I always told my kids that.
    We have always had dogs, cats, rats, mice, guinea pigs, chickens, goats….hermit crabs….oh, and fish.
    And turtles.
    ANYway….whenever one of our critters would die guess who would be crying the hardest. Me.

    The kids would all step back and watch me and wait for me to lose it.
    It was sort of a tradition.
    Really, they all grew up very soft hearted, but also with deep understanding that their mother was a bit TOO soft hearted.

    October 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    • If I hadn’t been laughing so hard about the farting part of it, I would have been crying with her too. I’m up there so much myself that I’ve got a bit of an attachment to them myself.

      October 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      • I can so totally see you and Hailey trying so hard not to laugh, but the harder you try the harder you laugh.

        I am so glad Felicia ended up laughing a bit, too. It was a good lesson….even when things are really bad laughing helps. 🙂

        October 29, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  9. Meh, having seen this happen a few times in my childhood, I’d have been in Felicia’s camp on this one. Can’t say I blame you guys though – she did phrase it hilariously!!

    October 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    • Yes, it was definitely funny LOM.

      October 30, 2010 at 1:41 am

  10. If you had a video of that, it would be so funny! I’m sure she was heart-broken. I think I shed the most tears in 20 years the day our Irish setter got run over, and I was in my 30s! Poor babies. It wouldn’t hurt so much if she didn’t love them so much, but it’s part of life, better learned now than later. You were very kind not to laugh, but I am glad she was able to see the humor in what she said.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    • She’s smart. As soon as she looked at me and I started laughing too, she started really thinking about it. We needed the humor to lighten things up because she was so upset about it.

      October 30, 2010 at 1:43 am

  11. Did anyone give thought to Felicia’s presence at the burial?

    October 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    • No, they don’t actually bury them there at the house. They take them out to her dad’s house (he has a huge goat farm and a lot of land) and he lives about two hours away. I wasn’t going to keep her out of school for it and they couldn’t let it lay around and wait for her to get home.

      October 30, 2010 at 1:45 am

  12. Oh, gawwwwd…..I would’ve cried my eyes out too. Hope everyone’s better.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    • Yes, today was a new day with new things to deal with! Got to move on.

      October 30, 2010 at 1:45 am

  13. Oh dear life can be so cruel! When one comes from a German background as I do, one gets used to displays of schadenfreude – laughing at other’s misfortune. It does help to relieve the drama of the tragedy. The day my Dad died we all went back to my house and ended up sitting around the table, drinking tea and laughing about the horrors of the last years of Dad’s illness and dementia – it is a way of coping that works for us.

    Can you imagine the tombstone if it had been a human! LOL!

    October 30, 2010 at 4:07 am

  14. That was a great that will be retold many times as the years pass.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

    • lol. Yes I’m sure it will be. I hadn’t even thought about it like that!

      October 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  15. Laughter through tears is one of the best kinds of emotion.

    October 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    • Yes, I think the laughter did help her get over it a lot better than if we had been as dramatic as she was.

      October 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  16. Oh my goodness! That was a great post!

    October 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    • Thanks Lori. I’m glad you enjoyed it! lol

      October 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  17. That’s a great story and when she is older I’m sure she will appreciate it much more. My kids (all in their 20’s now) love to hear stories like this about themselves now. They actively encourage me 🙂

    October 31, 2010 at 11:46 am

  18. Emmy

    I can tell you from working with animals, they can be hillarious even when the topic is death. That’s what’s so lovely about them. Sorry for Felicia’s pain. But it’s great she’s out there living life and not sitting in front of the boob tube or computer like many kids.

    One time when I was little my friends and I fed a cucumber to a dog. Probably not a good idea – but anyhow, a few minutes later the dog belched longer and louder than anything I’ve ever heard. We all fell to the ground and laughed for like, ten minutes.

    October 31, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    • Oh I bet that was funny. Ms. Donna has about fourteen dogs as well. She rescues them.

      She explained that the goats have a four chamber stomach and that they just can’t process stuff the way we do. She keeps a big tub of baking soda out there for them and she said she doesn’t know how they know to go to it but they do, and they just eat it by itself. This baby just didn’t get to it in time before it bloated up so bad. It was sad.

      Felicia telling the story was hilarious though. lol

      October 31, 2010 at 9:53 pm

  19. Ah. When you don’t know whether to laugh or cry and you’re doing both, that’s when you know you’re caught up in the thick of real mothering!

    November 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

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