My nearly ten year old is studying sexual science at school just now, kind of perfect timing really as the hormones are flying around Thibois as I write. The pungent hume of boy goat wafts with the breeze and mournful, unrequited bleating echoes around the valley. Yup, it’s that season. And critters with a five month gestation period are starting to think it might be time for some loving…
Apart from the goaty whiff, this is usually a period that passes without much of a song and dance, but this year is Billy-Bob’s first and he’s being just a mite adolescent about the whole thing.
To our great distress we lost BB’s dad last winter. GuGus was a mighty and beautiful beast who pleased his girls with goatly virtuosity, and kept the castrates in hand with aplomb. We certainly never had to doubt his capacities. Unfortunately his progeny, it appears, has yet to grasp an awful lot about the birds and the bees.
A goat comes to maturity pretty young and an early born male (as is the case with BB), is considered ready to rock in his first autumn. Well maybe it’s his orphaned state and lack of an upstanding rôle model, but our lad is as clueless as they come. We know he’s got all the right equipment, enough visiting human males have caught a glimpse and whistled wistfully ! And he’s regularly oiling his beard. But the girls are running rings around the poor confused boy.
Watching the spectacle yesterday had me curling my toes in pained empathy, oh the poor thing ! Girly goats just don’t do emotional support and as Billy-Bob shambled about trying to work out which end he was supposed to put what, his unfortunate target P’tite Bic, our queen, displayed nothing short of a right royal lack of patience. Many sharp reprimands later, the job still hadn’t been done and she was most certainly not telling him it really didn’t matter, that he was probably just tired or that it would all be better next time. She’s no Mrs Robinson our biquette !
Not helping are TiBouc and Curry our bigger-than-him-for-the-moment castrates. They’ve rather ruled the roost since the loss of GuGus and haven’t been entirely welcoming – think they might be a tad jealous of his paraphenalia too ! But they certainly aren’t going to let him secure his position as head honcho without the minimum of pain. So our poor little chap has been butted about and – rules of the herd – just had to swallow it. He’ll be bigger than both next year, but we need those girls sorted now.
The only offers of condolence I’ve noticed have been from our yearling girls. Judging from their pacing and bleating at the boundry they’d gladly give him a chance – but unfortunately for them we’ve found that they make much better mothers and milkers if we hold them back before their first kidding, so the pacing and sobbing will just have to continue. They’ll thank us for all those angsty teen memories in time.
Meantime, our Billy-Bob is needing a little support. The bully boys have been given detention and separated, but we’ve got to do something to reawaken the Panly fire. So I’ve been thinking really hard and come up with….Barry !
So the stereo is on and the volume is up….Go Billy-Bob go !!!