Featuring Max and Ben

I looked over at Max standing beside me. He was studying Cinnamon, one of two goat rescues who now lived with us, as she paced the fence of her enclosure, screaming her head off and wagging her tail madly. Bucky sat between us, head tipped, tail swishing, waiting to get inside to play with his new friends.

“Maybe she’s lonely,” Max offered.

“She has Biddy in there with her.” I pointed to the old Nigerian dwarf goat resting in the fall sun chewing her cud. “I think she’s in heat,” I said before sending a text to my new best buddy, Doris, the lady who lived two counties over and raised dairy goats. It was Doris who had brought Cinnamon and Biddy – a beautiful brown Nubian, and a black Nigerian – to us when their owner had been taken to hospice where, sadly, the old gentleman passed away. The old man’s children did not want the goats back and I was happy to keep them although I knew nothing about goats. I mean, we did have a brand new barn so why not fill it up with farm critters?!

“Yeah, I meant maybe she’s lonely,” Max replied.

“Oh, sorry, I missed the inflection.” I typed then waited. Doris got back to me instantly, telling me that fall was indeed breeding season and that we’d have to put up with the vocal Nubian telling us how lonely she was, or we’d have to locate a buck to entertain Cinnamon. As soon as I read Doris’s reply, my eyes lit up. I looked over at Max and he rolled his eyes.

“Benton, I know that look,” Max said, sounding a great deal like my great-aunts.

“Max, we’ve been discussing kids…”

“Yeah, human kids not goat kids.” He folded his arms over his chest to look more intimidating. “And that’s a kind of ‘someday in the far future maybe’ thing, not a right now thing.”

“But she’s lonely. And she’s getting up there. This may be the last time she ever has the chance to have a child.” I gave him my best sad-eyed begging look.

“Ben, babe, this is a shelter. We’re supposed to be finding homes for the animals we have here not making more to find homes for.”

I sighed. He was right. Our two old gals would probably never leave our little farm/shelter due to their ages. Everyone wanted puppies and kittens and kids, no one ever adopted old loud goats with saggy bags.

“Right, yeah, you’re right.” I sighed sadly. Cinnamon walked over and yelled right in our faces. We fussed over her and fed her animal crackers and fluffed her hay, but she just kept on yelling. All day and all night.

When one AM rolled around, Max sat up in the bed, turned on the light and looked down at me staring at the ceiling. “How long will this go on?” He waved a big hand at the window and the screaming Nubian goat tucked safely into the new barn.

“Doris said about three or four days every three weeks or so. We can try ear plugs.”

“For the goat?”

“No for us,” I chuckled. Max scowled. “Or we could borrow Doris’s buck Boris for a couple of days…”

“Nope. No kids.” He turned off the lamp, flung himself back down, beat on his pillow, and laid there like a lump. An hour later he rolled over to face me. “I cannot believe she’s not hoarse.”

“Hey goofy, she’s a goat,” I teased. He huffed into the darkness. Ten minutes passed. Bucky padded over to the window to look down at the barn. He whined and glanced back at us. “See, even the dog is losing sleep. Just think about it, Max. It would be fun to have a little kid running around. Oh! And we’d have milk for any rescues that come in, or to drink ourselves. And we could take little Fawn or Fred to schools and fairs and other places to talk about our new place here and spread the word about our taking in unwanted farm animals and—”

The light came on. I blinked and then dared a peek to my left. Max, the handsome bugger, was staring at me rather bleary-eyed.

“Should I just give in now and tell you to contact Doris about renting Boris for a few days, or should I keep up the fight until I collapse from fatigue due to horny goat syndrome and you call Doris while I’m passed out on the floor and go get Boris by yourself?”

I wiggled to my side, so I could look into those beautiful amber eyes of his. “I would wait until I revived you and then call Doris.” He grunted when I reached over to pat his bearded cheek.

“I never stood a chance between you and that damn goat,” he mumbled, turned off the light, and pulled his pillow over his head.

I sent Doris a quick text then cuddled up next to the big, burly ex-Railer and started thinking of kid names. Should I tell him old gals like Cinnamon who had been bred before usually had twins?