One morning Miley and I headed out to do chores. While I went into the barn to set up to milk, Miley went out to the pasture to get her goat, Sweet Pea, and bring her to the barn. I heard her giggling and looked up to see her standing out in the pasture with little Sweet Pea, who was standing on her hind legs and resting her front legs on Miley’s chest. She giggled again and said, “Sweet Pea, that tickles”, as her goat reached up to sniff her face and nibble her hair. We call those goat kisses. Once kisses were done, they both raced to the barn. Miley grabbed a halter, tied her up, and went to get some feed that she carefully measured out into a perfect-for-Sweet Pea sized portion. As her goat nibbled her feed, she brushed her and asked, “Hey Mom, is $600,000 a lot of money?” I told her it is and continued milking while she continued brushing. A few minutes later, Miley giggled again and said, “Hey Sweet Pea, let go of my dress!” Her goat was tugging at the bottom of her dress with her teeth. Miley continued, “Mom, she must be done and ready to go because she keeps pulling on my dress, so I’m going to take her out for a walk now.” I said, “Ok!” As she untied the rope, she asked “Mom, do you think anyone would ever want to buy a goat for $600,000?” I replied, “No, I don’t think they would. That’s an awful lot for a goat.” She said, “Ok, that’s the price I want Sweet Pea to be so that way no one will ever want to buy her.” Aaaaawwww, I thought and before I could say anything, they were out the barn door and off running through the yard.
That evening during supper I told our older kids, Dylan and Brooke, about what Miley had said. We talked about how adorable those two are together and about what a special goat Sweet Pea is. In our short experience with goats, we’ve found it to be very unusual for a dam raised goat kid to be so attached to someone the way she is to Miley. As we continued to visit, Dylan said, “Could you imagine if someone actually did show up with a suit case full of $600,000 and really wanted to buy Sweet Pea?”
That got us to thinking… what would we do? Would we keep her… or would we sell her? If we sold her, we started thinking of all the things we could do with the money like… buy a bigger house… make some repairs on things around the farm… get fence built and pastures divided the way we want them… help Dylan pay off school loans… build some new animal shelters… take a vacation… buy Brooke a car……
Our thoughts were interrupted by a sad little voice, “But I would really miss Sweet Pea.”
Then we began to think about all the things we’d miss if there was no Sweet Pea….
The goat kisses and little girl giggles.
The excited “mmehhhs” when her girl runs toward the barn, and the bellowing, worried “MMMEEEEHHHHHs” when her girl disappears from her sight.
The laughter as they run together.
The excitement and sense of pride in the little girl’s eyes as she starts each day by caring for her very own goat.
The joy of sitting on the porch and watching a happy goat frolic through the pasture and a happy girl laughing at all the goat silliness…
That little goat brings us happiness, the true irreplaceable kind of happiness that money can’t buy. We agreed that all the things we wanted are just things and that we’re perfectly happy with what we already have. If we were to give up Sweet Pea, nothing in our list of wants could replace the happiness we’d lose.
So it was unanimously decided that if someone shows up with a suitcase full of money wanting to buy Sweet Pea, we’d have to say “No Thanks!”
…and that brought a huge smile to a little girl’s face.
A girl who has her goat and a goat who has her girl….
that’s what life is all about.
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