Summer before last we decided that we needed to get a fish or two to keep in the stock tank. I remember putting a few goldfish in a stock tank when I was a kid and enjoyed watching them grow big. I figured my kids would enjoy that too. So one day after chores were done, we headed out of town for a day of fun. On our way home, we stopped by the pet shop and the kids picked out a couple of koi. We brought them home and added them to the stock tank by the barn. One did really well and the other didn’t survive the summer for some reason.
The following winter was a tough one; there were endless days of freezing temps and more snowfall than normal. We were feeding a couple pigs that winter, so we got two de-icers, one for the tank out by the pigs and one for the tank by the barn where the goats stayed. The wiring in our barn is really old, and so the breakers couldn’t handle the amount of electricity both de-icers used. We had to move the goats out to the shelter by the pigs so they could all use the one tank. Unfortunately that meant the tank that had our little fish in it froze over. There was a period of several weeks where the temps were so cold and the ice froze so thick that it was impossible to break it. We all worried about our little fish and hoped he’d make it even though it seemed his chances weren’t good.
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.