Kindergarten is such a lovely word, translated as "garden of children." I spent a heavenly hour yesterday in a kindergarten of sorts, surrounded by little kids. I've been getting nearly daily reports from my friend Tim as the goat babies were born and decided to go see for myself. It was a beautiful, warm spring day and the rolling hills of Tim's ranch were green and dotted here and there with grazing Kiko goats. They were watched over by Alice, an Anatolian shepherd dog. Not surprisingly, Lex, Tim's ninety-nine and forty-four percent pure wolf, is not allowed anywhere near the goats. Tim and I strolled down the long hill to the barn and there they were, twenty-six baby goats, the oldest not more than two weeks old. He's built a secure large nursery pen under a shady oak, and babies were everywhere, some napping, a few showing off with awkward attempts at leaping, and some taking off at a dead run for a lap around the pen. Each has been named and introductions were made. Like their human counterparts, these babies love to snuggle. So young, their coats are soft and curly and they smell so fresh and clean. A couple tried to suckle my fingers, telling me it was past their snack time. Their moms had been let out to graze for a few hours and the little ones were getting hungry. Loud bleating from a nearby slope announced that a mama was full of milk and ready to feed her baby. Tim and Kathryn do not milk their goats; Kikos are meat animals. Eight years ago I sold four kids to Tim as brush eaters. Who knew?
Two female WWOOFers from Canada are due to arrive at Bell Ranch today. Eighteen more goat babies are due in the next week or two. Those women have a wonderful experience in store, playing and working in a kindergarten.