We love the way we live; have we said that recently? We love the garden fresh vege (a tad repetitive at the moment, but gold stars all round to kale and Brussels sprouts for saving us from scurvy), the home grown eggs, the quackfest of delighted ducks on a stormy night, and the heart-and-hand warming goat cuddles on a frosty morning. Even on the windiest, rainiest, most frosty, ice crackliest mornings, knowing that there’s a happy little band of beings who will be utterly delighted to clap eyes on you (who cares if it’s just because you’re carrying the feed bucket?!) is enough to get you shrugging into the wet weather gear and heading down the path. For us, this is truly The Good Life.
But the thing with living so close to nature is there’s no hiding from that big old circle of life and, in all honesty. why would we want to? Baby chicks, cavorting goat kids, feta and omlettes and the first broad beans of the season: they write poems about that stuff. Well, maybe not that stuff exactly, but you know what we mean, and the basic fact is that to balance the good stuff, you have to cop a fair amount of bad.
Before his arrival, we’d all been very prosaic about hosting Bob for six weeks. He was simply the means to an end; we needed our girls to have kids to ensure next season’s milk supply, and for that we needed Bob. Then he took up residence and quickly stole our hearts.
Bob and his winning ways with our ladies,
his love of the camera,
his delight at dinnertime,
the stealth attack nuzzlings while you were busy in the paddock (which you’d only remember much later in the supermarket queue when you notice your fellow shoppers wrinkling their noses).
The red ring around this Friday was exposed when the diary page was flipped on Monday morning but it came as no surprise; in the same way you never forget dentist appointments, no one needed reminding of Bob’s departure date.
But in that wonderful way life has of keeping you guessing, yesterday had us staring down the barrel of the circle of life at its finest and it turns out Bob will never be leaving the Homestead. Yesterday morning lovely, goofy, sneaky, handsome, virile, chauvinistic, sweet natured Bob wasn’t first to the gate as our boots crunched down the frosty path. He didn’t react to our inane early morning banter or get up from his bed, the best one of course, when we entered the paddock. If we needed our fears confirmed, the sight of our girls standing shoulder to shoulder, a respectful five metres from the gate told all. Maybe it was the shock of electronic caterwauling from the dairy burglar alarm (a false one as it turns out) or maybe his heart was never that strong…all that is incidental.
These things always have their lessons. Bob taught us that no one visits the Homestead without making an impression, we’re not tough enough to do the whole means-to-an-end thing, but we now know that when the worst happens, we roll our sleeves up, grab a shovel, and deal with it.