Archive for September 15th, 2009

Chad Gadya!

Sharon September 15th, 2009

There’s a classic Jewish folksong, sung at Passover that has the title of this essay as its refrain – it all began “with one goat kid.”  And so it was here today – in many ways the beginning of our return to life as a full scale farm began with the birth of chad gadya.

Selene actually bore twins, a beautiful spotted buckling preceeding our new doeling, but the buck was born dead.  I don’t know if I could have saved him by intervening sooner, but dead he was, no matter how his mother licked him or how I rubbed him and tried to clear his mouth and nose so that he could breathe. 

Selene was huge, vast and wide, and I’d wondered if she’d bear triplets from her size, but at the moment I realized that the buckling was not going to wake, all I cared about was that there be another baby, so that all her hard labor not be for nothing.

And so it was – out slid a dark brown kid with a white stripe across her back.  Shaking her tiny brown head and sneezing, she was up and moving within minutes, nursing shortly after, the picture of life and health.  And we were the richer by chad gadya.

I’m sorry for the loss of the buckling, but that is the way of farms – things are born and things die, sometimes both at once, and as heartrending as it is, it is part of the great delight of a whole life.  I told my boys, grieved at the death of the buck, that they were fortunate, even when it was hard, because they got to know more about life – and about death – than most kids their age.  Better to touch life, even when it is shot through with death.

A nigerian dwarf goat kid is about the size of an 8 week old kitten – she weighs 2 lbs and fits comfortably in one hand, a perfect, tiny little creature full of life and energy.  Born 3 days before the new year begins, we’ve named her “Tekiah Gedolah” which is the final blast that the Shofar (ritual horn) blows, a long, unbroken blast that ends the holiday, the literal call that awakens the world to the start of new and promising things.  And she is very much that, our one kid goat.

Sharon