Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cin-Cin's Story

A Picture for Mark, "Tasha Tudor with Goat"
One winter when I was eleven years old, my parents bought me a registered French Alpine goat. (Yes, she had papers and everything!) I remember we went to a large cold carpet-less farm house in Michigan where several huge greyhound dogs lived and barked with protective but controlled zeal; excuse me...that is...they somewhat shared the house with an indoor jacket wearing callous-handed couple. I was going to raise my goat, Cin-Cin, and show her at the 4H sponsored fair event the following summer. It was snowing and cold when we brought the baby goat-kid home, and I had permission to create a temporary home by covering the front entrance hall with blankets and straw. I mixed milk and oatmeal together and fed her from a bottle-all the while trying to encourage her to eat real goat-food. I slept there with her many nights until I was able to move her out to the barn a few weeks later. (It was still cold but my parents thought the smell was getting too strong.) Cin-Cin learned to walk on a leash without resistance, turn, and hold a pose with her head held proudly upright. In my girlhood devotion, I painted her stall entirely yellow, orange and red-I brushed the wooden planks with great swirls and waves of tempestuous fire-what I thought were the most satisfying colors in the world. I got many surprised complements on the colorful composition and Cin-Cin didn't seem to mind. The first 4H competition I entered her in, she won a blue first-place ribbon; the following year, she won the red second-place ribbon-disappointingly beat by her less attractive but larger brother. The priority there at the Bellview County Fair was size. The third year of Cin-Cin's life brings me a bit of shame because I had discovered teenage friends and the human male animal (who later came to remind me of a goat come to think of it) and I may have neglected her- but I'm getting ahead of my story. That same year, Cin-Cin went crazy-no, not boy-goat crazy, she went any person-animal-pony-horse crazy. She would go after Windy (pony) and Thunder (horse) incessantly, until they lost patience and kicked-dissuading further overtures on her part. My younger brother, Rich, devised a game where we would sneak into the Not-Okay Corral and try to cross to the other side without being discovered. Only Cin-Cin would always see the bait and come snorting with her tongue hanging out and offer intense bleating to our tender ears. If you couldn't run fast enough, she would jump on top of you and do heaven knows what to the great amusement of those observing. Cin-Cin wanted to sin! My father said we must sell her. What could I do? I conceded, and my 50-dollar goat went for 15; she had babies, gave milk and lived a normal goat-life on a nearby farm- thereby, concluding my 4H career as a prize winning goat show-er.


  1. Cynthia, CinCin seems to be an insistent command. I suppose a goat needs a goat. I remember my cousin had a goat that was in love with his horse and every time he took the horse out riding or to a field where she hung out with other horses the goat would cry. It would also butt your but if you bent over to pick something up in her presence. They had had another goat but they had to get rid of it and a nursery school took it for their herd of goats and a few times we stopped are bikes on the way to visit his brother and he, his wife, and his four sons would pet the goat, which of course knew them. I was perhaps 52 the last time I saw all of it. The idyll began when they bought a house near a forest. Karen's garden, which I loved, went to make the corral for the horse. The horse was named Sikka, which was Icelandic for girl and she was an Icelandic horse, short, strong, good natured. It also has a sad ending. My cousin's appendix became infected and exploded and he spent months in the hospital and never had the strength again to have a horse or goats. Karen had a nervous breakdown which left her diminished and she lives in a halfway house. Lars could not afford the taxes on the property and after buying Karen out, he sold half of it and is building a smaller house on the other half.
    I still remember trying to get the chicken in (they would hide behind the only plant left by the goat in the chicken yard, which was burning nettle and foolishly I would try to grab them and inevitably my hand would feel like it was on fire when I got the nettle instead. No wonder the goat left it alone. But as I was chasing and coaxing the chickens, I had to be careful of my back because if I bent over it would butt me and send me head first to the ground. If the chickens didn't get in, the fox would kill them.
    Cynthia, my older sister was in 4-H but she could not have an animal project. She refurnished a table. I never did 4-H.

  2. You know that Cin-Cin was named after her adopted mother-me!(as I was named after my own mother, Sue (my middle name) ---and my sisters, too...all were named Sue (in the middle)! My brother was named after our father, too. (Sometimes we would tease him and add Mom's name to his as well!) Naturally, Cin-Cin had to be completely-narcissistic-ally loved by me...gosh, what is that insistance in the name, Cin-Cin, Mark? Whatever do you mean? -or I beg your pardon!!?

  3. I love Tasha Tudor and am so envious because I always wanted to have a little goat. Your comment over at my place just made my day!! Thank you. :)

  4. Willow, thank you for coming over to view my oasis; I hope you know that the little goat does grow big! Maybe you saved yourself a lot of trouble.


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