I'm sitting in my so-called milking parlor waiting for Mercedes to finish eating her grain. I can't walk away and do necessary chores because she needs me to just be with her. I think she has separation anxiety. Just with me.
As I perch on the second milkstand beside Mercedes, I'm watching the chickens dash in & out of here. They are stealing the pieces of oats, sunflower seeds & corn that the other goats have dropped while eating. The cat, Celia, takes great joy in tormenting the hens because they sneak some of her cat food.
When I do stand up, Mercedes turns her Swiss-striped face towards me and murmurers. She beckons me like a mom calling to her wondering child. "Where are you going? Please don't leave me." I oblige & take my position back on the milkstand.
Here I sit. Bored. I can't leave the room, & there is nothing in here that I can do but wait for the crunching to cease and the feed dish to clamber onto the floor. It takes Mercedes around 10 minutes to finish her dinner. She shoves the pan off the holder onto the floor when she is done with the ration I provided her.
I walk toward her head & unlatch the head lock to release her from the milkstand. I turn the giant goat 180 degrees on a narrow platform. She spins with grace without stumbling or faltering. I tug her collar to signal her to dismount onto the floor. Mercedes balks at my command. I turn to see what the issue is. She's still vying for 1 last chance to have my undivided attention before she returns to the herd in the barnyard.
Her eyes ask for just a few moments more. We stand together side-by-side. I could be doing 20 other things right now. Here I stand. Next to this goat. She's just a goat. Mercedes is my goat. If 1 extra minute makes her feel satisfied, then so be it. I wrap my arm around her neck & pull her close to me. I talk to her about how she's needy, about how the sun is sinking & we're missing the full view of colors & about how she's spoiled.
I finally urge her to go back with her herd-mates. I can't resist walking around to each goat & acknowledging them individually. As I make my way through the mob, I stop occasionally to watch the sun sink behind the distant mountains causing the sky to turn vibrant & breath-taking.