Set for fun with Clover and Alfalfa

Farm and Dairy Columnist

While all of our neighbors were busy in the hay fields, we were finding a unique new way to add timothy and alfalfa to clover.

Maybe I’d better start at the beginning.

Remember my present?

Last Christmas, my wish list included a swing, hanging from a good, sturdy limb, and a fainting goat. I realize that just might make me sound a bit absurd, but I think it’s the kid in me not wanting to fully grow up and grow old.

Dad used to tell the greatest goat stories. He grew up on the type of farm that included everything from chickens, ducks and pigs, to a goat who welcomed people, then tried to reach in their pockets to see if any food might be hiding there.

I couldn’t help but notice, that no matter how much he chuckled when he told these silly goat stories, we never had one on our farm. But, when my two oldest sisters had a young child, he couldn’t wait to present them both with a wether for a pet. I was still in high school and found it highly entertaining to visit my sisters’ homes, now blessed with a little one to baby-sit and a goat to make us laugh.

So, I was thrilled just this past Christmas morning to find a baby goat in our barn. I promptly named him Clover, the minute I scared him without meaning to, and he rolled over in a dead faint.

One’s not enough.

We recently learned of a man near Bainbridge, Ohio, who had baby fainting goats available. It meant a long drive, but we decided to go for a visit. We ended up buying twin wethers, plus an unrelated 2-year-old doe.

On our long trip back home, Doug said, “You’re going to have to come up with names for these guys.”

Without missing a beat, I said, “How about Alfalfa and Timothy, since we already have Clover!”

Doug laughed and said, “Ah, that’s great, I like it!”

Timothy, a tiny little silver-gray, faints when we try to pet him. Alfalfa, black and white and full of bluster and attitude, tries hard to let on that he is not scared of anything.

I tossed him a slice of hay and he dropped over in a fast faint. As he came back around, he let out a loud, bleating protest.

The sweet doe we have named Blossom, and she calmly watches over the tiny herd with interest.

Clover, suddenly blessed with a fainting family, doesn’t know what to make of all the new companionship.

We most definitely could have stayed home and gotten lots of work done on Saturday, instead of going in search of more animals to add to our little farm. There is always work waiting for us. But I know that our trip, and the kids we brought home with us, is a memory in the making that is going to add lots of laughter to our lives.

About the Author

Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college. More Stories by Judith Sutherland

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