Goat acrobatics entertain farm guests


Mabel the goat has a new gig, and she’s drawing in the crowds. It all started last summer.

Everyone who visited would say, “Wait, is that a goat showing off out there with your sheep?”

“Yes, that’s Mabel,” we would say.

She isn’t flashy or fancy. She’s just … entertaining, shall we say. She could pull a weed, throw her head back and launch it in the air.

She could run circles around the grazing sheep in that funny way that only a goat can move. She could jump over her sleeping cohorts. She really wasn’t trying to entertain, but she always manages to hold our attention, simply by being Mabel.

Baby goats

My hubby arranged an over-the-winter boyfriend, a fancy fainter, too, and they set up housekeeping in the barn. The day he went home, Mabel headed for the open pastures with her old sheep buddies, happy as a lark.

A few weeks ago, we decided it was time to walk Mabel to the barn, pen her up and prepare for the arrival of a kid. Mabel did not disappoint.

When the time was right, she didn’t have just a single kid — that would be way too boring for Mabel. She blessed us with triplets.

These babies are colorful and so darn adorable it is hard to walk away from them to go get some work done. They were so tiny at birth, with bodies about the sizes of a shoebox, and yet so limber and mighty.

Mabel is such a good mama that they are growing by the minute.

Escape goat

Our grandson loves to help his Poppy do chores.

Just a few days after they were born, Brooks came running to the house and said, “One of Mabel’s babies is missing. I mean, it is GONE! Really! Come help!”

We searched with heavy hearts. How — and why — would a newborn kid get out of that secure pen in the barn? Our new pup, Kip, would have barked as his way of sounding the alarm, wouldn’t he? And if he didn’t, surely our wise, old Channing would have.

Our son-in-law, Josh, solved the mystery, after a frantic hour or so. The tiny doe had hidden so deeply under the feed trough that she had somehow squeezed under a minuscule gap into the next pen, knowing enough to stay hidden deep under the feed trough.

When Josh reunited her with Mabel, the hungry kid latched on to her mama with gusto, making up for lost time.


As summer heat coincided with stronger babies, they were moved to a secure, shaded outdoor pen where we can see them constantly. They have a calf hutch for shelter. People visiting to jump in the pool for a swim can’t ignore the sweet performance of the triplets.

“Wow, I didn’t know I was going to get dinner and a show!” one of my friends exclaimed recently.

An overturned, red, rubber feeding tub serves as a gymnastic rebounder for the colorful crew. The biggest of the trio, a lovely mocha and white male, Freddie Freckles, is quick to run, jump and pivot on his landing, while his tiniest sister hurries to take her turn, trying hard to imitate his impressive routine. Their movements are so quick, their leaps so high; it is wildly entertaining.

The most beautiful, a black and white doe, flicks her little tail as if to say, “I am so perfect, just wait until you see what I can do!”

Mostly, she loves standing atop her sleeping mama.

A circus show

I just told Doug last night I think they need some more miniature climbing toys — maybe a teeter-totter, a tiny swing for a flying trapeze, and a balance beam, for starters.

Little Pipsqueak Houdini could open the show with her disappearing act that still has our grandson talking. These little fainters could sell tickets without even trying.

Let’s take this circus show on the road, performing to sold-out shows!

To be continued … I really must go. My hubby just rolled his eyes so hard he fell off his chair.


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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, and three grandchildren.


  1. As a long time subscriber to the one and only newspaper I get, I turn to Judith’s column first!! What joy her writing and thoughts bring with each and every issue. She is truly a blessing. A. Thompson😀


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