Sweetbriar Farm Dairy Goats

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Shake It Off
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously
for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up
anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a
shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized
what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he
quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was
astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the
donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he
would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as
the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Friend, Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to
getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of life's deepest wells just
by not stopping, and never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more. Expect less

by Eunice Day, Washington, ME
The young couple had made their usual hurried, pre-Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of goats.  The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm, and through the years had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside.
The old folks no longer showed their goats, for the years had taken their toll, but they sold a little milk, and a few kids each year and the goats were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.
Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks.  "Why do you not at least dispose of "The Old One."  She is no longer of use to you.  It's been years since you've had either kids or milk from her.  You should cut corners and save where you can.  Why do you keep her anyway?"  The old man looked down as his worn boot scuffed at the barn floor and his arm stole defensively about "The Old One's" neck as he drew her to him and rubbed her gently behind the
ears.  He replied softly, "We keep her because of love.  Only because of love."  Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.
So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed  wires in the old barn.  None saw the first spark fall.  None but "The Old One".
In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay.  With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he
raced to the barn to save their beloved goats.  But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back.  He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury.
By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife.  They thanked those who had come to their aid, and the old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on the eve of Christmas.  Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in time  of despair.  We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared."  And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his hand.  As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they looked up and gasped in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.  Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved
pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles.  And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass.  Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this.  Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy as he pulled his wife forward.  There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift.
Bedded down about "The Old One" close to the trunk, was the entire herd, safe?  At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the goats through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily through the snow.  The kids were frightened and dashed about.  The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits.  The milkers pressed uneasily against "The Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine.  And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of those she loved.  Her body was brittle with years, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as
she offered her gift because of love.  Only because of love.


~*~ Last Words ~*~  By LaRhonda D. Sanders

Owner Mine, 
I am an old doe. 
Do not look sad to see me like this. 
Keep the tears from your eyes, even as mine dim.
Yes, I will pass soon,
but remember me not as you see me now,
My head lying cradled in your lap.
My life has been long for my species,
Each year behind me productive.
You have been blessed with my daughters,
My sons have done you proud.

Owner Mine,
I am no longer suffering.
My shudders are not pain,
Even as you weep, so do I.
Remember the memories we've had.
The first time we met, when I nuzzled your hand,
Looking up at you with winsome eyes.
Remember the shows, our first win together.
You were euphoric, your body vibrating with elation;
You hugged me and kissed my nose.
I remember it all.

Owner Mine,
When I have sighed my last breath,
I hope you don't mourn long for me,
Nor blame yourself for my passing.
I have lived my life in all its fullness.
Together we have endured victory and defeat,
Hardship and success with countless dreams come true
And just as many disappointments.
You talked to me, bared your soul to me, cried with me.
I was your friend when you wanted to be alone
You were my savior in my times of need.

Owner Mine,
My blood lives on in our herd.
They'll keep alive all the memories in your heart.
Though I shall pass this day,
When you look at them, remember me,
Because for every high mark earned, for every ribbon,
You have given me the greatest honor of all:
You believed in me, granting a chance at life
to that scrawny doeling hiding in the corner
Amidst a truckload of kids headed for the auction.
For giving me that chance, I have given you a lifetime of thanks.
April 26, 2000
LaRhonda D. Sanders
Dragonstar Dairy Goats
Crescent City, California


Rainbow Bridge ~By Paul Dahm ~

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 

My Little Goat by Norma Shippy, Honey Valley Farm
Your little goat may lead the line
With the coveted ribbon of blue
And the best of prizes they have to give
And the lavender ribbon, too.
Your little goat is a nice little goat
As anyone can see,
But my little goat is the nicest goat
In all the world, to me.