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August 25, 2018: Elsa, Greatest of All Time: History Repeats Itself

Woke up to sunshine, got outside right away, and stayed outside for as long as was possible. Cleaned the horse pen, did some target training, spread some of the gravel Pete got for me, and did agility with Tyra. Tyra wasn’t into it, so after a bit I quit. I want this to be fun for her, and as well for the others.

Pete said he’d cover for me at the recycling sorting and collection area, this was so I could go and show Suzy’s goat in the open class. I got there early, and like last year, watched the open sheep and swine classes. I was again captivated by the judge, Chastin Legget, he was the same judge as last year. Large, lumbering, wearing dark glasses that defined his face, he assessed the animals he was judging, told us a bit more about what prompted him to be a livestock agricultural judge, and provided those showing animals with feedback. A really tall order.

I was, when I heard that there were 13 entries in the market swine class, wondering how he was going to do this. It worked like this – the swine were brought in in cages that were pushed to various parts of the arena. When all were in place, they were lifted off the pigs. The pigs raced around – their owners kept them in line with sticks. It was a scene of controlled mayhem. Chastin looked carefully at all the pigs,

Alys and Stormy
Alys and Stormy last year

then in order had the pigs recaged, leaving the top three to mill about. For sure, this was an excellent way of doing an assessment. I was very impressed.

The goat classes began, and in no time at all, Chelsea, Suzy Crosby’s right hand woman and I led Suzy’s two goats to the arena entrance. Elsa, the entire time, was calm and composed, just like Stormy was last year, maybe even more so.

I went to the center of the ring, and stood her sideways. Chastin appeared and very quickly determined that Elsa was the winner of the does three years and under class. And like last year, the magnanimous fellow shook my hand. And like last year, the ring manager presented me with a ribbon.

Then, like last year, I exited the ring but was called back in for the Division Championship. And like last year, Chastin said nice things about this goat, as he had Stormy. And again, I won the Division Championship.

The primary criteria for acquiring an animal around here is that it be of good temperament, that is, friendly and easy going. Elsa most certainly fits the bill. The second criteria is that the animal somehow let us know that they would like to be with us. As we were waiting for our classes, Elsa relaxed and leaned against me.

I later talked with Suzy about her – in this, her second year of milking, she hasn’t been as prodigious as her herd mates. Maybe, just maybe, she’s saying that she would like to live elsewhere. Her production schedule is such that she will be giving milk until January and then have a baby. And because she’s a low producer, she’ll just need to be milked once a day.

I told Pete all this, and after I was done with work I introduced him to Elsa. He did not say no, which is a yes. And tonight, when we got home, we stood outside the shed and in the light of my headlight, we talked about how we might build a front area and turn this front section into a milking parlor.

So we might have another animal join us. Greatest Of All Time, indeed.

Next: 237. 8/26/18: A Most Remarkable Day

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