Sunday afternoon we were hanging around the house. The walnuts had already been cleaned, and I was sitting down to see if our Internet connection was working. We started hearing yelling outside the house, and we went to the windows to see what the cause was. There was a white van by the side of the road, with a trailer on the back that had a large box or crate with tarps and straps covering it. The driver, a man dressed in black jeans and shirt, was poking under the hood. As I stepped outside, the yelling became clearer and I recognized it as the sound of a lonely goat.
I walked down to see if there was anything I could do to help. It seems they had a short in their engine wiring, and it was blowing the fuse. We found some wire and tried bridging the contacts, bypassing the fuse, but that just caused a lot of smoke to come out from under the engine (yikes!). It turns out they (the driver, his wife and their 3 kids) had picked up a milking goat about a mile down the road from us. They had driven down from near Frankenmuth (only about 125 miles away) to pick up this goat because it is difficult to find a milking goat this time of year (that is not a Nubian Dwarf).
It looked like the van wasn’t going anywhere, so we pushed it into the driveway and hooked the trailer up to our Taurus wagon, and took the goat back. The poor girl, she was quite vocal about being left alone in that crate. Once we got back from returning the goat, the tow truck had arrived. Due to the complexities of obtaining a taxi or rental car way out where we live on a Sunday evening, Greg (the guy with the van and the goat) asked if he could pay me to take them home, or at least closer to home.
Knowing of no reason to say no, and enjoying the adventure, I said “Sure!” He rode with the tow truck, and his wife and kids (plus ours) hopped in the car. The younger kids were pretty lively in the car, and I finally suggested that they play “animal vegetable, mineral” to pass the time. They had quite a bit of fun with that, and it made it easier to focus on the road, and chat up front. It turns out that Greg and his family pretty much have a farm, with several goats, many chickens, over a hundred rabbits, not to mention pigs, a horse, and a pony (all the details are a little fuzzy, but you get the idea).
We arrived at Greg’s brother’s house near Flint, and waited a few minutes for the tow truck to arrive. Greg offered to pay me, but I really could not see asking for more than the cost of gas. I told him that $15 would be fine. He conceded, but made sure we knew that they were also going to give us rabbits, and wanted to know what kind we wanted (meat, show, or pets?). I agreed to letting him give us two pet rabbits, but he persisted by telling me that when we have a chicken coop built, let them know, and we will have chickens.
So on Wednesday evening, Greg stopped by with two Mini Rex rabbits (exactly what little A had picked out when browsing through rabbit books months ago), a cage, a twenty questions game for the kids, two quarts of raw goats milk, fresh eggs (including tiny bantam ones and Auracauna green ones), candy corn (B’s favorite), and sneakily, some cash in a thank you card. We chatted for over an hour, and it was great fun. It turns out that the van repair may be simple, and the towing was free (AAA Plus).
In the end, they got their goat, and a ride home. We got rabbits and futures on chickens (Bohnanza jargon). We were all blessed by each other’s presence and God’s providence. We have new friends in Michigan!
The kids are totally excited about the rabbits, and have named them Ginger and Cottontail. They are papered (can be shown), and have ear tats to identify them (Ginger is ARI12, and Cottontail is ETH08). Ginger is more feisty and a little nervous. Cottontail is more curious and tolerates more handling. Both are adorable.