When Robert Stinson and I were in college, he and I drove to Oklahoma City so I could buy cheap tires for my 1973 VW Beetle. While we waited, we walked up the snowy street to grab a bite, and on the walk back, Robert photographed a rusty spring sitting in the snow. The next day he submitted it to the OU Daily, and it appear on the front page with tag line, “A Harbinger of Spring.”
I thought of that tonight as I enjoyed another harbinger of spring, the shedding of the goats. After I finished planting the remaining five trees (two peach, two apricot, and a crepe myrtle in the front yard for Abby), I policed up the lawn implements. This was all to the amusement of our goats, who you will recalled are named Coal and Buxton. I threw them some hay from the pasture where I had mowed Monday to clear a place for the trees, them I gave then some early green stuff that grows in Abby’s azalea bed. Finally, I got the rake.
If you’ve never had a goat, sheep, horse, llama, camel, donkey, etc., you might not know that they and their coats are tough. For our goats’ thick winter coats, I use a grooming tool that looks like a rake. I do this for them every March, when I can see the pale undercoat start poke through Coal’s black outer hair. At first they don’t quite remember what I am doing, but before long they are pressing close to me, enjoying being brushed.