A Harbinger of Spring

When R.E. 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.”

About ten strokes of each goat's hair in the rake
About ten strokes of each goat’s hair in the rake

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.