Breakdown in the Barnyard

My friends, I have a confession to make.

I have a terrible temper.

Yesterday morning started like any other. I walked to the barn (shed. It’s a shed that I call a barn because it holds my animals), with my offering of hay in hand.  I let out the girls, filled the hay rack, checked the water, and left.

As I was walking back across the yard the goats noticed that I was leaving them alone in their pen and started to cry.  Just quiet little ones at first, followed by louder ones when they realized that I wasn’t turning around despite the fact that they were calling me.  I walked into the house and closed the door, and those two pathetic drama queens went. Over. The. Edge.




This went on and on and on.  Five hours my friends.  Five hours!

Until I could not take one more minute of it.  That consist crying, and unwillingness to just man up and be a goat infuriated me. So I marched out there ready to just lock them up in their stall.  The sight of me calmed their fragile little goat nerves until they decided that I looked a little gruff.

Let’s run from her, that’ll make this better.

So they took off running, leaping and bounding through their pen.  Sophie was the easiest to catch.  She kind of likes it when I chase her.  She runs, and does flips, and tries to cut off Phoebe.  Sophie is my clown, my cuddly goat, and thankfully easily forgiving, even though I curse at her quite regularly.  Yes they are so treacherous they make a christian woman curse.

Chasing Sophie around is a usual game for us, and at the end of it all she comes in and flops on my lap.  But I was not playing today.  I finally caught her and dragged her to the shed, slamming the door behind her. Now all I had to do was catch Phoebe.

Phoebe is not like Sophie.

Phoebe thinks that everyone and everything is out to get her.  She also has the most ear piercing wail that you ever did hear.

So here I was chasing Phoebe around and around the pen trying desperately not to step on a chicken.  The more I chased her, the more convinced she was that I was going to kill her, and the more I actually thought about making her fear a reality. She wailed and ran and I called her every bad name in the book. I’m sure the neighbours thought I was actually murdering her.

Finally after a good ten minutes of this I got her cornered, and was able to stuff her in the shed with Sophie.

I had so much rage come up inside me that I was shaking as I closed the door.

How dare they cry all the time.  What is wrong with them? Why does God allow them to cry even though I pray day in and day out for quiet goats?

I sat down on the grass in the middle of the barnyard shaking and sobbing wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into.  Why did I throw everything away and believe the myth that if I got chickens and goats my dreams would come true? That if I was home more, and made food from scratch, kept a clean house, and raised a few animals, my husband might get better, and our marriage stronger. That maybe everything would get better.  But alas it seems to just have gotten worse.

Thankfully God is ready to forgive someone like me.  I am so thankful for that truth.  Even though I lost my temper, even though I called those goats some horrible names and cursed until I was out of breath, God will forgive me.

Maybe it is time to close the chapter on goats. To count my loses and just sell them. Some days I’m ready to throw in the towel, and go back to only having to worry about feeding the dog.  Oh what a simpler time that was.

But all is not lost.

There I was shaking and sobbing and wondering what on earth I was to do now in this horrible mess, sitting in the middle of the yard surrounded by poop, and my chickens came running.  I am, after all, their personal jungle gym.  They sat on me and with me, pruned their feathers, and wiped their beaks on me.

God gave me hens.  I don’t care what anyone says about chickens, they are probably my most favourite animal. They provide us with all the eggs we need, they are hilarious to watch and apparently cuddly when you are having a breakdown in the barnyard. I highly recommend them.

As for the rest of, it is still in God’s hands.  I pray that in time I will see some reward for all this, but for now a hen on the shoulder is all I’ve got, and I’m OK with that.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31


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