I have come to the conclusion that whoever coined the phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk” must have been a rich aristocrat who had never milked a goat (or cow for that matter) and was blessed to have milk magically appear whenever needed. That or he owned a milking machine. Seeing as how this phrase has been around for quite some time, I’m inclined to believe the former to be the case.
Milking a goat is not as easy as it may seem. When our first bouncing baby goats were born, bringing promises of rich, creamy goat milk, I had visions of me sitting alongside the milk stand happily milking away. The sun would be shining, birds chirping and the vision probably had a butterfly landing on my shoulder. I was wrong. Or delusional. Or both.
In reality, milking goats is hard work. Especially when they are first fresheners ( a fancy term for first time moms). The more seasoned does realize that milking time means extra food so their food-motivated natures lead to improved behavior…usually. Other times they ain’t havin’ it and are as dramatic and unruly as the rookies.
The whole process involves luring the goat onto the milk stand, cleaning the udder, milking into a food safe container, cleaning the udder again and returning the doe to her pen. Sounds simple enough. Sometimes it is that simple. Other times it involves kicking goats and lots of swearing. The real treat is when the goat decides to let loose a shower of goat berries mid-milking, scattering poop pellets across the stand. Add in the fact that we have dwarf goats (small goats+ small teats) and it’s a regular party in the goat barn.
So when I hear someone say, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” I cringe a little because if I have spent all that time and energy coaxing, milking and wrestling with a goat only to have her kick over the milk pail ( or stick her hoof in it – that’s another fun trick), I am most definitely going to shed a few tears.