Nature will take it’s course no matter what…
Back in late summer one of the boys goats, Ellie May, gave birth to twins. Ellie May is a very friendly goat and her babies were beautiful. One was Gray and had a black mask around his eyes and the other was Brown and colored just like Ellie May. Since Ellie May belongs to the boys they instantly loved her babies. Out of all of the baby goats we have had these two held a special place in their hearts.
The boys took care of these two goats and was their top priority. They chased them, held them, and loved them. After months of perfect health the Brown baby goat suddenly got sick. I noticed one afternoon that he looked a little weak. The next day he was down and couldn’t stand up. I knew at this point that his chance of survival was slim to none. Without Cameron knowing we slipped the baby a shot of penicillin with hopes that it would make him better.
The next day we made our way to the goat barn. The boys didn’t know the baby goat had been sick nor did they know about the shot. As we approached the gate I quickly made an excuse and asked the boys to do something while I went into the barn to check on the baby… As I entered the barn Ellie May met me at the stalls and led me to her baby. Unfortunately, the baby goat had passed away sometime during the night. Before the boys were able to come in I scooped up the baby and took it to the back of the barn and covered it so they could not find it. I was unsure how I should handle the situation but I was not prepared to tell them the news.
As Cameron entered the barn I could tell he was looking for his goats. He found the Gray baby but could not find the Brown one. He asked me several times where the Brown goat was and I would turn the conversation to something new or ask him to do something to sidetrack him a little until we left. After that day he asked repeatedly about the goat and I would tell him he just probably overlooked him or the goat was hiding in a stall.
As the days progressed I could tell Cameron was worried about the baby goat and I would have to break the bad news to him somehow. I think Cameron knew the goat had died but was looking for confirmation from me. I just didn’t know the best way to break the bad news to him.
When the time had finally came for me to tell him we took a trip to the barn. Cameron and Carter led the way into the barn and I watched as Cameron bypassed every goat on his search for the Brown baby goat. When he had cleared the area he came back to me and asked where the Brown goat was. I took a knee and pulled Cameron in close and told him that he had gotten sick and wasn’t able to stand. He quickly buried his face into my jacket and started to sob. After a few minutes Cameron looked up and asked if the goat had died and I nodded my head. By then the sobs had turned into a faucet of tears. I tried to console him but I did not succeed until I explained that the goat is now with Jesus and is happier than we could imagine. I could feel him calm down after I said that but could tell he was still very sad.
Cameron has a tender heart and it just completely broke his heart that the baby goat had passed away. After he had settled down I did my best to explain to Cameron that things like this happens on a farm from time to time. It’s just the nature of the business. I am sure he didn’t fully understand the message I was trying to convey to him.
Looking back on the situation I am sure there were better ways to break news like this to a kid. I probably should have stated from the start that the goat went to be with Jesus. Maybe I will do better next time but I just don’t think there is an easy to talk to a child about this subject.