And here is love
like a tinsmith’s scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.

–Seamus Heaney


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Meet Joe


This is our new loaner buck. It doesn’t make sense to keep one of these guys on hand when you only have a few does, so most people arrange a date with a buck at the necessary time. You know when that is because you borrow a “buck rag,” an article of scrap cloth rubbed all over a buck in rut. When you wave that gem in front of the ladies in heat, they go crazy. This method works out really well for it seems like everyone else. But both of our does are what’s called first fresheners, meaning they’re inexperienced. They don’t have a buck within miles. Maybe that’s why they didn’t care. And the rag I had came from Joe, who’s a little dude, a yearling who probably just didn’t stink bad enough. I even took the girls to his house to see if that might put them in the mood. No dice. So we arranged with his lovely owner to borrow him for a time.

I brought him home yesterday, and as soon as he got here he made himself useful. I can’t believe it. It’s going to be interesting (read here: stinky) having a buck around.