Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 4-18-06
I have been to Ozona, Texas. My purpose for leaving home was to cook for turkey hunters. This was my second time to be down there. Last year it was green and probably about as pretty as it could be, but this year was a different story. They are in need of rain. The wind and the dirt blew and it was hot, last year I about froze to death. Once or twice the sky would build up like it was going to rain and it would even lightening but no rain.
It is so dry that the sheep and goats can not make it back to feed or water. About the second day 3 of the hunters came in with a little baby Billy goat. They said that they were on top of a peak and found a dead nanny with a baby and a ewe sheep and two babies’ dead and this one was being attacked by vultures and when that baby saw the guys he came a running and jumped in their arms. So they brought him into camp. I poked a hole in a finger of a new cleaning glove, and put some warmed milk in an empty water bottle, put the finger of the glove over the top of the bottle and he was a ‘happy camper’. When I asked the owner about the orphans he told me that if we would happen on to any more that we could take them home with us. He explained that since it costs more to feed and raise the little orphan than they can get for it at the market it is not worth the time and trouble. He did tell me that he used to give away all of his orphans but people would go out and find a baby curled up asleep and they thought that it was an orphan when in fact, it was a baby that the mother had left for just a short while. So he said he had to quit letting people take babies when he came up with bawling ewes and nannies. . This man owned several sections of rough and rocky land and it would be impossible to check on each and every goat, sheep and cow. I had given the baby the men had found to the hired man and he took him and was concerned and asked where the guys had found him. His kindness made me feel better.
The last day, one of the hunters bought in a baby nanny goat. The baby had been crying for her mother for three a days. The hunter could not take hearing the little thing cry any longer and bought it in for us to feed. I brought her home and found a good home for her. She was so cute and traveled better than most kids. (I made a funny, get it, kids.) Taking care of those little babies brought back memories, when we were raising sheep and goats. And Dad telling me not to over feed the lambs as too much milk would kill them. One year we had 13 orphaned lambs that we raised.
One of the guides brought in a six foot diamondback rattlesnake. They usually do not kill them, but this one was cranky and attempted to strike him, so the snake had to go. He brought the snake to camp and then when every one had seen it he left it coiled up by the gate where I passed several times a day. I told him that his dead snake had startled me a few times and asked if he could move it. He was very nice about it and he did move it, to a plastic bag and put it in the freezer as he has plans to have it made into a belt. At least it was not a clear plastic bag, but it did give me the shivers every time I opened the freezer.
It was so nice to come back and see green. So again I am happy to be home right here in Comanche County. Mom and I have always said this is the limit of our endurance. We can not take it any colder- hotter- wetter- drier; you get the idea. There is no place like home.