In Which I Make A Mistake

Well, I did get my vaccine Wednesday. I left early to make it to the hospital around 8:30 because the Cusco Regional hospital only gives the Yellow Fever vaccine on Wednesday and Friday in limited quantities.

I made it to the hospital in good time, but it took me a good while to find the right building. It was always “Acá, no más.” I was supposed to go up and around the curve, and I’d find it. I went up and over and around and asked and asked and finally found it.

I felt fine with the vaccine until mid-afternoon when I got a fever and flu-like aches. I slept a long time, got up for chores and supper, and went back to bed. By morning I was fine again, but Shawn had a fever. He’s kept his low-grade fever now for two days. I wonder if he caught something off me.

Yesterday was another rainy, rainy day. We are grateful for the times the sun comes out and gives us beautiful rainbows. It gives us hope for the dry season (and the accompanying cold?).

I have been making slow progress on my chicken shed with all the rain. I have one wall of siding up and all the posts cut for framing up the door and such. Dane has been a big help as my sidekick.

Several times over the last while Rafael and I have tried to arrange to be in Cusco the same time his truck is there for a supply run. The reason is to get a small chest freezer. How many times has he canceled now? Today Lamar found chest freezers in Izcuchaca! Maybe the Lord has a better option close by.

I tried to leave early for market this morning. Anne, Abbey, and Dane came with me. We wanted to go quickly pick out a goat for Anne’s birthday and get right back. However, on the way sloshing through the neighbor’s field, we came upon a dead cow.

Beings it’s market day, no one was home. We made some phone calls with no immediate success. I saw a fellow across another field and called out to him. We slopped over and explained. He wanted to go back with us to check.

On the way back we all jumped over the creek, except for Abbey who decided to walk through it since she had boots on. Did I mention all the rain? She came out with a boot full of water. The neighbour fellow thought that was hilarious.

We left him with the dead cow. He said he’d find the owner. Lamar also called the landlord. I learned later that about ten people, including Lamar and the guys, dragged the cow with ropes down the field and across a makeshift bridge over the creek.

At market, we found a fellow selling six nice, young goats for S/450 as a group; some of them were bucklings. If I’d have been there a little earlier… There was only one doe and one other doeling for sell in the whole market.

The lady wanted S/350 each! I wasn’t going to do that. We went on our way, checking over all the sheep twice to be sure no goats were hidden among them. Then we went to look at the chickens because I wanted to check the prices of roosters.

But we found puppies! We bought two males that I named Gog and Magog (Anne of Green Gables, anyone?). Walking along some more, I did find the info I needed, but I also found rabbits. Rabbits are somewhat rare. There were hundreds and hundreds of Guinea pigs for sale today, but only six rabbits. I bought four of them.

I’ve been wanting to raise rabbits to sell, but I hadn’t seen the right ones for the right price. I got these; although, I don’t have a pen ready for them yet. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea. We’ve raised rabbits as house pets numerous times before, so we’ll try that again in a pinch.

I decided to go back to see if the doe was still there, and if I could get the price down. Then I made my mistake. We were running late, Steph would be waiting for us with lunch soon, the children were carrying heavy puppies and bunnies, and we were muddy and wet. I was in a hurry.

I offered the lady S/300 for the pair. She accepted S/350 eventually. I paid for them, grabbed them, and left–without checking the doe’s udder. I checked both for worms, I palpated both for pregnancy, I inspected their teeth and tongues, and I even checked the doeling’s udder. Why did I not check the doe!

I discovered my mistake at home. Goats have one udder and two teats. We keep trying to explain to the children that they do not have two udders. Well, this goat (Anne named her Doris) has FOUR teats! In this case, more is most definitely not better.

I feel like such a dunce. I’m not sure what to do with her. Do I want kids from her with such a deformity? Will I be able to milk her? Should we plan to put her in the freezer after she kids?

Each of her four quarters does pass milk. She was recently dried off, so there was some milk to test with–which I should have done at market. Who knows what will become of her.

Nevertheless, Anne is tickled with her doe. She doesn’t care that she’s a freak. And sweetly, she doesn’t care that Daddy made a big mistake; though, I explained it to her several times.

The moral of the story: Don’t buy a used car without taking it on a test drive. And don’t buy goats when you’re in a hurry.

A family from Lima we met at market wanted pictures with our children.
Doris “The Mistake”
Ingrid, the doeling