Memories of Country Living

Our donkey Clinton and our Fainting Goats

Clinton, the donkey and a Tennessee Fainting Goat
Clinton, the donkey and a Tennessee Fainting Goat | Source

I used to live out in the country. We lived in a house on an acre and a half of mixed woods and clearing. One side of our property was fenced off for the fainting goats and the little Jerusalem donkey that my husband named Clinton. They had a few trees in their pasture but mostly it was open and weedy. That is what goats like the best. We had four of them. One male and three females or properly, a billy and three nannies.

Jerusalem donkeys are named that for the stripe down their back and across their shoulders. The legend is that this is the type of donkey that was used to carry the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem and then later, to carry Jesus into Jerusalem. God rewarded them for their service, by marking them as the type that was used.

They also had a shed for shelter. It was four sided and had an open doorway which could be shut off with a heavy, clear plastic tarp. It kept them nice and warm in winter and was opened up and cool in summer. We had it divided so that the goats could go in further so the donkey didn't step on them when they laid down.

Fainting goats are also called Tennessee Fainting goats or myotonic goats. They faint when exposed to stress or excitement.They do not produce the adrenalin which allows an animal to cope with those things. No one s sure if they were bred to do this, but they all came from a small herd owned by one man that lived in Tennessee. They were initially used to help provide protection for the rest of the herd of animals from predators. If a wolf or coyote got into the herd, all would run. The fainting goat though would faint, providing a distraction to the predator. The predator would go for that one and leave the rest of the herd alone. They are quite interesting to research.

We also had between 8 and 30 rabbits. That number changed as they bred and we sold them. We kept certain ones and sold the rest. Most went for pets but some went to meat.

We had a nice house although not huge. It had a big deck on the back of the house which we filled with a table and chairs, more chairs, a bar-b-que, and a swing. There were french doors leading from the kitchen/dining room to the deck. When we were outside, we would often open the doors and make it a huge entertaining area. Friends would come over, food would be cooked and placed on the dividing bar between the kitchen and dining area, people would fill both tables and all the chairs for a good time. The kids would finish first and out to the yard and woods would go. Running through the yard, playing hide and seek, football and climbing trees.

The adults would sit and enjoy their dinner, good conversation and fun times. The men would usually end up down at the far end of the yard starting a fire in the fire pit. We had logs flattened on top, around it for seating. The ladies would go in and clean up the food and kitchen and then take marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars, and sticks out to the bonfire. We would sit out there until two or three in the morning, joking, talking and enjoying ourselves. The kids would play until they were exhausted, eat s'mores for dessert and play some more. As they wore out, we would shuffle them into the house and they would scatter all over the furniture in the living room and in the bedrooms to sleep. The little ones would spend the night and some of the older ones would.

Our friends all lived within about a mile and we got together at our house the most because we had the best for the purpose. Some of their houses were smaller and none had a deck that big. We were also the only ones with a fire pit with seating. We had cleared the trees for the seats from the pasture and made seating from them. We scavenged some cushions for them from everyone we knew who was getting rid of an old couch or chair. It was usually comfortable out there even if we were sitting on logs. We had flattened them with chain saws.

I miss those days now. We moved and friends split up. We don't get together very often any more. When we do, it is a special time. We live in an apartment and we have to drive about 20 miles to get to their houses. It is always a lot of fun.

Fainting goats

Our baby goat

One week old Tennessee fainting goat
One week old Tennessee fainting goat | Source

Jerusalem Donkeys

Source

Please remember to vote. I really appreciate the comments that I get on my hubs. They help me see if I am writing useful, interesting, informative hubs. This is copyrighted work.

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Comments 59 comments

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A lovely insight to your earlier lives Becky. It reminds me of my time in PNG that is very much how we lived (minus the goats) Just one big happy family with everyone mucking in. Close knit friends and the kids having so much fun. If there was a cufew on the adults would stay the night too. Ah the good old days

Thank you for sharing Becky


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Hi Becky,

I know I said I would take a break but took a nap now I am up..hahah Lovely hub Beck..Living in the country setting is so nice..I know you must miss aspects of it..Sometimes though it does get hard to keep up the grounds..I am happy you still get together with you friends at time and can pull from your wonderful box of memories.

Love,

Sunnie


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a lovely description of fun meetings with friends. It's good that you are still able to see your friends sometimes, Becky.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

This is a very nice reminiscence. Friends, family a nice safe setting, good food, good conversation thanks for sharing such fond memories. And fainting goats, just to add a bit of country to the story. Very warm.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Rosemary, Happy you came by. I enjoyed your memories of your life there. I am happy mine reminded you of them. I had a large family but they are on the other side of the country. We had many of these gatherings.

Sunnie, I have the same problem. I am hooked also. Our friends are here, how can we stay away. I am happy that you enjoyed this story.

AliciaC, I am so happy to see you here. We were all so close and we have drifted apart in miles but not in friendship. We have to get together with our friends.

Mike, I am happy you came by. I needed to write this because I am feeling homesick for all of that. I wish we could get back out in the country. We would definitely need to get someone to come help with the yard. The fainting goats were so much fun and I didn't even go into the donkey.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

This was a very interesting hub about a way of life that was completely foreign to me but easy to envision. The country house sounded like the ideal setting for guests and like the get togethers were a lot of fun for everyone regardless of age.

The video and information about the fainting goats was also interesting. At first I couldn't understand how so many could have the same problem and it was kind of sad when I realized they were intentionally bred that way to be the sacrificial goats that would protect the rest of the herd by drawing the predator to themselves.

Voted up across the board because the video was also funny when the man with the umbrella was trying to make the goats faint.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Happboomernurse, I am glad that you enjoyed this hub. You must live in the city. I would rather live in the country but live in an apartment for now. It seems so crowded and open to all the neighbors. I miss the privacy that we had in the country. Yes, that house was perfect for large numbers of people. Open it up and bunches would fit. We even had a church get together there once.

The goats were a lot of fun and had personalities like a dog does. So did the donkey that shared their pasture. They served a purpose in giving the more expensive breeding stock a chance to get away. It was sad but nature is not kind.

Thank you for the votes.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Becky I seem to remember you discussing the donkey with Dusty on one of his Hubs.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Yes Mike, I did. The one where he went out to rescue his baby donkey. Mine would hang his head over the fence, begging to be scratched. He loved it. When you walked up and leaned on the gate, he would rest his head on your shoulder, like a hug. Then you could just reach up and scratch him on his cheek or chin. He would stand there for hours, if you would stay there scratching. He didn't even mind if you played with his ears, if you were gentle with them. His name was Clinton, and he was so sweet.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You will be where you desire one day. Start making your plans and declare them out loud every day. It works! Like you, I want to be back in the country with acres and acres of land. I love those fainting goats. I may get on when we are in our country haven.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi Brenda, I knew you would have something nice and uplifting to say. You have got to be one of the sweetest people on hubpages. Thanks for coming by.

By the way, goats are a herd animal and get lonely if there is just one. You want to have two. They also eat poison ivy with no ill effects. They are great for keeping your property clear or getting it that way.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Loved reading about your growing up.Beautiful and up great writer


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Becky, This is an amazing story. I have never heard of fainting goats. I watched the video and you could see the love in Betsy's eyes when she held one. I enjoyed your story about country life and friends, what a great way to raise a family. The only thing i didn't like was the fainting goat used to save the other goats, how unfair for that little goat.. Thank's for sharing your story. I hope you have more to share with us...


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

What a funny video. What a delight to see these fainting goats. Betsy is such a fine Tennessee lady. Rehabilitating Lisa instead of putting her down and just being her. Becky I enjoyed reading your story and am happy y'all still get to be with your friends sometimes. Thanks so much for this charming Hub!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

writer20, I appreciate you coming by for a visit. This isn't about me growing up, it is my children growing up. I was raised in the high desert of Nevada.

Ruby, So good to see you here. I loved my goats. Some are really sensitive and some are not.Mine were not particularly sensitive. The kids still loved to get them to faint. The dog would herd them. It does not hurt them when they faint. The fainting goats were a big help to the farmers back in the 1800's. They helped protect the rest of the herd until the farmer could get out there to rescue them. I will be sharing more.

Alastar, This video was a plus when I was just looking for a picture but I loved this video also. The goats become such a part of your family. I am so happy that you came by.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Becky, I had never heard of fainting goats, a great video.

A lovely heart warming story of memories thank you for sharing.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I am so happy that you came by to visit. I loved the video also.


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

I loved this video! I grew up in the country, and had a pet goat. They are very intelligent animals, too. Mine would follow me around just like my dog. When I read your profile, I see you and I have a lot in common. What a beautiful baby! I voted this oneUP


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

mary615, Thank you for coming by and leaving such a wonderful comment. We would let our goats out in the yard to eat the grass and they would follow the dogs around. They played tag with the dogs and followed us while we were cleaning the yard. My son used to go out to the goat shed at night when he was upset and just sit there with them. He said if you sat quietly, they would come over and lay with their heads in his lap while he petted and talked to them. He always came in in a better mood. For someone bi-polar, that is a wonderful thing.


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Children and Pets do communicate with other, I think. I know from being around horses, that they are far more patient with children than they are of adults. Goats seem to be the same way. See you around.....


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Ahh, but he was 16. Beyond the child stage. lol


Ghost32 5 years ago

I hadn't heard of fainting goats, either...but this did remind me of an ordianary goat story.

My kid sister in Montana commutes 100 miles round trip to her nursing job but lives on a ranch with her husband. They have goats, but her husband forbade her to haul any of them around in the new minivan.

So when she wanted to have one of the nannies bred by a billy on a farm some 75 miles from home, she simply hogtied the goat, stuffed it in under the security cover in the back, and away they went.

A week later, she reversed the process with the now pregnant nanny. Not until the little nanny goat had her kids did my brother in law stop to wonder how the heck the critter had managed to get pregnant in the first place--he'd never even noticed she was missing from the goat pen for a week!

Not sure my sis ever told him. :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Funny, I transported ours in a car to get them to our place but it was a really old car. They all fit in the back seat. The donkey got moved out there in the back of a Dodge Dakota at 7 mo. The white one in the top picture was our billy. He was a year old when we got them. He was the youngest of the four. Might have been the smartest also.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, Becky! GREAT, WONDERFUL read! Amazing talent you have. I am from the country. Grew up in country and never left. Voted up and all the way! I am, with your permission, a fan and a follower. Regards, Kenneth Avery, from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama, that looks 100% like Mayberry, the town on the Andy Griffith Show. God bless you, Becky and I am glad to have found you on hubs.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Kenneth, I am so honored to have you as a fan and follower. I am feeling flustered by your praise and am so happy you enjoyed this. Thank you for coming by.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, Becky! You are so welcome. I mean what I say and vice versa. My parents taught me to never waste words. Or breath. So I am what I am and I am so glad that I met you on hubs. I will fondly look for your literary adventures and just keep up the great work. I love it. Warmest thoughts, Kenneth


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Kenneth, I am so happy that you came by to visit. You seem to be such a happy, enthusiastic person. Just wrote my first fiction piece yesterday. Little Monsters. Check it out and tell me what you think.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Gotcha. Will do that in a minute. Thank YOU for the 'hubs up,' and I will read it. You are so caring. Thanks again. Kenneth


ThomasRydder 5 years ago

Hey Becks....great little piece...yet another little glimpse into your past. I had kinda pictured you as a person who is well-grounded in family. I see now that's true...shot you a vote and enjoyed it a lot. TR


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Thomas, I am happy that you enjoyed this. Thanks for the votes and I am so happy that you enjoyed it and for coming to visit.


ThomasRydder 5 years ago

BTW...i had a VERY clear picture of the kids running around and scaring the fur off the goats, just so they could watch them bleat in fear and faint. HILARIOUS!!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Thomas, I have some of my kids chasing the goats too somewhere but not on the computer. I have to get all my pictures scanned so that I will have them on a cd but haven't had the time. That seemed to be their favorite past time.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Hey there Becky. This was a fun read learning about your past. You tell the story so vividly and it was a fun read. It is always fun reading about the past. Votes up:)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi tlw. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this story. I had so much fun with it then and really miss it sometimes now. Thank you for coming by and visiting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Wonderful and thank you so much for sharing.

Here's to so many more toshare on here.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Eiddwen, I am glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for coming by and visiting.


fornalina profile image

fornalina 5 years ago from Poznan, Poland

I love country. It's so peaceful there and the life is totally different than in a city. No rush.

And those goats are lovely!


zenras profile image

zenras 5 years ago from near negril, jamaica

country living.... nothing to beat it.. :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

zenras, you are so right, nothing beats the quit, relaxed life. Thanks for coming by and visiting.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

fornalina, I appreciate you coming by to visit. It is so nice and peaceful here in the country. The goats are lovely. The donkey also, he is so sweet.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Becky,

I smiled broadly at this nostalgic and charming article from start to finish... Voted UP & all across the board!

I now want to be a "Tennessee fainting goat" in my next life-- wow, wish I had thought of that idea (LOL)!

This makes me think of my 'odd but cool' brother's nickname for Mom (GOAT) because she had a pet goat POOKY (what a weird family but a lot of fun) growing up in Washington GA. OK, sorry for the digression... mar!


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Good Morning, mar, I just reread this great Hub. May I link it with my story My Room? It describes my little room in the country where I grew up. Many thanks.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Marcojor, Thank you for the big votes. I don't know about wanting to be a fainting goat in your next life. You do realize, don't you, that most goats are raised for food?

That is funny that your mom's nickname was Goat. My password for my computer was goat for quite a while. My sons finally figured out what it was and I had to change it. I even had a clue on there and they figured it was one of the dogs. Weird families are fun. I had a very large, weird family. I wrote a hub about my family, canoeing and camping. We used to play hide and seek by moonlight on the lake. My dads older sisters and their husbands would be out there also. Some of them were in their 70's.

Mary, check your post, I am not mar, and I am not sure if this is the hub you want to link with. If it is, you may. But I don't think this is the one you meant. LOL


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Becky! I'm a little goofy today. My eye went up and saw the comment you made to Marcojor, and I type that name instad of yours. This is the Hub I'd like to link to because I wrote of country life. It's call My My Room if you'd like to see it. Many thanks. Mary


5 years ago

Voted up. Goats have a real character! (And then there is the expression, sorting the sheep from the goats ...)

Interesting hub.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

LOL, we all get that way sometimes. No problem with linking. I will figure out how to someday. I will be over to read it in a little bit. Always love to see you here.

f, I never had sheep but I hear they are more closely related to goats than we realize. The goats were great fun and we always enjoyed them. People do not realize how much personality that goats and rabbits have. I wrote another hub about my bunny Buggy. He was great fun also.


5 years ago

I'll check it out.


Story Page profile image

Story Page 5 years ago from England, the UK

Hi Becky I had seen a short video clip of the fainting goats in the past but never knew why they were doing this. I felt sad watching the video about the little goat that had health problems and also about the reason they were kept originally. It was a nice page to visit as your reminiscences are nice. I can remember as a little kid, my parents taking me somewhere that had baby goats and having to run away as one started to eat the hem of my best dress.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Story Page, So glad you could come by for a visit. Goats are a lot of fun. They do like to chew on things though. I never did have one damage the material.


Agnes Penn profile image

Agnes Penn 4 years ago from Nicholson, Pennsylvania, USA

Good family times past are not made to make us sad they prepare us for life's crises, they make us stronger and hopeful. Thank you for sharing your memories. The fainting goats are too funny!

Merry Christmas!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Memories always make me feel stronger. Thank you for coming by.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Hi Becky, I can relate to this one, we too, live in the country and have occasional "get togethers" with family and friends....cook out, bond fires....all of them with special memories.

great hub...


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi Chris, We don't live in the country right now. We live in an apartment and hate it. My husband is a disabled Veteran from Vietnam. He was having problems and the only place we could find was here at the time. Now our van is broke and even though we would love to get out of here, we are stuck for a while longer. I can't wait to get moved back into some privacy.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I love the country. I lived in the city as a child and was able to move to semi-country when my husband and I first married. Some 11 years later we were able to purchase a small country house on 40 acres. Tons of trees, 2 ponds and lots of wildlife. My grown kids as well as my grandchildren love to come out. We cook out often in the spring and summer and the kids can play and fish. It sounds like you had many good times yourself. I have seen the video on the fainting goats before, they are so unusual. Great hub, voted up and interesting! :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

sg, I really wish I had a little place out in the country again. We live in an apartment right now and are just overwhelmed by the noise. My husband has PTSD from Vietnam and gets so tense at noise. Working at getting out of here but when you are on disability, you are always short of money. We will work it out, we have done it on less, it will just take time. Thank you for coming by to visit. I really appreciate it.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This is a great story about your time in the country Becky. I enjoyed reading about your fainting goats and the baby and your pet donkey. I had no idea that they have distinctive personalities like that, but then I should know. For a short time we raised emu and they each one was quite a different character. Nice read here and enjoyable photos.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Peg, I have discovered that all of the farm animals seem to have very distinctive personalities. Rabbits are funny little things that like to play and have very distinct senses of humor also. Goats like to do different things and sometimes we could figure out what they were making noise over and which one was doing what by their sounds. I really enjoyed them all. I really appreciate you coming by to visit.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Love this story. It brings back memories for me. I have heard of fainting goats before but never knew the facts about them until now.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Wayne, good to see you again. I loved the fainting goats, they were so much fun. They are sweet when handled regularly and are totally ruled by their stomach's. They loved the sweet feed and would just about attack you to get it. We couldn't allow our daughter, who was only six, to give it to them unless she had others out there to protect her. They would have walked all over her. We had to move out of the country into a town for awhile and miss the quiet terribly. I will make it back out into the country sooner or later. So glad I could get your memories going. Thank you for coming by to visit.

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