Back in July, Rose suddenly decided to start helping milk the goats. She has wanted to help milk in the past, but our cow Matilda is not friendly enough.
She started by helping bring them down from the pasture. During black cherry season it was quite a task to convince them to stop gobbling up fallen cherries under every tree on the way down.
One day she helped milk Firefly. The next day she also helped with Cricket. Her hands, unused to milking, got tired quickly. I would take over when that happened. I thought that certainly she would lose interest and go off to play, but she hasn't. She took a break for a few days when Firefly accidentally kicked her in the face - a hazard of the job. But then she was back.
She milks the close side of all the goats we are currently milking - May, Firefly and Cricket. Her hands have grown stronger and stronger, and now she can milk out the whole side without my help.
She also helps put rolled barley and the mineral mix in the milking stand. I let the goats in and they jump right up and start gobbling. I hold the jar we collect the milk it. If she needs to rest, I take over and milk the other side. She insists that she gets to milk the one side out completely. We sit, just the two of us (well, three, right Cricket?) and chat. It's becoming our evening ritual that we both look forward to.