Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Share milking

Better with Feta, in moderation, at least.
Mr Farmer wants a holiday, but Helen needs to be milked every day, twice a day, twelve hours apart. The solution to the problem is obvious: Mr Farmer needs to take Helen on holiday with him.

Neither Mr Farmer nor Helen like the solution. Mr Farmer says he can't take a goat on holiday. Helen says she wouldn't want to go on holiday with Mr Farmer, even if he begged. Unless, of course, Mr Farmer was holidaying in a hay barn or at the Fiskens' grain-processing plant, but Helen doubts that Mr Farmer has this sort of exciting holiday in mind.

A second solution is proposed: Mr Farmer needs to hire a relief milker, to cover milking duties in his absence. An ad is placed in the Countryside Chronicle (and in Ewes of the World, for good measure), and several applicants apply. One applicant shines through - an applicant with extensive milking experience - an applicant who is willing to milk Helen at least twice a day, if not more. In what may be a first at Fiveacres, Helen and Mr Farmer are in agreement: They have found their ideal relief milker.

Feta is offered a trial, and accepts instantly. Her first week goes without a hitch - Feta takes two litres every day, and leaves two for cheese. Mr Farmer and Helen are relieved - pleased, even - and decide to offer Feta a temporary share milking contract until she begins her relief milking over Christmas. Feta accepts, and even offers to take on extra duties on weekends (and all other times when Mr Farmer wants to sleep in or stay out late).

Things go downhill after the contract is signed. Feta forgets that her job title is share milker, and drinks almost all the milk, every day. There is barely enough left for Mr Farmer's coffee. Mr Farmer has a conundrum: he wants a holiday, but does not like black coffee.

Additionally, Feta gets bored between milkings. To pass the time, Feta teaches herself to jump on top of her house. When that becomes easy, Feta tries to jump from the top of her house onto Helen's back. Over the course of the week, Feta perfects the technique, and begins to wonder about her chances at the Olympics. Helen is not impressed, and suggests that Mr Farmer forgo his holiday and dismiss Feta under the 90-day-trial law. Kids are such hard work, says Helen. Even harder work than farmers.

Another solution is proposed: Feta is to be employed only between the hours of 6.30 pm and 6.30 am. At other times, she is to be put into daycare. Feta will commence full-time employment only when Mr Farmer goes on holiday. Helen likes this solution, because it means she can live the life of a young, attractive and care-free goat during the day. Mr Farmer likes this solution, because it means there is sufficient milk for coffee and cheese. Feta does not like this solution, but is distracted when she discovers that she can jump up the side of the big a-frame goat house and almost make it to the top.

The solution works well, but soon - as always happens on the farm - another problem rears its ugly head: Someone has started a rumor about a permanent sharemilking position for Feta.


  1. Maybe Feta should join the Circus and see the world. :)

    1. The circus thinks that is an excellent idea, and not just because Feta will work for peanuts! Mr Farmer and Helen both appreciate your solution, too...