Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sign Language.....

Ever notice how animals give us signs for what they want? Some of them UNDERSTAND English better then a few people I know - they just can't SPEAK it.

Autumn, one of our Dachshunds, lets us know she wants a "goodie" by sneezing and pointing to where she knows they are stored. She doesn't always get one, but it's not for lack of trying....Rascal likes to get out of bed in the morning and expect fresh milk in his dish. The first thing he does is stick his nose inside the pan, then snort loudly and give a huff if he finds it empty.

With cats, it can be hard to tell EXACTLY what they are up to, just watch the tail twitch - you can bet they're going to be doing SOMETHING soon. Of course, cats don't use "body" language a lot, they just stand by the feed pan and yeowl....

Goats - they can be pretty vocal at times, but they are also good at "pointing" at what they want or gesturing about what they're after. Take hay for instance - this requires feet on the gate, nose sticking through the wire and a low, mournful (VERY mournful...) Baaaaaaaa......then pointing to the stack with your nose.

Grain is different. This requires pushing your nose through said gate (or fence) as far as you can, then licking the air with your tongue as fast as you can.

They are NOT amused when I reach out and rub a tongue with my fingers....This brings out a TOTALLY different type of gesture...

Sometimes, they just look at you and STARE.....

Showgirl

In THIS particular instance, Showgirl is trying to tell me that their corn stalk supply is running low....

Since Mabel and her charges have arrived, I've been able to pick up on a few things cows do. One, for instance, is that poor, pitiful look on their long faces when I'm late with the corn stalks. They stand by where I usually put them and stare, longingly at the house. Sometimes, they see the pickup coming down the driveway, and they head to the stalk feeder, only to be disappointed when it doesn't stop.

Ever seen a grown cow cry?

I have......

Lately, Mabel has been taking to letting me know she wants more grain on the milk stand. She will sniff, snort and swing her head at me. When she knows she has my undivided attention, she snorts and points with her nose to the recently emptied pan. She repeats as necessary until I give her some more grain.

In the past few days, when I unlatch the stanchion, she looks over her shoulder at me, then points to the pan, as if to say "Just ONE more bite...?". Sometimes, I give in....

She's addicted to alfalfa pellets...

Mabel is also a "wienie" cow - she HATES to be out in the rain or snow. I watched out the window yesterday during the rain and snow we had. Chuck, the Blind Guy was out in the weather, happily munching away at the hay in the feeder while Mabel and Belle stood in the hut thinking he was nuts. He won in the end, though - by the end of the day, he went back to the hut to sleep it off while the other two went hungry.

For our morning milking, it was difficult getting Mabel to leave the dry confines of her hut, to make the trek to the barn. I stood in the back doorway of the barn like normal, bucket of grain in my hand. I rattled the bucket and called Mabel. Normally, she hears grain, and comes up the hill and into the barn.

Not this time. She looked at me over the fence, shook her head, snorted and pointed to the hut beside her.

She wanted ME to COME TO HER with breakfast! I told her, "No, it doesn't work like that! YOU come HERE..."

It reminded me of that Bill Cosby skit....."Here is HERE...There is THERE....You come HERE....."

She snorted again and repeated her pointing into the hut. I think she really thought I'd cave....Instead, I told her "FINE, you don't want breakfast - then I'm giving it to the goats!"

She gave me an evil stare, another snort, then trudged out into the rain.....

I guess it's a good thing cows don't have middle fingers....

1 comment:

  1. *giggle* Isn't that the truth! Love your parting thought! LOL

    It's amazing how animals can get their point across even thought they don't speak our language. :)

    ReplyDelete

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