I can almost taste it

Slowly we are watching Winter and the Ice Giants recede into the Northlands for another year. But before they depart, we still face the possibility of blistering cold and mountains of snow and ice.  This week has proven to be just such a time.  The Jet Stream has wandered into the the south western part of the US and that has opened those of us in the Great Lakes region up to a blast of Arctic air. Combine the cold air with Lakes that are nearly ice free (Lake Erie is around 1% ice rather than the norm of 60% for this time of year), and we got ourselves a good old Lake Effect Snow Event. To listen to my fellow tree trimmers talk about it, one would think it was a proper Snow-mageddon. “We’re gunna git 16″!!!!”  I just looked at them. East Cleveland and South Buffalo seem to have gotten the brunt of the snow. Here in Ohio’s Sharpest Corner, we may have gotten 3″, maybe. And it never really got all that cold, barely going into the low 20s. Oh how they cried about the frigid windchill and how bad the roads were going to get.  I guess so?  Didn’t really seem like much of anything. But then I don’t have the “need for speed” that most of those boys do. By that, I mean I can drive the speed limit or less without feeling like less of a man. It’s not because I’m almost 50 either. I have always had trouble driving fast. (Except that time we crossed the Crow Reservation at 110 mph, Prudent and Reasonable indeed).

Regardless, as often happens when late winter weather takes a turn to the ugly, birthing comes when it’s ready, calendar be damned. I got a message to call Leah Wednesday morning. The cell signal was terrible so we had trouble hearing each other, but what I could make out was that Marzanna had given birth. For some reason, I thought she wasn’t due for another month, so we were not expecting it.

Are they Ferrets?
Still in a pile outside the womb

Leah told me that she walked into the barn to let the girls out that morning and at first thought the barn was infested with skunks!! That awkward moment when something totally unexpected is seen and the brain scrambles to figure out exactly what it is seeing. IT’S A PANCAKE! IT’S A CHEETA! IT’S A KICKBALL! ARE THOSE SKUNKS?! Oh wait, those are very small goats. Huh.

Marzanna & Brigit
Marzanna and Brigit

Marzanna has done a wonderful job of tending to her new kids. As one would expect. The majority of the time, these things take care of themselves. She knows exactly what is going on and what needs doing.

Tanngrisnir. Risnir for short. In English it’s Teeth-bearer or Snarler

A few short texts and 2 long grueling hours later, I was able to call her back and get the full story. One girl and 2 boys, Marzanna seems fine and attentive. Heat lamp, fresh bedding, door closed. Huh indeed.

We have been looking to historical sources for the names, and this time is no different. The girl is (Saint) Brigit. While the boys are Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. For those who don’t know, these are the goats that Thor used to pull his chariot. The English translations are Teeth-bearer and Teeth-grinder. Fun, right? Why not? Brigit is by far the smallest and Risnir is far and away the largest, almost 2x her size. He’s simply a monster.

With Marzanna throwing her kids this week, that means that Andromache is due in around 3 weeks. BRING ON THE BABY GOATS!!! We haven’t had that kind of energy here for many years now. The main concern is how to introduce tiny prey to a bored and overeager semi-predator? Maly will need to be watched. Not that these little monsters will be out of the barn any time soon.

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