Biff! Bam! Pow! That was the sound of a recent one-two-three punch as our farm got hit by a series of what could only be, at it’s most gentle, described as a series of Cluster-Fornications. First there was the surprise birth of twin bucks by Marguerite, who, unbeknownst to us, was pregnant. This was in early July. At the same time we had a lamb go down and it died, shortly after July 4, in Lori’s arms. Heart-wrenching. Then Benny, our big beautiful buck, went missing. We fortunately found him in our woods, but I had to put on the equivalent of a space suit (my padded Carhart coveralls and a heavy canvass coat) to wade through a 300 foot thicket of blackberries to retrieve him and get him back over to our side of the fence – all of this in warm weather. An Ivy League PhD does not prepare one very well to haul a 240 pound animal through said 300 foot thicket, but we managed. The same day our Golden Retriever, Spuddy, killed yet another chicken. Also the same day we picked up two new Jacobs Sheep. There was nothing for it, either, except to wire up the entire paddock once I got Benny to the other side. After heading to town and getting the necessary equipment it was late in the day and hot, but we were determined NOT to have to haul his ass, which is now substantially heavier than my own, through the thicket again. At 4:00 pm I loaded up the bucket of the tractor with all the necessary materials, including a cooler with a 6 pack of vitamin R (for the uninitiated, that’s Rainier Beer), and worked on the fence and 6 pack until we finished around 6:30, at which time we headed to a friend’s place for dinner. Our friend, Susan, introduced us to Lucy whom she was looking to sell. We were smitten, and Lucy is now our latest addition. Hard lessons, a hard week (nothing is worse than losing animals), but assuaged by the power of this adorable chocolate Nubian and hoppy Northwest lager.