12 Human kids plus more kids….

12 Human kids (all considerably under 12 in age), 2 Human adults, 4 goat kids, 4 goat adults, one of whom is pregnant.  These were the attendees of our impromptu berry picking adventure the other day.

The Blackberries are out in force and after picking about 8 cups of berries for scones (to be sold by the kids in the Harbor to unwitting boats moored there) my big mouth sister Heidi told everyone who would listen where all of the best berries are right now which is SO AGAINST “THE RULES”.  You never share your shellfish bed or berry locations.  Half the fun is finding them on your own….but anyway, she is nicer than I am anyway and everyone knows that.

So I figured that if I wanted any berries for jam I had best get out there fast and so Beatrice and I decided to hit the road.  But then we went to the boat and Clementine and Imogene wanted to join us and then Oskar and Hanna Maria of course had to get in on the action and then Alex and Rachel saw that we were leaving  and they jumped in to the fray.  Oh, and Clem and Mo brought along Wes and his little bro who THANK GOD also happened to turn up with a parent, Libby, so at least there were now two adults with this crazy lot of kids (did I mention that the eldest of the group was 10??)  Well, OF COURSE we had to walk past the stable where we picked up Charlotte, Sarah, and Sophie.  Nope, no parent, just more kids.

We headed up towards Stone House and as we walked out of the farm the 4 kids (goat kids, that is) decided that a walk with our crowd might be pretty peachy so they just fell into step with us.  Now the white goats are very cute.  The four kids are sweet and they wear collars which I find funny but clearly it’s necessary as they seem to wander so it makes it easier to grab ahold of the collar and pull them back into line.  The 2 white mama goats, at least one of whom is pregnant, are also cute.  But then there are the mutant earless goats.  These 2 goats I am sorry to say have been bred to have no ears.  They have the most lovely coat that is brown and almost brindled and one has a long stripe down his back (his name is Tiger) and they look really cute from far away but when you get up close THEY HAVE NO EARS..  It is just wrong.  I feel so sorry for them.  Anyway, they came too and does it surprise you to hear that they didn’t LISTEN to us when we told them to go home?  No of course it doesn’t.

Oh, so back to the berries.  Narrow paths.  Jockeying for position in front of the berries, lots of whining and pushing and shoving.  Mind you the human kids were now fighting and whining about the goat kids and how they were stealing all the good berries blah blah blah and there was much grousing on all sides.  Have you ever seen a human kid and a goat kid have a face off?  Very funny.  Well matched.  They would alternate pushing each other off the path (narrow with brambles on either side) and nudging each other out of the way to get to the berries.  Very funny.  OH, DID I MENTION THAT LIBBY AND I WERE THE ONLY TWO ADULTS ON THIS MISSION????

Well, after collecting about 4.5 berries we decided to head towards the North Shore Road via Breakwater path (oh, now I am revealing my sister’s berries but as you will soon find out they are gone now anyway) to get more berries.  Much infighting ensued.  12 human kids, 4 goat kids, all fighting like siblings (you know of course that all of the kids on the trip are cousins) and Libby and I doing our best to not get involved.

We get to the beach and then that was that.  No more berries.  Swimming in underwear or fully clothed in the case of Oskar in his LONG pants became the new adventure.

Swimming was great until we had to saddle up to go meet Aunt China at the morning boat.  It turns out that some key articles of clothing had disappeared and the goats did seem to have snarky, cat that ate the canary guilty kind of looks on their EARLESS faces.  We packed up what clothing we could find and headed to the boat.

On the walk to the boat there was much discussion as to how really only two people have an Aunt China and then the rest of the human kids needed to figure out what kind of cousin China was to them so there was much discussion of 2nd cousin once removed, 3rd cousin, 3rd cousin once removed, etc.  I think I likely lost them all at “cousin” but they pretended to listen and then all continued to refer to China as Aunt China (who, incidentally, has an uncanny and totally endearing ability to remember EVERYBODY’S name so her arrival on the boat always makes anyone on the dock feel special because she addresses EVERYONE by name…..oh,  and she has really cool glasses with aqua zig zag details that she got from LA Eyeworks for FREE because she is so fabulous and all she needs to do is tell everyone—-and she knows everyone so LA Eyeworks knew what they were doing when they gave her those glam glasses—-that she got them from LA Eyeworks).

So anyway, we made it to the boat.  We met China.  We came home with about 17 berries and 3 ziploc bags filled with soggy clothing minus a few key pieces that at this point are either in the belly or the digestive tract of an EARLESS goat named Tiger or perhaps we will find small pieces of the missing clothing in small balls of poop in the meadow.  I know I don’t plan to go have a look.  UGH.

Successful journey.  12 human kids, 2 human adults, 4 goat kids, 4 adult goats, at least 1 of whom is pregnant and 2 of whom have no ears.  WHAT A DAY!!!