Over the years we have been so lucky with our bucks. From Lucky Star we got two wonderful LaMancha bucks. From Poppy Patch – – the Stangeland family farm in Montesano – we got Poppy Patch RC Captain January and Honey Goat Easter Jackpot, two really outstanding bucks who had a huge influence on our herd.
The Stangelands really laid the foundation not just for their own herd but for the improvement of Nigerian Dwarfs throughout the Northwest. There is no doubt they did more for the entire region than any other single breeder. They brought in animals from Twin Creeks, from Promisedland, from Old Mountain, from Buttin’ Heads, from Rosasharn. And later from Algedi and Alethia. And they then disseminated those genetics – very generously – around the area. There is not a breeder in the Northwest who does not owe them a big debt of gratitude, not just for their savvy breeding but for their kindness and generosity. They are some of the nicest people I have met in the goat world, and they brought and bred some beautiful goats. I loved my Poppy Patch boys.
But there is one little guy after all these years who really sticks in my heart, and that is Marquee. He was the sire of Hannah Belle, among others. Baby Belle’s first daughter was a single doeling, appropriately, because she was never one for sharing the limelight. One of the prettiest, wickedest, most unforgettable goats to ever walk the Earth.
But even if he hadn’t been Hannah Belle’s sire, Marquee was the mellowest buck I ever met. In the early days, in the summer when no one was in heat, he lived with the does. I was just dumb enough to do that at the time, I would never try it now. But he was a perfect gentleman, and never bothered anybody. He would go on hikes through the meadow with the girls, always a little portly and huffing as he brought up the rear.
In the winter, since I had no other buck, he lived with an old barren Nubian doe. You would not believe how much she loved him, she would howl in anguish when he was breeding other does.
One thing I love about breeding goats is the way you will see certain traits come through again and again and again. Marquee had a characteristic splotch across his nose. And we still see it in his progeny in the Belle line; this spring when Belle Starr’s triplets were born, I thought, “Hello, Marquee,” when I saw them.
Before Marquee came here he had been around the block, living at at least three other farms. A measure of his lovability came several years after he arrived here: out of the blue, I got an email from his original breeder. She had been out of goats for a while, but she just always wondered how Marquee was doing. She never forgot him. So she tracked him down to find out.
He did great. He loved life.
He is gone now. But not forgotten.
Valley View Hannah’s Marquee. My all-time favorite buck.