"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of the Mighty Quinn

Yesterday was a day quite like no other. Early in the morning I looked out the barn toward the house, hoping against small hope, that it was time for breakfast. What I observed, instead, was the goatmother coming out the front door with the Mighty Quinn in tow destined for his morning toilette. However, when the goatmother set the mighty little blighter down, he made a bee-line straight for the flower bed that runs along the front of the deck. Now this flower bed is rife with fir shavings that serve to mulch the plants. Fir shavings are indeed good for mulch, or so I hear, but it seems that some time during the night, the neighbor's cat had decided they would be good for quite a different reason. And so, on this ill-fated morning, the flower bed and resident fir shavings held a surprise. A surprise to which the Mighty Quinn was mightily attracted, and to which the goatmother, most assuredly, was not. The Mighty Quinn was immediately called with the five short whistles that mean 'if you come, you will get a treat'. Surprisingly, and obligingly, he left his newly discovered 'treat' in favor of the one being proffered by the much relieved goatmother. That's what happened in the morning.

Later, after our breakfast finally arrived, the goatmother went to rid the flower bed of it's most recent acquisition. I could hear her exclaiming clear across the yard about what a healthy colon the neighbor's cat has. To be sure, the disposal was completed and the shavings returned to their former state. But periodically throughout the day, a commotion would arise each time the Mighty Quinn passed the area, and was magnetically drawn, like a goat to Peanuts, to this now familiar spot. Apparently the eau de cologne was persistent.

Finally dusk arrived. We had eaten our dinner and were just about to settle down to some serious hay munching when we heard another disturbance from the direction of the house. This time it was coming from the back. It was growing dark and the goatmother had again brought the Mighty Quinn out. But the Mighty Quinn was in no mood to relieve himself just yet and began dashing hither and yon about the yard. Now when I say 'dash', I mean this boy could win an Olympic medal. He's even faster than a speeding goat at feeding time!

Finally Quinn disappeared behind one of the lilac bushes and emerged with something in his mouth. The goatmother looked disheartened. I could see this even in the growing darkness, and even from the barn. She used the five short whistles. Quinn just looked at her with 'whatever-it-was' sticking out either side of his mouth. If a dog can grin, Quinn was grinning. Finally after a recreational game of chase and a few more short whistles, the Mighty Quinn dropped 'whatever-it-was' in favor of the treat. It was still just light enough that the goatmother could make out that 'whatever-it-was' was, in fact, half a dead mouse. Great Goat only knows what happened to the other half. The goatmother screwed up her face into the classic Greek 'Ick' position, at which point the Mighty Quinn took the opportunity to snatch up the dead half mouse and scoot away - free again. A few more whistles and the prize was dropped with the Mighty Quinn coming expectantly for his treat. Relief! ...except, by now it was quite dark and the errant half body was nowhere to be found.

All too predictably, the Mighty Quinn was unceremoniously scooped up and ushered into the house, wherein loud yelling could be heard telling the goatfather to get the heck up out of that bed and watch the Mighty Quinn so the goatmother could go back out. In the dark. With the flashlight. The wayward, hemicorporal mouse, had to be found and disposed of. After all, hadn't the Mighty Quinn already proven he was quite capable of 'returning to the scene of the crime' earlier in the day?

The view from the barn was interesting to say the least. A dark form in the night, flashlight in hand. A mysterious beam casting about... searching .... Alas, the recalcitrant mouse booty could not be located, and all the goatmother got for her effort were scores of mosquitoes and moths buzzing merrily about. In defeat she returned to the house to await the dawn.

As they say, 'herein lies the rub'.
Tomorrow morning, or perhaps late in the night, it will be a toss up. Which way will the Mighty Quinn go? Will he lead us to the front incident site and perhaps another new and disgusting deposit? Or, will he go to the the back, scoop up the half a dead mouse, and proceed to dash around the house with it hanging gayly from his jaws and just out of reach of anyone trying to retrieve it? I'm not a betting goat myself, but exceptions can be made in special circumstances. Anyone care to place a wager?

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