"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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring is in the 'Air' - Literally


As you can see, spring is in the air. Now if you look quite closely, you can see me in that group by the barn. You are perhaps wondering why it is I look so tall? That would be because we have a most bodacious stack of concrete blocks in the middle of our 'yard'. Mostly whoever is on the top at any given moment is in charge. This happened to be my moment.

Now, if you look even more closely, you can see that my ears are extending sideways a la mode d'airplaine. There is a reason for this. I have decided to become the very first goat aviatrix. I am sure I can do this. Why, you ask? Let's just say 'the grass is always greener...'.

So my plan is to glide right over the fence to that patch of luscious green spring grass right over the west fence. I mean, really! There is alfalfa growing there. But first there are a few logistics I have to work out.

I am sure my svelte caprine body is aerodynamically sound. No problem there. But then there is a small question of 'center of gravity'. I will admit I may have had just a tad too many Peanuts to make this feasible. I mean I guess I have to admit I'm no ultralight. But I have worked out the correct pitch, which is the nose angle, and the most advantageous ear angle - not dihedral and not anhedral, but angled just enough to produce the proper stability in light of my center of gravity issues. I have the flight level calculated to rise just enough to clear the electric wire at the top of the fence. I will need to observe visual flight rules since I don't have access to any instrumentation - unless you can count a rake. Those coyotes are going to be SO envious!

Now there is a matter of thrust. I've been working on this one. I think I can antagonize Ella just enough to come running at me when my next 'moment' happens on the concrete block mountain. She can deliver some pretty awesome power if you give her a little encouragement - like telling her ALL the Peanuts are mine! That should do it.

So I just need to bide my time and wait for the next breezy day to add a little lift into the mix. I've checked and my tail rudder is in good working order. You know, it takes a superior mind to realize what can be created from something so mundane as a stack of plain old concrete blocks. A launching pad. Who knew?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

All Who Wander Are Not Lost

Well, today was rather exciting. The goatfather was doing some manly burning of brush piles, so we got to go along. Of course we were with the goatmother because the goatfather was far too busy to worry about which grass patches were at optimum flavor and which Salal bushes had the best leaves.

Even though the pasture was delectable, I still need my space. I can't be expected to just eat. I have to take in the vastness of the universe. I have to commune with nature. I have to watch for dogs. And so, I wandered off to appease my inner-goat. Boo and Ella, of course, follow the goatmother everywhere she goes. I am not sure if this is out of some misplaced assumption that the goatmother is omniscient, or simply a matter of intense desire for Peanuts. Peasants! They simply do not see the greater workings of life - the dangers that abound!

Of course the goatmother gets quite irritated with me. She can not find it in her heart to just let me 'be'. There is no faith in my superb intuition. And so, periodically, I am forced to abandon my musings and catch up with the crowd.

On this particular morning, however, it was a darned good thing that I was paying attention. Nobody else was. The neighbor's dog appeared! She did hesitate before bounding forward, but by then my eagle eyes (which are really goat eyes, but that is beside the point) had spotted her. ALL the hair on my back stood up and I ran to warn the others! We circled the wagons against the imminent attack. But the dog just ran up to the goatmother and the goatfather, bounding here and bounding there, and really looking quite ridiculous. Then the unthinkable happened. Ella, that dolt!, actually ran forward as if to play with the dog! My heart sank. But the dog simply continued her bounding here and bounding there, back and forth between the goatmother and the goatfather. Then she took off bounding back toward home. (she does a lot of bounding, that dog.)

As my heart returned from my throat to my chest, I began to relax and soon all seemed right with the world. I looked around, decided everyone was doing quite well on their own now, and wandered off again. If only the goatmother could realize there is a difference between misguided wandering and disguised vigilance.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Van Goght

Well now, it has been several days, and it just seems like nothing has happened here exciting enough to stimulate my superior intellect. The goatmother and the goatfather did complete a remodeling project on our humble quarters. That was kind of interesting. We now have complete run of the barn at night (except for the the grain room - which only the mice are privy to) at least until that dumb fainting goat gets here. It was kind of fun watching and trying to help the project along, especially when they went to lunch and left the ladder in the barn. Let's just say when they came back it wasn't exactly where they had left it. Imagine that?

Of course if it ever stops raining we're going to get to paint! Now that will be exciting! I have plans for a mural depicting goats throughout history. So far, though, the only paint I've heard anything about is gray. Plain old gray. The very same color as the rest of the barn. Ella likes gray. She thinks it is understated - chic. Boo could care less unless it involves Peanuts (which I have to admit isn't such an absurd idea). But how am I going to complete my mural with only gray? This will be a challenge. That goatmother! She can't dance, she has no sense of propriety, and she has no imagination! Gray. How gauche!

I may have to cut off an ear. Absinthe anyone?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

'Mikey'

As previously promised, my turn for the 'vaccination' came around. In retrospect it wasn't too bad. However, a surprise came with it in the form of an apple/cinnamon-flavored paste. Yuk. But in keeping with my newfound philosophical mantra, I found happiness in acceptance. The happiness part came when it was over, mind you, but none-the-less happiness was found just like Zeno said. A wise man that Zeno.

I'm going to have to have a long discussion with Boo, though. She is still holding on to the whole Gandhi, 'I'm not doing this' routine. She's quick on the 'download', but a bit like molasses on the 'upload' . She ended up with more paste on her head than in her mouth. Hey, it wasn't that bad.

But Ella - now that was just disgusting. Miss goody-two-shoes hopped right up there on that stand and stuck her head right into the 'stocks'. She could have cared less. The goatmother was absolutely delighted! She's going to get the mistaken impression that we should all act like that. The whole idea of goat mystique is in jeopardy. And to top it off, when the goatmother showed Ella 'the tube', she actually started licking the stuff. She liked it, for goat's sake! Hey, 'Mikey'! Give it to 'Mikey'! Oy. That goat 'll eat anything!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Goat Wears Prada

It was a dark and stormy day. The goatmother decided it was time for a trim. The fact of the matter is she got a new file and was just dying to try it out. Believe me, pedicures are NOT my favorite activity. According to her, I acted quite abominably. The truth is, my actions were quite stoic.

I was first, of course, no doubt due to my well-deserved reputation for having an *artistic* temperament. The goatmother does not refer to me as 'The Little Linebacker' for nothing. I may be small, but I am most assuredly mighty! The goatfather, unfortunately, was there to help 'convince' me that I actually wanted to get up on that little wooden platform and have my head locked in. There was grain involved, but of course I had to maintain my dignity by doing the Gandhi thing - a hunger strike against treatment of untouchables. And this is EXACTLY what I wanted to be - untouchable. It didn't work. The goatmother and the goatfather simply ignored my proud efforts.

On the up side, I got to watch when it was Ella's turn. However, to my chagrin, she got right up there, put her head in the bucket and proceeded to munch away. She didn't even kick. What's up with that? Is she trying to start a trend? I think it has to be that whole 'supermodel' mentality at work here. She definitely fits into the 'all the bright, shiny people' category. How disgusting.

Now Boo, that was more like it. They had to actually lift all 160 pounds of her onto that stupid little wooden platform. Now there is a goat after my own heart. She has nice ears too. She followed along quite nicely with the whole Gandhi strike thing too. What a goat! But the goatmother and the goatfather have her number, and once the sacred Peanuts emerged, all was lost. Sad. Truly sad.

When the whole ordeal was over, I pouted. I'm not ashamed of it. I pouted! I refused to even accept a Peanut! I maintained my stoicism. Now, if I remember correctly, Zeno, an ancient Greek, was founder of a school of philosophy whose creed was; "A Stoic achieves happiness
by submission to destiny." In light of this, I have decided to adjust my thinking somewhat regarding this whole idea of mode de chaussure. Actually I do kind of feel a little spring in my step now. It does seem like I stand a little flatter on my therapy stump. I wonder if maybe next time I could ask for platforms?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Un-Birthday


Today is my birthday! Or it might not be my birthday. It really is hard to say. My former goatmother said my birthday was March 10th, but my official papers (yes, I do have papers. They are called Re Gistration papers, although I am unsure as to what 'Gistration' is) say that my birthday is March 16th. Well, really it is only 6 days, and a '0' looks very much like a '6' when you get right down to it. I say, celebrate both days! What can it hurt?

Anyway, now I am 2 whole years old! This makes me wise beyond measure. Keeping this in mind, it is my feeling that this entitles me to be Herd Queen. I told Boo. She just looked at me. I told Ella. She was too busy digging THE HOLE and trying to push me out of it. I told the mice, but of course they didn't pay any attention because they don't understand *Goat* and there was no grain involved. I tried to tell the goatmother, but she's too focused on figuring out how to get a Fainting Goat. Besides, in my humble opinion that direct bat hit certainly didn't do her any favors.

So, here it is my birthday...or my un-birthday. Sadly, I don't think I'm going to get to be Queen today - or any day for that matter. Fine. But I'm holding out for a Peanut cake.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Novel Idea Takes Form

Sometimes I worry about the goatmother. She is a nice lady, but she gets strange ideas. Her newest scheme involves a goat. Now I can't say as I have any objection to anything having to do with a goat, but I may have to make an exception this time. The goatmother has decided she wants to bring a new goat to live with us. On the surface this may seem purely innocent, but there is something definitely wrong with this picture. This will be a goat like no other we've ever seen. The goatmother wants a Fainter! (sigh...).

Now you are probably wondering what in the world is a Fainter? This little video will make it all very clear - perhaps too clear. Perhaps more clear than you ever wanted it to be.

I just don't know. I mean, what's next? An elephant? And you know, this new goat will probably faint if it doesn't get all the peanuts. You know, like those human kids you see kicking and screaming? Which will probably result in it's getting even more peanuts! Peanuts...Yes... Ever see a Myotonic Mini Nubian?


Saturday, March 10, 2007

~ The Road

Life is a journey; a road we travel. This morning Cookie, the Blue Heeler, went on up the road. We didn't go along.

The goatmother said Life is like a big library. We borrow souls along the way and it is our job to take good care of them as long as they are on loan to us. Eventually, though, their due date comes and they have to be returned.

From a goat's perspective, I think the Irish have got it right. We should run through the pasture, kick up our heels and CELEBRATE the life of souls we encounter along the road. We should be thankful and celebrate the privilege we were given in having known those souls.

This morning Cookie, the Blue Heeler, went on up the road and we didn't go along. But I know she didn't go alone for I saw an angel walking along on either side. And I know that at the end of the road my mother, Marty, Day Traveler, Artemis and many others were there to welcome her to a new, grand and glorious existence. Good-bye old friend. We will miss you.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Just A Short Note

I thought you would like to know that this morning breakfast was not late. I know I, for one, was very happy about that. The goatmother walked into the barn this morning and, believe you me, she looked UP before she opened that grain room door.

The goatfather, who is much taller than the goatmother, came out to check in the old chicken coop on the top shelf to see if the bat had flown away during the night. Sure enough he was gone. Whew! I am quite sure he has gone out to start a bat blog. The first entry will be the tale of the day he was knocked out of bed and experienced his first daylight hours shuttle launch. Houston, we HAVE a problem!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

And Thereby Hangs a Tail (Part Deux)

This morning our breakfast was late. Far be it from me to say anything untoward, but this mystique surrounding the mecca that is the grain room is beginning to border on the ridiculous!

Yesterday was not a good day for the goatmother and the goatfather. Our old friend, Cookie the Blue Heeler, has doggie alzheimer's. It is, and has been, a great challenge for the goatmother and the goatfather. It has come to the point that yesterday the veterinarian was called out to the house. Let us just say that all day the goatmother was asking the Universe, God, the Force, whatever your view of a higher power, for a sign that this was the right thing to do. When the time came and the vet arrived, the goatmother could not do it - not yet. The time wasn't right. We'll try a few more things. There was no sign.

The vet was nice. He could come back. Besides, he went home with a very good bottle of Zinfandel.

So that was yesterday. This morning the goatmother got up and came to the barn to give us our breakfast. She walked into the barn, opened up the door to the grain room and something grayish-brown and furry fell on her head. Literally hit her on the top of the head, bounced off and fell to the floor. I think she nearly lost all her goat berries. At first she thought it was one of the highly intelligent, overly-friendly, death-defying mice that frequent the barn. She screamed and jumped back expecting the mouse to laugh, point a little foot at her and run like h---. well, fast. He didn't run. In fact, he looked kind of strange. So the goatmother looked more closely and the *mouse* had what!? - wings! Oh, no! This can't be! Yes, the goatmother had opened the door to the grain room and a bat fell on her head.

Now the goatmother has a very hard head and so the bat was stunned. He lay on the floor and spread his wings and opened his little bat mouth no doubt reading her the riot act in squeaky bat language for disturbing his rest. I really wouldn't know since I don't speak *bat*, but I can well imagine. So the goatmother at first thought, "Oh my! A bat! Rabies!" But then remembering the class she and the goatfather had taken about bats, she remembered that, in fact, very few bats carry rabies and they are really very clean little creatures. After that class, the goatfather had laboriously built a lovely bat condo and hung it on the side of the shop hoping to attract nice little bats to eat all those pesky, vampiric little mosquitoes that fly about in the summer. That was 2 years ago, and as far as we know, no self-respecting bat has bothered to move in. No doubt because they've all been going to the barn.

So, remembering, as well, that bats are helpless when on the ground, the goatmother went to the house and consulted with the goatfather about what to do with the bat. They came back, got the bat on a dust pan and tried to launch him into the air. Of course, being broad daylight, the bat extended his wings but merely floated to the ground. Lunar Launch One had failed. Finally, they decided to take him out to the old chicken coop and put him up on one of the high shelves with the window open. "We'll go back tomorrow and see if he is still there."

Now in your life, have you ever known anyone who had a bat fall on their head? Me either. I mean last year the goatmother was sitting outside and a bird landed in her lap. It sat there and looked at her for awhile, and then it flew off. But this was a bat - quite a different kettle of fish if you ask me. Besides, the bird was a Pine Siskin - not high on the scale of bird intelligence. So the goatmother thought, "Hmmm...I asked for a sign. This is unusual. This must be a sign!. Trouble is, I don't understand it. Really, God, a bat?! What kind of a sign is that?"

Which all goes to prove that even God has a sense of humor.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

And Thereby Hangs A Tail

I'll bet you think I misspelled that last word in the title, but let me tell you! - I may be a goat, but I know what is what! This story is most assuredly true. The names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

We have mice in the barn. I know. It is deplorable. Still, these things happen. The goatmother says we can't have a cat because the coyotes that sometimes sit and watch us, or the cougars, or maybe even the lynx would eat the cat. And so, we have mice in the barn.

However our mice are not just any mice. Really I believe our mice may be from a research lab working to breed mice of superior intelligence. Yes, from there, but perhaps not successful graduates. In fact, sadly, I believe they may be dropouts.

Allow me to explain. The inner-sanctum of our barn has two parts. In the large part, the hay is kept. You must walk through the large part in order to reach the little room where the Holy Grail grain is kept. Now the person or persons that built our barn were not thinking very straight when they made the grain room because it used to be open on almost all sides. So, the first thing the goatmother did was to painstakingly go around tacking up hardware cloth mice can't fit through, spraying polyurethane foam mice won't chew through, and stuffing in steel wool mice can't get through and won't touch. She carefully sealed off EVERY POSSIBLE mouse-sized hole. After all, the goatmother didn't want to put down traps for the mice. But the mice didn't care. The mice came in anyway.

The straw-that-broke-the-goat's-back occurred one night when the goatmother walked across the barn to the grain room, opened the door, took the lid off the grain barrel and not one, but two mice came running as though the dinner bell had just rung. The goatmother turned, saw the two mice and yelled, 'What are you doing?!'...at which point both mice jumped into the air with 'Oh, Duh!' looks on their whiskery faces and proceeded to run in opposite directions. The goatmother said, 'That's it! When they start running out to meet me, that's when I draw the line!' Down went the traps!

So the mice we have now chew the 'no-chew' foam into tiny bits and deposit them in the corner with wads of the 'can't-get-through-won't-touch' steel wool, making lovely little nests. And the trap? Well, the trap sits on the floor baited with delicious peanut butter - untouched. And the mice come out into our part of the barn, walk around, sit up and watch the goatmother when she comes out to take care of us. She rolls her eyes, sighs and leaves peanuts down for them when it snows.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Great Escape

This is THE HOLE. Ella has been digging THE HOLE in the dry dirt of the barn floor next to the door of the inner -sanctum. The inner-sanctum is the holy grail of goats. The place wherein lies all the hay, the grain and ALL the peanuts! Every day the goatmother takes the shovel and refills THE HOLE. Every day Ella redigs THE HOLE.

I must admit that the rest of us are somewhat fascinated with THE HOLE. We step into it, sniff around, taste the delicious dryness of the earth. I find myself somewhat in a quandary, however, as to the Alpine's reasoning in this matter. Is she trying to get out? Is she trying to get in? But mostly I wonder just who she thinks is going to be thin enough to fit down into THE HOLE, and then who could possibly become flat enough to fit under the building to get out? Location really is everything.