"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

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Full Moon

What can I say? Yesterday was the full moon, however, today we have still felt the lunar fallout. I have to put the blame somewhere. First of all, according to the goatmother, the Mighty Quinn has been a holy terror both yesterday and today. Apparently it is as though he has returned to square one and has forgotten every single thing he has learned in 'doggie school'. Personally, I am not certain he ever left square one, but anyhow, this is what she says.

That was the first indication. Next the cats, who are inside cats, have run amok. Now this was more than the usual display of amokness. Loud thumps have been heard and the bird cage has been left swinging, though no cat is in close proximity. Very mysterious. Plus, one of them decided to purloin last night's dinner from the kitchen counter, dragging it into the bedroom and trying to chew through the plastic. Let us just say the goatmother was not amused.

But the pièce de résistance came tonight. The goatmother came into the barn for our nightly repast, such as it is. As she was cleaning up, well, I just couldn't help myself. I don't know what compelled me to do so, but I reached out and bit her. Really, I was only trying to express my admiration of her shirt. She took exception. I think it is this whole 'diet' thing. It just looked SO delectable!

Well, that was the first problem. Then the goatmother brought in a couple of flakes of the most scrumptious-looking, succulent and green hay! Let's just say that at least 3 of us are now on the big 'S' list - SORRY! (Ha! What did you think the 'S' was for? Hmmm???) Why, you ask, are at least 3 of us on the big 'S' list? It seems that Watson was standing in the doorway when the hay passed through. Watson does not understand the desperation of 3 starving women. I'm afraid Watson was mowed down, at which point, he naturally fainted - fully. Head first, and then all four feet straight up in the air. It was not a pretty sight. The goatmother was not amused...again.

Okay, well, I could claim that we didn't see him. Still, the truth of the matter is that it must be the full moon. Just call me Miss Jekyll...and then GO HIDE!

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Ah, summer! Time for some serious relaxing in the shade. Nothing too eventful happening during these lazy days of summer. I've temporarily given up my stump for a more utilitarian contemplation platform. There don't seem to even be any worthwhile mysteries in the making. Still, I'm sure something will come along sooner or later.

I have been concentrating, to the best of my ability, on NOT butting Watson. I'm doing pretty well, actually, which is more than I can say for 'Jaws', the Nubian. 'Jaws' takes a bite and Watson faints. It is getting to be old stuff, if you ask me. Personally, I just think this whole diet thing is making her cranky. Now nobody gets ANY grain! Thank you very much, Miss Waddles!!! At least the goatmother hasn't had the heart to cut out the Peanuts. If that happened, Goatie Bar The Door!!! I would have to consider taking up butting Watson again!

So, there you have it. The birds are singing, the sun is shining (well, mostly...this is Washington), the grass is growing, and somewhere in the good ole' U.S. of A., this year's crop of Peanuts is growing too. All is right with the world. Ahhh, summer!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The MBA

Oy. I can't help myself. This time it is me that is in trouble - caught in the dark clutches of my addiction. Yes, it is true. I freely admit it. I enjoy smashing Watson. For the first time, Ella is the nice one and I, I am the bad one. Oh, woe is me.

In my defense, I have been at the bottom of the butting barrel for quite awhile - last to eat grain, last to eat hay, last to get the sacred Peanuts (unless I can outsmart the other two by first creating a diversion). For the first time in my life I have someone else to push around. It feels sooo good that I am loath to stop. Still, I must find a way to conquer this ill before I am turned completely to the dark side of the Force. Oh, Obi Wan, where are you when I need you?

My name is Marigold and I am a Buttaholic. This is the first step to recovery in the 12 step program of the MBA, Myotonic Butters Anonymous. (You, perchance, thought I was going for a Business degree???) I have my work cut out for me.

Step 1: I have
admitted I am powerless over butting--that my life has become unmanageable. (Especially at dinner time.)

Step 2: I have come to believe that a Power, greater than myself, can restore me to sanity. (Hmm...must be Peanuts since it is a capital 'P'. I like that idea.)

Step 3:
I have made a decision to turn my will, and my desire to butt, over to the care of somebody else (anybody else) who might help me gain control. (No pinching please.)

Step 4: I have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself (and all the Peanuts in the barn.)

Step 5: I have admitted to myself and another goat (Boo. I'll be a goat berry if I'll admit anything to Ella) the exact nature of my butting.

Step 6: I am entirely ready (I think) to have someone, anyone, remove my defects (what few there are) of character.

Step 7: I have humbly asked Him, who makes all Peanuts, to remove my shortcomings. (Although, I kind of feel like I'm short enough already...)

Step 8: I have made a list of all goats I have harmed (Watson, and occasionally Ella) and I have become w-i-l-l-i-n-g to make amends to them (Oy. This is gonna' hurt).

Step 9: I have made direct amends to such goats (well, I'm trying anyway) except when to do so would injure them again. (Well, they ought to learn to get the hay out of the way, don't you think???)

Step 10:
I have continued to take personal inventory (of the Peanuts in the barn), and when I was wrong, promptly spoke to someone about it! (Well, maybe not all that prompt,,,well, maybe more like never.)

Step 11: (Ah, almost there...) Sought to improve my conscious contact with the side of Watson, praying only for knowledge (not to mention desire) of how ABSOLUTELY NOT to go there anymore.

Step 12: (At last...) Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, I have tried to carry this message to others (that stupid mouse in the barn who, by the way, paid no attention) and to practice these principles in all my goatly affairs.

I feel much, much better now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Case of the Lifted Latch

It was a dark and stormy night. (This is Washington, you know). In the distance, a dog barked. (Probably that one across the highway that barks all the time anyway.) Thus the scene was set for the events that were to transpire. The mystery is that no one knows (or will willingly admit) just how it occurred.

Since the arrival of Watson, we have had only one good mystery. I just KNOW there are more to be found - especially here. So, well, I just found it necessary to prime the pump a little.

Watson has been in residence now for over a week. During this time he has resided next to, but separate from, the rest of us. During this sojourn, he has been lonely, evidenced by the constant and loud bleating coming from his direction. (Who knew such a little body could contain such a big voice?) The goatmother has been in somewhat of a stew over this matter because, as she deftly put it, the Amazon women will 'smash' him. They will 'clean his plow'. They will 'eat his Peanuts for lunch'. After all, the petite Watson weighs somewhere around 30 to 35 pounds, while 'Jaws', the Nubian, weighs in at around 160 pounds. Imagining this gruesome pecking order scenario was causing the goatmother to break out in a sweat (which didn't involve hot flashes). She wrote to every goat person she could come up with, asking for advice about the best way to prevent blood shed. Mostly the advice she received involved, 'just throw him in there with them...they'll work it out'. Still, the goatmother just wasn't sure this was the smoothest move to make. She tried taking us in, one at a time, in an attempt to get all the goaty etiquette stuff out of the way. It wasn't much of a success. Ella tried to butt him, and Boo tried the 'Jaws' routine with a few extra butts thrown in. I, myself, feigned acceptance and never made a move in his direction. A ruse, to be sure, but a 'tactical' one.

So, we got our heads together, (okay, there was some butting that went on), and came up with a plan of sorts. We had two problems. No. 1, we needed a mystery. No. 2, Watson needed to be in with the rest of us - no two ways about that!

This morning, after an unrestful night for the goatmother, (who had gotten up every hour or so to take the Mighty Quinn out because he had, yet again, eaten something he shouldn't have... Wouldn't you think he'd get the picture by now? Dogs! Oy.) she stumbled out to the barn to find what you see above. Yes, somehow all three of the Amazon women were in the right side of the barn with Watson, and, Watson was still alive! Praise Aiginaea! (You know, that Greek goat goddess?)


Now, the barn is divided into two sections, separated by large boards and wire, with a sort of a 'Dutch' door in between (a door that has separate-opening top and bottom sections with a latch on each). Now the latches on these doors are catch-type that can not be opened by goats (and very often people). So upon finding conditions, such as they were, with all parties co-mingling, the goatmother found that no boards were out of place, no wire was broken, and interestingly enough, both doors were shut! So how did the Amazon women get over there with Watson? A mystery, to be sure. Yes, the Case of the Lifted Latch.

Of course this mystery may never be solved. More's the pity. It may have to enter the annals of the 'cold case files'. After all, there are only four of us who know the truth, and we ain't talkin'! No, Sirree, or my name isn't Marilock Holmes! (Plus I have threatened to have Peanuts withheld from anyone who talks - or animal cookies).

But all is well that ends well. We got our mystery, the goatmother's mind can rest easier, and Watson is still alive. All is right with the world. (Although, I have to admit, with a modicum of embarrassment, that I, too, took a shot at him. It was just too much fun to watch him faint. I do hope he will forgive me with time.) "
Don't be hurt, my dear fellow. You know that I am quite impersonal." (Sherlock Holmes, from The Adventure of the Retired Colourman)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

We Don't Like To Brag

Well, well. I just KNEW there was something special about my man, Watson. It seems his former goatmother entered him in the first Myotonic Cybershow, and guess what? Yep! You guessed it! My man, Watson, won Second Place Wether! I'm not sure what 'wether' means. I suppose it is 'wether' or not he likes Peanuts. Oh, no. That can't be it because he doesn't like Peanuts (strange though this may sound). Well, maybe it is 'wether' or not he likes animal cookies. No. That can't be right or he would've won first place.

Well, no matter. I'll ponder that question on my stump a bit later. For now, though, how cool is that?! Second Place! What a guy! I suppose Ella will have her nose all out of joint about it. She doesn't think anyone is supposed to get any attention but her. Shhhhhhh. Maybe she won't find out and then we can all have a little peace. In the meantime, way to go, Watson!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Lesson Gone Awry

Perhaps I have forgotten to mention it. I mean what with my preoccupation about the arrival of Watson and all, I may have forgotten a few things. It is understandable. Well, if I didn't mention it before, the Mighty Quinn has been going to 'doggie school'. Now I am not completely certain what goes on at 'doggie school', but I have heard the goatmother and the goatfather discussing it a few times, and I have seen them out 'working' on lessons with the Mighty Quinn. It all looks rather pointless to me. Why would anyone want to sit just because someone else thought they should? I do see that they give the Mighty Quinn a doggie treat for his efforts. Still, why would anyone want to sit unless it was for a Peanut? I don't get it. And this walking on a leash thing. Why would anyone want to walk on a leash if they weren't going anywhere? Come to think of it, why would anyone want to walk on a leash at all? It is a puzzlement.

Anyway, I digress. It seems that today the Mighty Quinn, the goatmother, and the goatfather, attended 'doggie school'. I overheard them talking and it was, apparently, a dismal failure. First of all, the Mighty Quinn loves, above all things, to play with other dogs. And even above that, the Mighty Quinn loves people. I do understand this part because, after all, it is people who have the Peanuts, right? But I digress again.

In this 'doggie school', the dogs are not allowed to interact with each other. Strike no. 1 for the Mighty Quinn. Secondly, even though the people come around and supervise the said 'training', the dogs are never allowed to interact with the people except for the owner. Strike no. 2 for the Mighty Quinn. This all serves to make the Mighty Quinn quite distracted, as you can well imagine, thus deeming concentration on lessons at hand a lofty aim for the amiable. Still, the Mighty Quinn manages *most* of the time to pull it off.

Now you will notice I have starred *most*. There is a reason. It was very hot today. Everyone was a little on edge, a little more excitable, a little more distractable. The Mighty Quinn did his best, and things went *okay* until... Until what, you ask? As the Mighty Quinn lay at the feet of his master, an earwig ran out and across the floor of the 'doggie school'. (Please refer to the post, A Lesson In Herding ). I'm afraid all was lost. I think perhaps that earwig was a *plant*. I must discuss this with Watson. Perhaps another game is afoot!

Monday, July 9, 2007

And So It Begins, a/k/a The Case of the Flipping Flap

Things being what they are, I cunningly distracted Boo long enough to engage in a brief tête-à-tête with my man, Watson. Well, okay, it wasn't really head-to-head since, as you can see, he is quite a bit altitudinally-challenged even when he is on his feet (which I am beginning to believe is roughly around 60% of the time). Still, we managed to get introductory conventions out of the way and set to work on our very first mystery - The Case of the Flipping Flap.

I explained to Watson that some time prior to his arrival we had been experiencing a most unusual phenomenon. You see, there is a vent on the side of the shop that has three flaps. From time to time, the top flap would be open - stuck in the 'up' position. The goatfather would always painstakingly go and get something with a long handle (for you see the vent is quite a ways up) and flip the flap back into position. Mysteriously, the next day, the flopped flap would be flipped back into the 'up' position. It was a most perplexing, not to mention annoying, occurrence.

Watson seemed to feel that, because of the lofty nature of the incident, the perpetrator or perpetrators, had to possess expert skills in climbing or flying. Sticking close to Holmesian philosophy on the nature of crime, I replied, " I have investigated many crimes, but I have never yet seen one which was committed by a flying creature."
(The Adventure of Black Peter) At which point Watson nodded, nonchalantly, in the direction of the shop to what can be seen below.

Excellent deduction, Watson, my good man! Case Closed.

Day 2

Things are not going exactly as planned. First of all, we have not been allowed to actually go in with Mr. Watson. It is my belief that someone, who shall remain nameless, but whose ancestry includes the word 'Nubian', is largely responsible for this. Right from the get go, someone stuck her big old head through the fence and bit poor Watson. Barbaric, if I do say so myself. That was bad enough in itself, but it scared the guy and he immediately went into a half-faint. He spent the rest of the night in the stall next to ours, no doubt ruminating over the idea of a world-gone-mad and inhabited by rude, aggressive Amazon warrior women. This isn't exactly how I expected to make my introduction.

Then this morning, the goatmother took the Mighty Quinn in, on leash, of course, to introduce him to Watson. Decidedly, Watson has never seen a dog or anything even remotely resembling a dog. Things went pretty well, though, despite the fact that the Mighty Quinn refused to quit barking. Watson backed himself into a corner, as one might expect, but the ever vigilant Boo took advantage of his disadvantage by again trying to bite him through the fence. She takes her supposed 'herd queen' position far, far too seriously, if you ask me. I mean every time I tried to get close enough to the fence to begin discussing possible sleuthing strategies, Boo effectively knocked me out of the way. Really!

The Mighty Quinn finally quit barking. Watson attempted an approach and was repaid for his obvious compliment by the resurrection of the bark. Oy. He again backed off against the fence, keeping one wary eye on the Mighty Quinn while simultaneously sidestepping 'Jaws', the Nubian. Hmmm...not only a sleuthing side-kick, but a possible dance partner? Possibly not, seeing as how when the goatmother got up to leave, the Mighty Quinn took a step toward him and Watson fell down in a full stiff-legged faint. I repeat. Oy. Did I say, 'Oy'? Oy.

Take heart, dear Watson! Very soon it shall all be 'old hat'. "
Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!"

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Watson, I Presume!


Warning! The eagle has landed...or should I say the goat. Yes, that dreaded fainting goat has finally arrived. I must admit that I have heretofore had very mixed emotions about this. Still after meeting him, well, I can see that there might actually be some merit in this situation. For one, his name is Watson. H Bar H J. Hamish Watson to be precise.

Now here is reason for profound thought. As you may have surmised by now, I have always been inclined toward deep, sincere, and extremely succinct powers of ratiocination. Much like one of my all-time revered role models, none other than the eminent master detective, Sherlock Holmes. To be sure there are mysteries to be had in this place! Through clean living and right thinking, my dream has come to fruition with the arrival of my very own Watson! Miracles do happen! (Perhaps all that meditation and praying I have had to do during my recent bout with starvation has had something to do with this.)

I will now be able to utter such profound phrases as, "
You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance?" (from The Adventure of the Dying Detective) Or better yet, "I never get your limits, Watson. There are unexplored possibilities about you." (from The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire). Unexplored possibilities? An understatement to be sure!!! Marilock Holmes has her own Watson! Bring on the mysteries! I can see them piling up as we speak. The Mystery of the Disappearing Peanut. The Adventure of the Mysterious WhoDugIt. (a delving into the origin of 'The Hole'.) The Coyote Howled At Midnight. Oh, rapture! Oh, divine bliss! And the best part? He doesn't even LIKE peanuts! He's an animal cracker kind of guy. Oh, let the sleuthing begin! Watson, I presume!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Can't Wait - Not!

Woe is me. Next Sunday the goatmother and the goatfather are going to Boring, Oregon (yes, that is what I said...Boring, Oregon), to pick up that equally *boring* fainting goat. The time has finally come. Oh. Excitement. I can't wait. Yeah, like I am really excited about having to share my meager grain pittance, my hay and, most especially, my sacred Peanuts with yet another goat.

Still, I suppose I should look on the good side. I mean if life hands you inferior Peanuts, make peanut butter, right? It could prove interesting to have someone 'lesser' to push around. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, the fact that he faints could make this prospect even more enticing. Peanut butter here I come!