Ola! Things have been pretty dull here lately. Serene summer days of warm balmy temperatures, passed in sluggish pursuit of languid mastication. (What did she say???) Oh, never mind. The fact of the matter is that things have been relatively boring and no one, including myself, has felt much like doing anything other than what is deemed absolutely necessary (like waiting patiently for Peanuts, eating grass, butting Ella the hay OUT of the way...). Yes, it has been quite an uneventful time filled with the pleasant passing of halcyon days. (There she goes again...) That is until today.
Welcome to the Ides of July. Okay. I know it is a little past the Ides, but it's past the full moon, so we can't put the blame there. And, it wasn't particularly hot, so I don't think we can figure that as the cause either. Nevertheless, the Ides of July seems to fit. So BEWARE THE IDES OF JULY!!! Oh, goat berries!!!! Just BEWARE, okay?
Now you are probably wondering (and who wouldn't be?) just why you need to BEWARE! Well, let me just tell you, that you are indeed lucky if you have managed to pass the day unscathed and untouched. Things started innocently enough. The goatmother came out and did her usual chores then wandered off to water. The goatfather, all a-twitter at finally having managed to get the aged 'grasshopper' mower running, was mowing the grass. Cabra and Quinn were doing what Cabra and Quinn usually do, which usually entails hunting for sticks and dead birds, and we goats were just lolling about doing all that serene summer stuff that I mentioned before. The first indication that something was not quite 'kosher' was when, after hearing the constant roar of the 'grasshopper, the goatmother heard nothing but silence. Uh, oh. So off she trotted, faithfully followed (or not so faithfully as the case may be) by Cabra and Quinn. She went down the road expecting to find the goatfather lying in the ditch still astride the grass-eating monstrosity, but didn't find him anywhere in sight. Finally she decided he must've gone down to the neighbors and, as it turned out, this is exactly what he had done. I mean if you do something fantastic, like resurrect a dinosaur, you certainly have to tell someone about it. So, as I said, that was the beginning.
Later, the goatmother was sitting out in a lawn chair, deep in thought about how much hay she needed to purchase this year for the goats (that would be me). As she sat contemplating the numbers, a bird came and sat on her lap. Not that this hasn't happened before. I believe the goatmother probably looks a lot like a statue or a lawn ornament , maybe a gnome, when she is in the throes of ratiocination. At any rate, when it happened before it was just a Pine Siskin. It is a well-known fact that Pine Siskins ... well, let's just say the term 'bird brain' had to start somewhere. However, this time the bird was not a Pine Siskin, but a Finch. It sat there and looked at her. She looked back. It flew over to the fountain and got a drink. It. Was. A. Sign.
There is a tree near the house which was just planted last year. It is quite a nice tree. It is such a nice tree, in fact, and Cabra loves it so much, that she has decided to dig it up to preserve it. At least that is the best explanation we have been able to come up with. So, the goatmother had previously placed quite a bit of nice wire at the base of the tree in order to keep Cabra from trying to relocate it. Today, being thoughtful, the goatmother removed the wire so that the goatfather could easily mow around it. That was nice wasn't it? Cabra thought so. She waited until the goatmother had given her a nice bath so she would be all presentable when she went to visit her favorite tree and try to relocate it once again. It was the Ides. The goatmother should have paid attention to the bird. I'm sure, in retrospect, that it was trying to warn her.
So, you know, in the Fall and Winter, we tend to lose electrical power quite often in this part of the country. It is just a given. Today the power went out. It was the Ides. I'm sure of it.
Then the goatmother went down into the little basement/cellar to get a couple of cans. This is where they keep extras. I mean, if you shop at those big bulk stores you simply must have somewhere to keep the large quantities, right? Good thing too, because this is where they get the Peanuts. Anyway, I digress. The goatmother entered the basement and a mouse came running out to greet her. I could have told her it was just one of those stupid ones from the barn that got bored and went on a little vacation, but she yelled, threw up her hands and ran the other way. Oy. It was the Ides again. It is affecting everyone - even the stupid mice.
So then a deer decided to saunter through. Cabra ran. Quinn barked. We, the goats, and the only intelligent ones here, stomped and snorted and ran into the barn. We are not cowardly, mind you, it is just that if you actually watch those deer, they tend to take it as encouragement and I AM NOT sharing my Peanuts with anyone! It had to be the Ides. It just had to be.
Finally the goatmother came out to give us our nightly ration of hay. (Thank you, God. Grass is good but hay is better. Not, of course, as good as Peanuts, but we get those too. I know...SHUT UP, Marigold, and get on with the story!) Now Ella has a ball. Don't ask me why, but she likes the thing. It is a large rubber ball with the face of a jack-o-lantern on it. The ball has been there for some time and it needs a little air, so it is a bit lopsided. In order to keep it from the Mighty Quinn (who covets ALL things ball), the goatmother puts it on top of a stack of hay. The stack is five bales high. It was in the middle of the stack. Was. When she came in, it was on the floor. How did it get down there? Earthquake? Mouse bending it like Beckham? I think not. It was the Ides.
Then the Ides executed its final coup. It had the audacity to affect the goats. I stood on the cement blocks snorting and looking off where the deer had gone and refused to go into the barn. Boo kept trying to butt me off the cement blocks. Peanut was trying to butt Watson, but that is an everyday, every-minute occurrence, so that doesn't count. But then Ella went after Watson and pinned him to the wall. He froze (naturally) and instead of backing off, she went at him again and again. The goatmother had HAD ENOUGH! She yelled at Ella and executed the most heinous of all goatmother goat punishments. She pointed her finger!!! Oh. My. Goat. She pointed her finger. She promptly put Ella into one side of the barn, lured the no-way-is-she-food-challenged Boo in and then chased me like a herding dog. I was no match for her fury. I ran in and she latched the door behind me. Last I saw her, she was stomping toward the house grumbling under her breath.
So, my friends. Beware the Ides. They may soon be making a stop at a location near you. Ah, yes. Beware!