"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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Physically Phyt

Well, it is nearly Spring. Time to put aside those old ungoverned, comfort-Peanut eating habits, and don a fresh new outlook. In short, it is time to get fit. After all, summer is just around the corner, and one simply must be prepared for the extra physical effort that will be required in finding the best and most delectable patches of grass. So, as fate would have it, Mr. Peanut has charged himself with the responsibility of getting everyone in shape. He is, in fact, our new Personal Trainer.

Here you see him counseling Ella on the proper use of the GoGo-Goat Treadmill © After all, aerobic exercise is important. It is also quite evident that Ella is feeling the burn.

Naturally we are all enthusiastic about this idea . Well, almost all. You might recall that the U.S.S. Boo has had a bit more invested in licentious eating habits than the rest of us. However, even Boo has lost some of her girth. I know. Unbelievable. Yet I, myself, have seen Boo going around and around and around, with Peanut right behind urging her onward.

In fact, you can see from the photo above, that all of us have taken to cheering Boo on to success. After all, it has been shown that support is absolutely vital to achieving weight-loss. Witness any Weight Watchers program.

The only real problem we seem to be having is that this whole idea has gone somewhat to the head of the resident Personal Trainer. He has begun bleating with an Arnold- SchwarzeNigerian accent and demanding payment in animal cookies and Peanuts. Not to mention shouting ridiculous 'fitness' phrases at us like, 'Work those abs!', 'Know your THR (Target Heart Rate).', 'Let's improve the agility in those glutes!' or 'Aerobics are the only way to strengthen that heart!' Oy. You know, I believe it was Rita Rudner who said, "
The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, "If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping up and down." I believe I see her point.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary!



My Goatness Gracious!!! How time does fly! Believe it or not, it has been one year, today, since my literary talents came to the surface and I began writing this blog. Who knew, when it all began, the friends I would find, the things I would ponder and discover, or the fun I would have along the way. A heart-felt THANK YOU to each and every one of you who has been kind enough to read my humble (albeit wise) musings. I toast your well-being and eat a Peanut in your honor!

NA ZDROWIE!, Y'all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Bird Is Not Just A Bird

Last weekend was the National Audubon Back Yard Bird Count. Being a goat, you might wonder just why I would have any interest in this. However, frankly I am perplexed at this attitude. If you have not come to realize, by now, that I am a true Bohemian, then perhaps you need to take a harder look. I relish the path less traveled. 'Conformity' is simply a lack of joie de vivre, in my estimation. And quite honestly, I see it as nothing more than a blight on the name, 'Goat'. Sheep conform. Goats do not. I am quite an enthusiastic, albeit budding, Audubonist. I am a goat of many talents. Or hadn't you noticed?

So why would a goat be interested in birds? Well, for one, when they sing it sounds waaaaay better than Boo. They also eat worms, and trust me on this, goats DO NOT like worms. They eat mosquitoes too - those nasty, blood-sucking little menaces. However, the best part is, with the exception of those raucous Jays, they DON'T like Peanuts! Now how much better can it get than that? We even shared our barn with a Winter Wren this winter, as well as a Barn Swallow last summer. Goats are quite altruistic by nature.

Which all serves as an adjunct to what I am about to tell you. My friend, Ari, the Caninaturalist, had a contest on her blog. She wanted to see who among her readers could observe and send in the most bird sightings over the weekend. What can I say? Humbly, I won! Who knew??? I have to say, I was as surprised as anyone in regard to my winning. After all, I regularly pay close attention to the comings and goings of my winged friends as a matter of course. I simply wanted to participate, and of course make sure the Caprine population was duly represented. At any rate, you can read about my recognition here, and you know, there is even a prize involved! I DO hope it is Peanuts. Do they grow Peanuts in Maine?

I believe it was William Blake who said, "When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!" Well, it is obvious to me that William never spent much time 'seesting' any goats.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It Happens Every Spring ...

... or so it seems. I would be willing to wager that right about now you are thinking, 'What the hay is that ridiculous goat talking about now?' However, I assure you I am far, far from ridiculous. Which is not to say that someone isn't being. In fact, I would also bet that you are now envisioning that I will soon be spewing forth ebullient, spring-like phrases such as 'new spring lambs', 'love in the air', 'budding flowers', and various and sundry otherwise 'gushy' sentiments. And you would be wrong! Oy. I am beginning to confuse myself now, so let's just forget all that and cut right to the heart of the matter.

You may remember that last spring the goatmother came up with the ludicrous idea of having a 'herding' dog for the goats. This, in fact, is how we came to be saddled with the Mighty Quinn. Well, I suppose, as dogs go, he isn't too bad. He is a decent size and makes an adequate target. Recently, though, the goatmother has begun to 'think' again. This is irrefutably ALWAYS a very bad thing. Just ask the goatfather. Nonetheless, 'think' she did, and she settled on the idea that the Mighty Quinn needed a companion. A companion? What the alfalfa for? He isn't a 'herd' animal, and he certainly isn't a 'flock' sort of guy. Besides, aren't we goats companions enough? After all, we get along just fine as long as he minds his manners, stays on his side of the fence, and out of the Peanuts. But you see it is almost Spring. (Notice that capital letter. That's because it means something.) That (Spring with a capital 'S') is the problem. At least I can't come up with any other logical explanation, Captain.

Fascinating.

And so, just like last Spring, the goatmother has come up with what? - another 'dog'. Oy. Fortunately for us, this is a very small dog. In fact, it is going to be absolutely impossible to get one's head down far enough to get a decent shot. And as if that weren't bad enough, this dog is half Havanese, a dog originally used in Cuba to, GOOD GREAT GOAT GOD PAN!!!!, HERD !!!!!!! ------------- (Notice the long space here? That is to allow what I just said to sink in.) Mind you it was only poultry and geese these dogs herded, but supposing this one can't tell the difference between feathers and hooves? So, I thought, perhaps it is only a myth. Perhaps there is no (shudder) herding ability at all. But you know what? The goatmother found this link on the web and became quite excited! "See?!", she said. "Oh, boy...", I replied. (Can you hear the enthusiasm?)

Now the other half of this dog is Bichon Frise. Okay, that doesn't sound too awfully bad - kind of 'frou-frou' in fact. I can't be sure which half is the Havanese half though. If it's the legs, 'Aye, Cap'n!... cud bae trooble doon a 'tha planet!'

So, look below and you can see just the kind of thing we are forced to endure around here. "There seems to be no intelligent life anywhere..." If it weren't for the fact that this place has such exquisite Peanuts, I think I would strongly consider moving and going, without hesitation, 'boldly where no goat has gone before!'

Fascinating.

Just where is Scotty when you need him to beam you up, anyway? Oh, yeah...floating about in space on the SpaceLoft XL. Oy.


Still, I suppose with a face like this, maybe, just maybe things might not end up so badly. For now I'll just baa and bear it. After all, in the words of one of the world's most highly regarded heroes, Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, "Those of you who have served for long on this vessel have encountered alien life-forms. You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as 'the unknown,' only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood." Ah, yes, understanding. Quite logical.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Case of the Terribly Traumatized Tree

Hello, everyone! Watson here! Never fear. This case shall be solved with effortless efficiency by none other than myself (not to mention with as little fainting as possible). You are probably wondering how it is I actually got to contribute to this blog, but I assure you, all shall be revealed in due time.

Now then. What we see above is what the goatmother encountered recently within our 'shrubby' pasture. As you can see, the unfortunate tree in question has been torn in two rather large patches, one up and one down, by some dastardly, unknown assailant. At first we thought to blame those sad, appearance-challenged Mountain Beavers (Aplodontia rufa - please see previous post here) since they are predisposed to gnawing down vegetation (particularly lovingly placed seedlings). However, after some exhaustive investigation (with no help, I might add), I came to the conclusion that however voracious, Mountain Beavers are usually only prone to destroying small prey. This was, in fact, a rather large tree.

So, I began to think that perhaps something was crossing our borders at night, despite the thorough and unrelenting surveillance being done by the Homegoat Security Team. Everyone seemed to concur with this hypothesis. Perhaps it was a flying coyote (he would have to be in order to get through the electric fence...either that or one very macho canine). Perhaps it was some odd human who had developed a fetish for only certain trees, or some itinerant bark collector. Or maybe, just maybe, it was some sort of bark beetle, along with it's entire extended family, gone mad with bark lust. Alas, it could be any one of these.

But the case came to a swift and succesful conclusion a couple of days ago. I solved it. I AM the man!!!! Thusly, you will see why it is I, alone, am recounting this tale to you. One picture, my friends, is worth considerably more than a thousand words in this case.

To quote someone I know... Oy. And that, Scully and Mulder, is most assuredly that!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Top Gun

Brass Ring Jet's Top Gun. That is his formal sobriquet. His friends just call him 'Gunner'. I sincerely hope I am considered a friend. Magnificent! There is no other word to describe this rugged rock of manhood... or rather goathood. LOOK AT THAT BEARD!!!! (...swoon...) ...AND THOSE HORNS!!!! (...Oh, heavenly transcendence... )

Allow me to regale you with a few facts about my objet de l'amour. 'The Gun' (as I like to call him) lives in Possum Trot, Tennessee. Okay. Stop laughing! There really is a place called Possum Trot. Look it up already, for goat's sake! 'The Gun' lives on an acreage called Brass Ring Farm in Marshall County, which, for those of you who know nothing about Fainting Goats, is the infamous home of said breed. Possum Trot is even more infamous than Marshall County, however, because' The Gun's' goatmother likes to drive about town in her PT Cruiser with goats hanging out all the windows. She is a legend. The bank (yes, I think there is one in Possum Trot) even gives her goats lollipops at the drive-up window. (I am presently trying to convince the goatparents to take me with them next time they go, but so far they have been unable to see the merit in this idea.) Anyway, Brass Ring Farm is home to a lot of Fainting Goats. I can not give you an exact number because on any given day this number, for some odd reason, seems to fluctuate. You know how you can't have just one donut? 'The Gun's' goatmother makes donuts for a living. I suppose that might explain things. Anyway, if you are interested, you can go here and view who was there at least on the day the pictures were taken. Unfortunately, most of the inhabitants on this farm are girls. This does not bode well for me, I realize, but then perhaps 'The Gun' has never met an intellectual, new-millennium kind of babe such as myself. (I am SO sure that Cosmo cover is going to help.)

Now 'The Gun' has an impressive show record, which, as far as I'm concerned, is just icing on the cake. His true assets lie in that stately and audacious physique, as well as his amiable and propitious personality. You know, sensitive in a beef-cake kind of way? Ah, what more could a girl ask for?

Okay, well I just felt it was only right I explain my obsession further lest you think me frivilous. I assure you, however, that I have never been more serious. As it is, it is getting quite close to Valentine's Day. Can you guess where my valentine will be going? I believe it was Bertrand Russell who said, "The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Spot On, Russell! I got this baby in the bag!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Who Knew???

A dream come true. Can it be? Yes!!! And to think, I owe it all to a caninaturalist. Who would have thought it possible? Thank you, Ari! (http://outwithari.blogspot.com/) I could never have done it without you! Do you like Peanuts???