It started out small. You know, one of those things that looks like an accident. Yes, that's how it started. The goatmother noticed it on the inside wall of the barn. "Oh!", sayeth the goatmother. "Someone must have inadvertently knocked someone else into the wall. Or perhaps someone accidentally kicked it." (Like anything 'inadvertent' ever happens amongst goats.)
Anyway, that's how it started. A small dent in the side of the barn. Magically, however, the 'dent' grew overnight and blossomed into a small hole with raggedy edges. "Hmmmm ... ", sayeth the goatmother. [shrug] She moves on.
The next day, the hole had grown to the size of a baseball - one with raggedy edges. "Hmmm ....", sayeth the goatmother and went on with her chores. Suddenly she turned in time to see Ella chewing on the hole. "OH!", sayeth the goatmother yet again. (The goatmother is sometimes a woman of few words. The goatfather would disagree with this, but that is another matter entirely). So off the goatmother ran to get the giant bottle of 'Chew Stop'.
Originally, the 'Chew Stop' was bought for the old cat, Fu, who had a penchant for eating anything which included things like carpeting, silk plants and plastic flowers. After Fu passed to that great Peanut Field in the Sky, the giant bottle of 'Chew Stop' migrated to the barn. After all, it could come in handy some time. Now was the time.
The goatmother grabbed up the bottle and sprayed it liberally (according to package directions) on the hole. And laying a finger aside of her nose ... oops ... wrong scenario ... and turning with a jerk, she smirked at Ella and said, "Ha! That ought to fix you!".
Now there are two things the goatmother did not know about the hole, so that night when she came out to the barn, the hole had somehow become larger. "What?!", cried the goatmother. (Hey, at least it wasn't 'Oh!'.) She got the giant bottle of 'Chew Stop' and sprayed it so liberally it was running down the wall. She turned (I think with another jerk) to walk away, and looked back just in time to see Ella lapping up the 'Chew Stop' as though it were the real life embodiment of Christmas visions of sugar Peanuts dancing in my head - and you can just imagine what that's like. So that was the first thing the goatmother came to find out in relation to the hole - 'Chew Stop' is really goat candy.
The goatmother gave up. She threw her hands into the air and yelled quite a few things at Ella, none of which were 'Oh!'. She dashed into the barn to grab some paper towels and mop up the 'Chew Stop'. Then she found a block of wood to put over the hole and pounded it into place using two huge nails. All the while, Ella stood looking confused and maintaining trying to get close enough to lap up the 'candy'. The goatmother read the label on the giant bottle, and though it contained no petroleum distillates, it did say it was toxic to fish, don't get it in your eyes, on your hands, etc. etc. etc. Oy. Was Ella poisoned???
So, dutifully, the goatmother waited awhile and then trudged back out to the barn in the darkness and rain to see if Ella was still all right. She was, by the way, which leads us to the second thing the goatmother did not know about the hole. It was Peanut. From the very beginning it had been Peanut. Little Peanut. The smallest kid ever born on the farm he came from. Our little Peanut who could do no wrong. Innocent little Peanut.
No one ever suspects the short ones.