"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, January 20, 2011

Never Push A Goat

It is a fact of life that goats do not like to be told where to go. That's just the way it is. I can't say as I really know the reason for this phenomenon. I suppose there are some things in life that one simply needs to accept. The goatmother, however, has not come to this realization, which is why ever since I have known her she has been trying to get us to go somewhere.

Goats are naturally curious creatures and quite capable, really, which is why we tend to view helping out as an obligation. And when it comes to anything going on out of the ordinary, it is a goat's bounden duty to see what the hay it is. After all, running may be required and we have to gear up for that sort of thing. (Or in the case of Nubians, a seriously ample amount of processing time is required.) Anyway, for some unknown reason, the goatmother never seems to understand our rationale no matter what the situation. ( I believe she labors under the mistaken impression that she is the Alpha goat.)

Anyway, as a result of her obvious lack of perspicacity, the goatmother is forever attempting to herd us to places we have absolutely no desire to go. For example, when it comes time to clean the barn, she never allows us to help. She expects us to willingly go to the other fenced area using a bribe of hay. How condescending. It never works and she always ends up yelling and flapping her arms at us like a grounded albatross. Or she attempts to pull us one by one to the gate, at which time someone has managed to slip by her and back into the barn. (Usually this is Peanut who, for some odd reason, has an unnatural attachment to the hoof-trimming stand. I think he feels like it makes him look taller. It doesn't. He still looks like a short goat, but now on a pedestal. Napoleon complex.)

Yet another example of the goatmother's misguided flocking attempts is when it is time to go into the barn at night. There are really a couple of examples here. Sometimes it's time to go in and the dogs bark. Holy Hay! We've got to see what their barking at, don't we? But no, the goatmother runs about (again with the yelling and flapping) trying to get us all into the barn. The other example of the whole 'into the barn' issue occurs when it is super cold and we girls get access to both sides because there's only one heated water bucket. The problem here is that means Ella is usually on the side where the gate is, and that , in turn, means that Watson is outside as far away from her as possible. Let's face it. The goatmother ought to be able to figure out that if you try to push a fainting goat whose muscles freeze up at the drop of a hat anyway, it just isn't going to meet with success. All that fainting makes for some super-sized muscle in the hind quarters. Sisyphus would have had an easier time. Anyway, I wish the goatmother would make up her mind. Out of the barn or into the barn? Oy. Make up your mind already, lady.

Of course, trying to move a goat can involve something as simple as a goat standing in a doorway. Why just the other day I was standing in the gateway between the two sides of the barn minding my own business. The goatmother came up and wanted through. She asked politely, but I was busy after all. It looked like I was merely chewing my cud, but in reality I was contemplating The Great Nothingness. I didn't want to lose my train of thought. The goatmother pushed. I won. I have hind-quarter muscles too. I wasn't even thinking about it really. It's just that after many years of living with other goats, especially pushy Alpine ones, one hones a certain skill of obstination. (And you thought it was only mules.)

I have to admit, however, that the goatmother came up with a new and inventive idea. Well, I guess it isn't new, but it is to her. You know those videos on You Tube where the people open up umbrellas and all the fainting goats run or faint? The goatmother happened to notice that some of them ran. Now, yesterday there was a break in the rain (you know all that rain we've been getting because someone named 'Nina' has been visiting?). Anyway, the goatmother decided to clean the barn. She nonchalantly wandered out with something black in her hand. All of a sudden that thing flashed open and, believe me, we all headed west! The goatmother laughed and cockily walked over to shut the gate. "There", she said. "I should have thought of that a long time ago."

I have news for you, goatmother. You may have won this round with your modern contraption, but goats catch on quickly (Nubians excepted). We view it as an art form. And just you remember, "Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of the art, the other being the eternal and the immovable." - Charles Baudelaire


Mimi Foxmorton said...

Most excellent thoughts!
I think everyone's blogs need to be compiled into one, giant goat book! :)

More, please.

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Fabulous. Only on Goat Philosophy 101 do we get to see proper use of the word "perspicacity" used in a post that results in giggles every few lines. Once, my father and I entered a corporate spelling bee and came in second place due to his mistake in spelling perspicacious. (-tious instead of -cious). Oh the horror. Still, second isn't bad. I shall be trying the umbrella trick...

J said...

I can envision this, "she always ends up yelling and flapping her arms at us like a grounded albatross." I can't stop laughing.

Brenda said...

The umbrella maneuver is priceless! I can't quit laughing at the mental image of everyone taking off through the gate. Good one goatmother!