"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 27, 2011

The Back Door

This is Peanut. How does he look to you? Demure? Innocent? Inculpable? Well, you might be wrong on all counts. Peanut is the product of a difficult start. He was the smallest baby ever born on the farm where I, myself, was born, and it was actually thought he would not live through the night. You can read about his humble beginning here, ( and subsequent posts for the month of June, 2007 over at This Goat's Life.) However, Peanut fooled everyone by not only living, but blossoming into the magnificent specimen of cuteness you see above. That's my nephew, and a credit to his grandmother, Baby Belle's name.

Now every one knows that the Baby Belle family is quite accomplished, particularly in the area of non-conformance. That's right. Belle family children are rarely run-of-the-mill, and Peanut is no exception. So like his brothers and sisters, Peanut doesn't do anything 'by the book'. (Did you know goats have a book? Who knew? Being paper and all, one would've thought it had been eaten long ago.)

Anyway, Peanut, despite how he appears, is not just another pretty face. He is smart too. You may recall, for example, that he is quite adept at setting things up so someone else gets the blame. Remember how Ella got in trouble recently for the hole in the barn wall? And poor Watson. While Watson doesn't get set up to take the blame, he is is subjected to a near constant barrage of butting. I figure it this way. Peanut is the smallest goat. He is smaller, in fact, than most Nigerian Dwarf goats. So, since he is so small, he feels the best defense is a good offense and acts accordingly. The hoof-trimming stand makes him taller, so he uses it as a strong-hold from which to launch his Watsonian attacks. Watson, being the least offensive and most easily knocked over, becomes the lucky beneficiary of Peanut's lust for stature. Anytime one chooses to walk into the barn, a cacophony of loud banging noises can be heard. It sounds like the barn is coming down, but it's really only Peanut sparring from atop his rampart. (Hmmm. now that I think about it, that word 'rampart' is probably for sheep. 'Buttpart' is probably better.)

At any rate, I wouldn't want you to think that any of this means Peanut is a coward. As a matter of fact, he isn't afraid of anyone. While he doesn't have the mass (like Boo), or the bravado (like Ella), or really the superior mental faculties (like myself), he is astute enough to weigh his disadvantages and come up with an alternate, but equally effective, method. You may recall that in the beginning, when Peanut first came to live with us, the Boo-Bus gave him holy hay. You can refresh your memory here. (I know I've slept since then.) Anyway, at that time, Peanut figured out that he was faster and more agile than the U.S.S. Boo, or anyone else for that matter. He simply out-ran or out-maneuvered any, and all, would-be assassins.

Things have changed, though, and Peanut has aged. Perhaps he's a little smarter, or perhaps he's just a little lazier. Either way, the mode-du-jour is this: Battle-Ax Boo confronts Peanut head-on. Peanut deftly sidesteps the charge and goes on about his business - looking at a piece of hay, contemplating the water bucket, considering the mineral feeder. As soon as Boo's back is turned (which takes awhile), and Boo forgets what she was doing (which takes a decidedly short while), Peanut drops all pretense and slams her in the butt! I've seen it happen time and time again. Boo always looks surprised, which is actually no surprise. Oy.

So, things being what they are, some folks might be inclined to call Peanut passive-aggressive. It is, however, my admirably learned opinion that he just figures, 'why use the front door, when the back door is so much closer to the kitchen?'


Tracy said...

Peanut: super cute and crafty. Those are essential ingredients in a great goat.

You are a great story teller Marigold!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I just so love reading your stories! I'm running over right now to read about Peanut's first night. It makes me feel good to read these stories because I worry so about Darla.

Have a wonderful, goat filled day!


Mimi Foxmorton said...

re: Peanut's first night.

Oh my...what a traumatic night!
But so glad to know all is well
and Peanut is a dear!

Now...you say honey with the milk...what do you have to say about that and molasses? Darla is getting cow's milk now (from the cow) and doing well but is there something else I should think about doing? She is 18 days old today.

Thanks so much for your time.
I love reading all the goatie blogs! If you like you can answer me on my blog or my personal email at foxgoddess44@hotmail.com
as I always end up losing questions and answers in the shuffle.

Have a lovely day!
The Goat Borrower

Brenda said...

That Peanut is one smart goat! Watching him must fill your day with much entertainment.

Lisa T. said...

Ah, a man after my own heart. I have been known to purvey some characteristics of passive aggression myself...or so I've been told-I think I am VERY nice and if you don't think so...well you can't come to MY party, I'm oh so terribly sorry...

Queen Quattra said...

Really??? Smaller than my Smidgen was and named so because she was just a Smidgen when she was born?? Hmmm, seems like Peanut won another contest that we didn't even have yet!! :)

Marigold said...

Well, Queen Quattra, I guess maybe I should've said 'the smallest buckling ever born ...'. We'll have to see what the goatfarmer weighs in with. :) 'Weighs'. Ha! I just kill me. :)

Queen Quattra said...

Well, you're probably right that Peanut weighed less than Smidgen at birth but you have to admit...that smidgens really are smaller than peanuts, after all!! :)

goatfarmer said...

in re Peanut: smallest goat ever born at Herron Hill Dairy.

in re Smidgen: smallest doeling ever born.

Both very tiny. Both caught up FAST.