"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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Little Fraternization

The Homegoat Security Team has been operating at top efficiency...or so we thought. But we all got a bit of an eye-opener when the goatmother was cleaning the barn. Now in the barn are two wooden pallets...sort of barracks bunks, if you will. It seems that when the goatmother raised the pallet on the right to clean, several baby mice ran in all directions. Remember the mouse that literally begged to join the team awhile back? The pretty much useless one that could only point when it really mattered? Indeed it would seem that someone , supposedly on duty scanning the night against security threats, was, in actuality, entertaining. Great Capricorn in the sky!!! Is this an embarrassment or what?! Talk about dereliction of duty! Still, I suppose we could use a few more sets of eyes on the team. They did seem fairly swift on their feet and quick thinking. That is except for that last one that peeked it's nose out of the remains of the little nest several minutes after everyone else had dispersed. He kind of looked around as though someone had just turned the lights on and then just casually sauntered off. Perhaps a new branch is in order to accommodate that one ... something along the lines of Border Banal Rock Violations?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Treatise on Competition

What's the big deal with competition? What's so important that it requires being 'first' or even 'best'. And why does anyone need to be 'best', in the , pardon the pun, 'first' place? Take Ella for example. When the sacred Peanuts are doled out, Ella is leaning over the gate stretching that long 'graceful', 'best' neck to the max in an attempt to be 'first'. Half the time she ends up choking herself. Now is this really worth all that effort? Me? I just hang back and look 'pitiful'. Works every single time. I get more Peanuts than anyone else because the goatmother always ends up feeling sorry for me. And this method has a double reward because Ella spends so much time trying to butt me out of the way that she misses out on a whole lot of the goodies. Wit far exceeds brawn, don't you think?

In my humble and wise opinion, this whole 'first-best' idea simply displays a lack of confidence. You see some goats, and even some people, just have this idea that competition is the way to get ahead in life, be 'someone' and get noticed. They don't have any confidence in themselves. Thus, they think discourteous and sarcastic manners will make them 'expert' and gain them respect. Belittle someone and make yourself bigger! Go for that brass ring and by all means be FIRST! Bleat louder than any other and you will not only 'win', but you will be revered and feared in doing so! Does anyone really learn anything from that except to be fearful? I don't think so, Tim.

From a philosophical standpoint that idea just doesn't stand to reason. Chrysippus, a disciple of Zeno (remember good ole' Zeno?) said, "And this very thing constitutes the virtue of the happy man and the smooth current of life - when all actions promote the harmony of the spirit dwelling in the individual man with the will of that which orders the universe." And you are thinking, 'now what the hay does that mean???' It means, dear friend, that good things come to those who not only wait, but sit back and think it over before they act. It means being courteous to the other goats around you, all the while planning the most advantageous and smoothest mode of action to get your Peanuts. It means realizing that we are all 'one' despite our differences. It means acting in 'harmony...of that which orders the universe'. It means being peaceful.

Montaigne said, "The conduct of our lives is the true reflection of our thoughts." In keeping with this idea, my thought is this: If you build it (confidence), they will come. There is no need to be 'pushy' to get what you want. Being rude eventually comes back to slap you on the tail. Be kind, but use your brain. Respect those around you. After all, at the end of the day, we all eat our Peanuts the same way.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Zen of Beards

There. Can you see it? I'm growing a beard! Yes! I believe I have perhaps seven hairs there. This is awesome! You are probably wondering what all the excitement is about. I mean goats have beards, don't they? But let me tell you, not every goat is privileged to have hair on their chin. No siree! I'm so excited! I'm special! Boo doesn't have a beard and neither does Ella. Well, the goatfather does, but that doesn't count. Still, the biggest reason for my excitement is that now I am truly able to become 'one' with my philosophical idols. Revolutionary thinkers like Socrates, Parmenides...Ginsberg. And just look at Confucius! They all had, (sigh) ... beards.

The story goes that Buddha, one day, picked up a flower and raised it to eye level. He then returned to his seat without speaking. I guess his disciples were a bit perplexed (I can understand this) but one, Mahkasyapa, (I don't know what this means, but I think it may be mountain beaverese), simply smiled at Buddha, who simply smiled back. According to legend, this was the moment Zen was born. (Well, there is probably a little more to it than that, but I'm a goat. What do I know?)

So why am I telling you about Zen? Because beards are Zen. All one has to do is look at a beard and one instantly knows. And if you are blessed enough to actually have a beard, well, that just goes into that whole realm of 'smiling and simply smiling back'. Beards are. Beards emanate. Beards ROCK!

So now that you know the innate value of beards, allow me to leave you with this quote and you will 'simply' understand my ebullience. "Follow your inner moonlight, don't hide the madness." - Allen Ginsberg. (simple smile...)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of the Mighty Quinn

Yesterday was a day quite like no other. Early in the morning I looked out the barn toward the house, hoping against small hope, that it was time for breakfast. What I observed, instead, was the goatmother coming out the front door with the Mighty Quinn in tow destined for his morning toilette. However, when the goatmother set the mighty little blighter down, he made a bee-line straight for the flower bed that runs along the front of the deck. Now this flower bed is rife with fir shavings that serve to mulch the plants. Fir shavings are indeed good for mulch, or so I hear, but it seems that some time during the night, the neighbor's cat had decided they would be good for quite a different reason. And so, on this ill-fated morning, the flower bed and resident fir shavings held a surprise. A surprise to which the Mighty Quinn was mightily attracted, and to which the goatmother, most assuredly, was not. The Mighty Quinn was immediately called with the five short whistles that mean 'if you come, you will get a treat'. Surprisingly, and obligingly, he left his newly discovered 'treat' in favor of the one being proffered by the much relieved goatmother. That's what happened in the morning.

Later, after our breakfast finally arrived, the goatmother went to rid the flower bed of it's most recent acquisition. I could hear her exclaiming clear across the yard about what a healthy colon the neighbor's cat has. To be sure, the disposal was completed and the shavings returned to their former state. But periodically throughout the day, a commotion would arise each time the Mighty Quinn passed the area, and was magnetically drawn, like a goat to Peanuts, to this now familiar spot. Apparently the eau de cologne was persistent.

Finally dusk arrived. We had eaten our dinner and were just about to settle down to some serious hay munching when we heard another disturbance from the direction of the house. This time it was coming from the back. It was growing dark and the goatmother had again brought the Mighty Quinn out. But the Mighty Quinn was in no mood to relieve himself just yet and began dashing hither and yon about the yard. Now when I say 'dash', I mean this boy could win an Olympic medal. He's even faster than a speeding goat at feeding time!

Finally Quinn disappeared behind one of the lilac bushes and emerged with something in his mouth. The goatmother looked disheartened. I could see this even in the growing darkness, and even from the barn. She used the five short whistles. Quinn just looked at her with 'whatever-it-was' sticking out either side of his mouth. If a dog can grin, Quinn was grinning. Finally after a recreational game of chase and a few more short whistles, the Mighty Quinn dropped 'whatever-it-was' in favor of the treat. It was still just light enough that the goatmother could make out that 'whatever-it-was' was, in fact, half a dead mouse. Great Goat only knows what happened to the other half. The goatmother screwed up her face into the classic Greek 'Ick' position, at which point the Mighty Quinn took the opportunity to snatch up the dead half mouse and scoot away - free again. A few more whistles and the prize was dropped with the Mighty Quinn coming expectantly for his treat. Relief! ...except, by now it was quite dark and the errant half body was nowhere to be found.

All too predictably, the Mighty Quinn was unceremoniously scooped up and ushered into the house, wherein loud yelling could be heard telling the goatfather to get the heck up out of that bed and watch the Mighty Quinn so the goatmother could go back out. In the dark. With the flashlight. The wayward, hemicorporal mouse, had to be found and disposed of. After all, hadn't the Mighty Quinn already proven he was quite capable of 'returning to the scene of the crime' earlier in the day?

The view from the barn was interesting to say the least. A dark form in the night, flashlight in hand. A mysterious beam casting about... searching .... Alas, the recalcitrant mouse booty could not be located, and all the goatmother got for her effort were scores of mosquitoes and moths buzzing merrily about. In defeat she returned to the house to await the dawn.

As they say, 'herein lies the rub'.
Tomorrow morning, or perhaps late in the night, it will be a toss up. Which way will the Mighty Quinn go? Will he lead us to the front incident site and perhaps another new and disgusting deposit? Or, will he go to the the back, scoop up the half a dead mouse, and proceed to dash around the house with it hanging gayly from his jaws and just out of reach of anyone trying to retrieve it? I'm not a betting goat myself, but exceptions can be made in special circumstances. Anyone care to place a wager?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Goats Just Want To Have Fun

This is too much. Really. The goatmother has, heretofore, been unhappy with my efforts to guide her in the acquisition of Caprine mode de dance. She has no rhythm; I swear on a stack of alfalfa bales this is true! It is just embarrassing.

So lately I have changed my tack. I have begun placing my forelegs on her shoulders, just as I have seen any number of famous two-legged dancers do. Fred Astaire. Gene Kelley. Patrick Swayze. (Well, okay, that last one is for 'dirty dancing'...but goats have dirt - lots of dirt! The whole barn floor is dirt!). Anyway, I have been using 'Peanut' time to practice and break the goatmother 'in'. However, I must concede that it doesn't seem to be working. She keeps getting upset and talking about 'bruises', and, 'What's wrong with you all of a sudden?', and, 'Marigold! Will you get down!'. I simply throw in the towel. That's it! I quit. No more! I'm getting a new partner and that's all there is to it! I know he's supposed to be a singer, but he was voted 'out'. Do you think Sanjaya might be interested in a change of pace? A little 'hoofing the light fantastic'? A little joie de vivre a la chèvre?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ay, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi, Lucy!!!

Holy Moly Moses! Are we going to have to call up a Congressional hearing on the capraconstitutionality of this device??? It is a 'bug'...in our barn!!! This is the doing of the sinister bald, or white-faced hornet! No doubt an extension of the CIA. You can find out more about their covert operations here.

Now, mind you, this one was in it's infancy. We caught it in time. We 'nipped it in the bud', so to speak! Of course you are probably thinking, 'what's the big deal?' But did you notice that part in the link above that said, "
extremely protective of their nests and will sting repeatedly if disturbed."? And, did you notice the other part that said, "large gray football-shaped paper nest"? Huh? That little thing in the picture was just the tip of the iceberg! That was a mere one-day's worth of work! (These guys are no doubt 'Union') Not on my watch, Friday!!!! Ain't gonna' be no Titanic incident here. I can tell you, goats won't take that sort of thing lying down...or standing up...or running...or munching Peanuts...or any way! That would be a big NO WAY!!! This is an 'invasion of privacy' to the 'N'th degree! This is the Patriot Act in action and, believe you me, we're NOT going there! Mr. Cherthoff, may I have a word with you???

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What?! Who, Me????

I wouldn't want to name any names, but someone (who is pictured here) is in trouble, with a capital 'T'! I must say, I am delighted!!!!!! [snicker] It couldn't happen to a nicer goat. [smile ... smirk...]

So what happened to garner her this favor? Weeeeeeell, it seems a certain someone decided to butt the Mighty Quinn. Now mind you, at least this time, the Mighty Quinn did not deserve it. (The exception to the rule, to be sure). But, on this occasion, he had merely placed his head through one of the squares in the gate between the inner sanctum and the goat quarters to see what all the fuss was about. Boo stoically allowed him his surveillance, but someone decided this was an out-and-out invasion of privacy. Clearly someone has taken their role in Homegoat Security enforcement far too seriously. So, now, someone, is in BIG trouble. [giggle ... snort!]