"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

Monday, December 31, 2007

Here's The Thing

The goatmother and the goatfather had company right after Christmas. They had company. This should have been a 'signal' of some sort. The company was due to leave yesterday morning. They were on a schedule. They had a plane to catch in Seattle. So, the goatfather woke up, glanced into the darkness, poked the goatmother and said, "We don't have any power". Of course. There were only six people in the house that needed to use the 'facilities', not to mention take showers, get fed, etc. Now the goatmother's aunt was nowhere in the vicinity - even in the state - so she could not be blamed for the lack of facilities this time. You might recall from last October, anywhere the goatmother's aunt goes, the commode goes out. It is simply a fact. Come to think of it, she has been on a cruise for the holidays. I wonder if the commodes went out on the boat?

Nevertheless, back to the problem at hand. The goatmother and the goatfather jumped out of bed to begin lighting lamps and candles, build a fire for heat, and to find the jugs of water kept in the cabinet for just such occasions. The jugs are used to flush the facilities. Upon opening the bedroom door, the Mighty Quinn was faced with an unfamiliar body in an unfamiliar shape lying in the darkness and proceeded to bark in alarm waking everyone in the house. Okay, well, they had to get up anyway, didn't they?

So, to make a long story short, the power did finally return and all was well. I am only a goat, but in my humble opinion, if one chooses to visit the goatmother and the goatfather, one should seriously consider bringing their own toilet. I'd love to see airport security deal with that one?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
A night just like most,
With ice crystals dancing
On field, tree and post.

The Homegoat Security Team was on guard,
Patrolling perimeters, buildings and yard.
And me with my side-panel radar on scan,
Stood watching for coyote, cougar or man.

And when we had made
All the checks we could make,
We ran to the barn
For a much needed break.

I'd just settled in on my side of the stall,
Past Boo who was standing there hogging it all,
When outside the barn there arose such a clatter.
Watson fainted, of course. What the hay was the matter?

I ran to the door and went on alert.
Ella tripped over Watson and fell in the dirt.
Boo just kept on eating, gave Peanut a smile.
He was stuck there behind her and would be for a while.

I peered through the darkness,
Cried out, “What was that?
It’s likely that idiot
Flight-challenged Bat!”

“Duck and Cover!” I cried,
And we all heard a thump.
They’d just better be keeping
Their mitts off my stump!

But then I caught movement
And thought, “Ay, yi, yi!”,
For I saw something strange
Coming out of the sky.

An amphibious sleigh
With lights all aglow.
This is the Pacific Northwest,
Don’t you know?

Well, you see o’er the world,
On one night each year,
St. Magnus Peanutos,
To goats doth appear.

A magnificent beard,
And a full set of horns,
And bags full of cookies,
Alfalfa and corn.

So I was convinced
That it simply must be
That jolly good goat
With his delivery.

Turned out I’d been right
As he came on inside,
Went straight to his work,
Trying hard to decide.

And laying his hoof
Aside of his beard,
He looked straight at me.
It was just as I’d feared.

“I hear you’ve been naughty
Of late, don’t you see?
Still I guess that’s as good
As you’re likely to be.”

So my 12 steps paid off,
And from what I can tell,
The Peanuts he left,
All come three to a shell!

Then amid Watson’s spewing Shakespearean prose,
He leapt to his sleigh and slowly it rose.
And I heard him exclaim,”If you need me just call.
And try to remember, NO butting, you all!”

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Tis the Season

My name is Marigold and I am a buttaholic. Yes, it is true. Remember my former struggle and subsequent membership in the MBA (Myotonic Butters Anonymous)? I have fallen off the wagon. My friends, I am saddened to have you witness this setback. However, this morning I butted Watson - not once, but THREE times in a row. Twice in the side and once square in the goateus maximus. Naturally he fainted, but I was relentless, never allowing him time to fully recover before dealing the next crippling blow. In my defense, it is the holidays, and well, it is just SO difficult to remain 'on the wagon' during the holidays. It has happened time and time again. The parties. The Peanuts. You understand.

The goatmother came unglued and was in my face in an instant. Have you ever come nose to nose with an irate goatmother shaking a finger in your face and demanding cessation of any an all activity that you might even remotely be considering? Allow me to say it is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't just the holidays. I mean all this Shakespeare is beginning to grate on every resolve-challenged nerve I have left in my body. Why, even after the first time I butted him, Watson was still spewing forth lines like, "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below!", and, "The quality of mercy is not strained!", and even, " Beware the ides of those born in March!" OY. I lost it. I lost control. I was pushed to the jagged edge, teetering on the brink of madness.

Well, okay, maybe I am a little ashamed. At this time of year, I just hope Santa didn't notice. He is really busy just now. I can see it now - coal and burnt Peanuts in my stocking while everyone else enjoys large, succulent, carefully-roasted delectations. We'll hope Santa can forgive one small and unfortunate incident out of several months of solid constancy. Many's the time I've held myself in restraint.

Still, for all my good intentions, I feel I should impart one last counsel of wisdom and warning to young Mr. Watson. In the words of his very own hero, "There was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently." Wise words. Wise words, indeed, Mr. Shakespeare.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Alas, Poor Yorick ...

This, THIS is what comes of an idle mind with far too little focus on the finer points in life - like Peanuts. Watson has been reading. (Oh, yes, he can read. Who knew?) The problem lies not in the fact that he can read, but with what he has been reading. You see, Watson found a 'study', of sorts, on the internet. The objectives of this study were to determine how often Shakespeare's characters faint, fit or die from extreme emotion. Well, to be sure, the fainting part captured Watson's full attention. It seems that a transient loss of consciousness is staged or reported in 18 cases, and near fainting in a further 13. Reading this was enough to convince Watson that he and Shakespeare share a deep and abiding bond. After all, a faint, is a faint, is a faint, no matter who's doing it.

So, Watson has been walking everywhere spouting Shakespeare like plastic promises from a perfidious politician. Pathetic. In fact, in the picture above, that is exactly what you see happening - Watson regaling Boo with his supposed Shakespearean expertise. He had just finished telling her something about 'the winter of our discontent', or some such nonsense. She looks mesmerized, but then it doesn't take much to impress Boo.

I think it is all a little bit 'over the top' myself. He's much better at solving mysteries. He should stick with what he knows and not with what he thinks he knows. As a matter of fact, just writing about this occurrence has me in an agitated state. "Oh how I faint when I of you do write." (William Shakespeare, Sonnet 80) Oy. Now he's got ME doing it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On Being Helpful

Helpful. Yes, goats are helpful. In fact, in that regard, goats are probably some of the most auspicious individuals living. They are so auspicious, they could be Buddhist symbols. Of course then there would be nine auspicious symbols instead of eight, but you get my meaning.

Take for example this morning. Someone, I don't know who, has been trying to eat the bark off of the bottom of one of the big trees by the barn. Well, you see, we goats, by nature, are browsers rather than grazers. So the goatmother, being the accommodating soul that she is, made sure we have access to both a pasture and a 'brushy' area. It is in the brushy area that the trees reside. Now, I wouldn't want to point any hooves, but I do think that Ella is the culprit. After all, I've actually seen her peeling the bark off my stump.

Anyway, this morning the goatmother noticed the 'damage' and decided she better do something about it straight away. Most of the trunks are covered with chicken wire already, but someone, had managed to dig the dirt out enough to get to the bark at the bottom. Well, she entered the area replete with all manner of paraphernalia...wire cutters, a hammer, staples, gloves, wire. This is good, yes? This is good, NO! - at least according to her. What can I say? We aim to please. It is just a very minor detail that the 'pleasing' also extends to ourselves. I mean there just has to be something in it for us, doesn't there?

So the chore was accomplished, but not without a lack of true appreciation on the part of the goatmother. Really! I can't understand it. Ella was right there the whole time dutifully shielding the goatmother from any unnecessary interference. Boo and Peanut both tried numerous times to help her carry the sack with the staples in it. Watson tried to carry the wire cutters and her gloves. I, myself, tried very hard to help her cut and fold the wire. And, of course, we all tried to help her get it into place and hammer it in. I fail to see the goatmother's frustration, but frustrated she was. Well, I suppose, in this day and age, people are just in too much of a hurry to truly appreciate the benevolence of individuals willing to offer supportive, valuable and utilitarian assistance when needed. It is a mark of our times. If the goatmother were a little more philosophically-minded, as am I, she would understand that in the end there is no need for frustration. After all,
"All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things flows like a stream." Heracleitus (Diogenes Laertius IX. 8,9)

Kid of the Year (We Hope)

Okay, well, my friend from Herron Hill Farm, Baby Belle, is having a contest for 'Kid of the Year' and our little Peanut is in the running! So remember you guys, he is the cutest and he deserves to win! There are no rules in this poll, so you can vote as many times as you like! You can vote here. Go Peanut, Go!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

First Impressions

Well now, what is this??? Oh, yes, I remember this stuff. I think it happened last year. I shake my head. Those Woolly Boogers are awesome! We got snow. They said in Seattle that it was only supposed to be something called 'flurries'. That should have been a clue. Instead, I thought they were talking about winter coats. You see when they say in Seattle there is going to be 'weather', we do not get 'weather'. But when they say in Seattle there is not going to be 'weather', Katie, You Old Nanny Goat, Bar the Door! because we are going to get 'weather'. I have only this to say about that , "All Hail those Woolly Boogers!" The Woolly Boogers are definitely where it's at when it comes to 'weather'.

Now, I can't say the snow held any particular fascination for me. I've seen it before. Once is quite enough, thank you very much. Ella saw it, though, and began frolicking about in a ridiculously Ella-esque manner. Boo simply stood there looking perplexed. (In my opinion, Boo being faced with having to contemplate anything 'new' is likely to cause her brain to stall out just shy of overload.) But this was the first time Watson and Peanut had ever seen the white stuff.

Peanut, in typical laissez-faire mode, stopped, looked around and promptly stuck his nose into it. He then decided, 'I'm still really cute, even with snow on my nose!' Okay, well grudgingly I have to admit he has a point.

Watson, on the other hand, displayed a typically methodical approach. "Let's see. First we'll taste it. Tastes okay, but it doesn't seem to do anything. It is kind of cold, but at least it doesn't make me faint."

"Okay, then, let's butt it and see what happens."

"All rightey then. This is white cold stuff. I get it! ... I think."

Yes indeed, in my estimation one should always trust first impressions. After all, they form the basis for all future impressions don't they?

What's my impression of this snow? Hell-oo!? Freezing my goat cakes off here! Ay Carumba.

The Case of the Plopping Poop

I know. Not a very eloquent title is it? What can I say. It is what it is. It's about time we had another mystery around here. What with all this rain recently, my brain was beginning to rust. But to get to the point...what you see above is the source of the mystery. "What the hay is that?!", you ask. Well, that white splotch on the board, sort of to the lower right of the picture, is what has been appearing of late in very unlikely places. Such 'splotches' have occurred in the rafters, on the stanchion, on the mat, and various and sundry strange places well within the interior of the barn. The first time she saw one, the goatmother thought, 'This looks like bird droppings. How can this be? It is winter and there are no birds that would come in the barn. All of the swallows have gone south or wherever it is they go.' And then she dismissed it from her mind. Being predisposed to the unraveling of mysteries, not to mention quite talented in that regard, I continued to ponder the occurrences. That is until last night when the jig was up.

Last night while cleaning up and giving us our nightly ration of hay, something flitted past the goatmother's head. We noticed, but we didn't become alarmed. After all, there was food involved. What could possibly be more important than that? Besides we hadn't received any Peanuts yet. But the goatmother noticed and thought, 'Oh, no. That stupid bat has returned and is going to fall on my head again.' However this time it wasn't the bat.

What you see here is an old swallow nest that exists near the roof of the barn. It is, in fact, so old that if you look closely you can see it sports long strands of horse hair. The people who lived here before the goatmother and the goatfather had horses. That is how old the nest is. So when the mysterious 'flitting' occurred, the goatmother glanced up just in time to see something very small entering the bottom of this nest. As she watched, something then poked it's head out the top of the nest and looked at her.

This is what she saw looking down at her. I know, the picture is not the best and it is kind of blurry. But, what can I say, the goatmother is blonde. Blonde + technological devices doesn't always equal success. I guess you could say blondes are kind of the Nubians of the human world. But I digress...

Okay, the goatmother has sort of redeemed herself with the above photo. Sort of. In her defense, the subject was very quick. Anyway, the mysterious little poop depositor turned out to be a Winter Wren. This one is only about two and a half inches from stem to stern. Still, a mystery is a mystery no matter what size package it comes in. No matter. "Chance has put in our way a most singular and whimsical problem, and its solution is its own reward." (Sherlock Holmes from The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Under The Wire

My Bad. Seems some tricky reader made it in just under the wire. Thank you Massachusetts! Only 29 states to go! Yes! A Peanut for you!

Dancing Fools

Perhaps you may remember my long ago efforts at working out a routine for 'Dancing With The Stars'? It has all paid off. In spades. Of course the only worthwhile partner I could come up with was Ella, but fame has to have a price. Enjoy this (please click) little holiday 'gift', from our barn to yours!

An Hour To Go

Well, one hour to go in my poll. Looks as though the results are 43 readers in 20 states! The Californians and the Washingtonians seem to be tied for 'most readers', followed closely by those Tennesseans and then the Texans. I have fallen really short of my goal for readers in every state, but then I do have a few more Peanuts to eat in this life so there is hope. Many, many goatly thanks to everyone who participated and to everyone who reads my humble thoughts!
Goat Philosopher Extraordinaire

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mathematically Speaking

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!! It rained again last night. It rained again this morning. Then a rainbow appeared and the sun came out. The goatmother marched herself out to the barn, threw open the barn door and said, "You guys have been in the barn for two days! You're going to get Barn Fever if you stay in here any longer! You need to get some fresh air!" I just looked at her. "I don't think so, Tim."

One measly rainbow and one ray of sunshine does not a nice day make. I prefer to believe the Woolly Boogers. Remember the Woolly Boogers? Those little guys are phenomenal! They know what they are about. The Woolly Boogers said it was going to be a wild ride and a wild ride it has been! Gotta' love those Woolly Boogers. I was right. They were right. It clouded over and rained some more. Oh, yes, I am wise.

Which all leads me to my theorem. Yes, it is a theorem and not a just theory because it is all based on mathematics. You see, during this two, and now three day sojourn in the barn, I have begun to notice something. This is what I noticed: A goat is asked to move. Said goat, seeing this as an imposition, reluctantly moves, but in the process butts another goat the hay out of the way. This goat, in turn, butts the next goat and so on and so forth. It is much like the famous Domino Affect, but involves goats instead of dominoes. So, mathematically speaking, this means: GM1 x OG1 = MG2 = etcetera ad infinitum. That is to say: GoatMother1 x ObstinateGoat1 = MovingGoats2, and so on and so forth to infinity (or as many goats as are present to butt the hay out of the way). This phenomenon shall hereafter be known as the Capricornus Affectation Theorem. See what happens when a muy intelligent mind has too much time on its hands?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Entrepeneureal Endeavor

What a day for weather! Wind and rain. Rain and wind...then more wind and rain. Some places on the coasts of Washington and Oregon had winds over 100 miles an hour. I have to say I am very relieved to be living where I do. You see, in our area, a phenomenon occurs called the Olympic Rain Shadow. What happens is that the storms come in off the Pacific Ocean, hit the Olympic Mountains, and literally bounce over and around us. One can look at a radar image and see all other parts of western Washington getting massive amounts of rain, but there will be this nice little hole right over where we live. Because of this, it is often referred to as 'the blue hole'.

Of course we still did get quite a lot of rain here (as you might have heard), but we didn't get nearly as much as everyone else. In fact, in Bremerton, which is about an hour away and very close to where I was born, they recorded 12.75 inches of rain. I am not sure if this was in 48 hours or in 24 , but either way, that is lot of water. I believe my dear friend, and little Mr. Peanut's grandmother, Baby Belle, may be treading water by now. In my opinion, it is a very good thing goats have four legs instead of only two. This means two more oars in the water when necessary.

Anyhow, with all this sogginess, I have been passing my time in the barn (since I am most certainly not going outside) in deep thought. I have come up with a bright idea for a new business. I think I can market it quite well in this region, possibly Oregon, and well, probably quite a few places. What is it, you ask? My plan is to create fashionable little inflatable devices specifically for goats - useful for unexpected flooding or pre-planned vacations to the Bahamas...or Hawaii. And what will these devices be called? Why 'Floaties for Goaties', of course! Naturally I plan to be spokesgoat and primary model. First, however, I need to come up with a prototype. After that I believe it would be most efficacious to do preliminary testing on Boo. Anything that can keep something that size afloat is most definitely an effective product. Good thing the pond is really full at the moment. Now if the wind would just die down.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Baad House (Part 2)

Someone can be cute and reap all the benefits thereof. Then, in the blink of an eye, it can all go sour on you. Just ask little Mr. Peanut. You see, a day or two ago he was on top. That was a day or two ago. Today? Today he's right down there with the goat berries. Yes, my friends, it is hard to remain constant at those lofty heights.

You see, it seems that one day, some time back, the Mighty Quinn, who loves everyone, was bouncing about in the goat pasture. All of a sudden, the neighbor came driving up the driveway, and the Mighty Quinn ran in rapt joy to greet her. That would have been okay except he was in the goat pasture. The Mighty Quinn did not realize, as we goats do, that there is an electric wire lining the goat pasture. He encountered the wire, was duly zapped, and he hasn't gone near the goat pasture since. But somehow he transferred the negative event to anything having to do with goats. Now I can't say as I'm all that unhappy about it seeing as how this means he won't be trying to herd anything looking even remotely like a goat. However, the goatmother has been very upset. You know that saying, 'When the goatmother ain't happy, ain't nobody happy'?

So, yesterday, the goatmother thought, 'Hmmmmm. If I take the Mighty Quinn in on a leash and then give him lots of doggie cookies, perhaps, in time, he will begin to associate the goat environs with good things'. An admirable plan. Of course this plan did not take into account the totally fractious personality of one little Mr. Peanut. So the Mighty Quinn was placed on the leash and dutifully followed the goatmother into the abyss. As the goatmother reached to open the gate, little Mr. Peanut dashed in with the wings of Mercury on his heels and promptly butted the Mighty Quinn. This in itself would not have been so bad, but yes, you guessed it, he butted the Mighty Quinn right into the electric wire. Oy. Not to mention ouch.

So the goatmother was livid and little Mr. Peanut tumbled from his pedestal. The only thing I've ever butted was another goat! (We will not mention the time I lost control and bit the neighbor for not being forthcoming with the Peanuts. That was, under the circumstances, quite understandable.) Now the goatmother has quadruple the amount of work ahead of her convincing the Mighty Quinn, whom she had hopes of training to herd , that goats are really not from hell. To the Mighty Quinn I offer an old Yiddish saying, "Beser mit a kugn in gehenem eyder mit a nar in ganeydn" Or in English, " Better to be a wise person in Hell than a fool in paradise." To little Mr. high-and-mighty Peanut, I can only say, 'Serves you right, little man!'