"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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Olgoat Korbutt

I seek to broaden my horizons. Besides, I'm bored. I've been spending far too much time in the barn lately. So, you see, when opportunity came knocking, I answered. It was hoof trimming time, and as you may recall, the goatmother becomes sorely vexed when the monthly temps de mode de pied comes due. This has a great deal to do with the involvement (or lack thereof) of the U.S.S. Boo, and serves to lead us to what you see pictured above. Yes, my friends, though you may not see it (and certainly I can say that Boo has not) this is opportunity in its finest hour. The goatmother calls it a 'calf sling', although it is beyond me why since there are no 'calves' in residence here. Nevertheless, the purpose is to raise the vict...er...trimee from the ground in order to gain better access. In this particular case, it was in hopes of keeping BusWoman from laying down on the job, so to speak, and thusly eliciting A LOT of work for the goatmother, not to mention a variety of scurrilous utterances.

I'm certain you are beginning, by now, to cast doubtful aspersions upon my state of mind. I assure you, however, I am quite lucid - albeit perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic. For you see, in my mind I saw this as the perfect opportunity to become a world-class gymnast - the first EVER in goat history! After all, when life gives one inferior Peanuts, one must try to make Peanut butter! So when it came my turn, it was all Carpé Diem! It took the goatmother a bit to get me properly suited up. (Okay, I admit I was a bit less than cooperative in the matter due to my ardor.) Once there, however, the goatmother proceeded to 'hitch' me higher so that my feet didn't exactly make contact with terra firma.

As far as I am concerned, here is where she made her first mistake. You see, according to universal rules and conventions,
once the routine has started, the coach may not physically interfere with the athlete in any way. Well, tell HER that! I leapt gracefully into the air, despite the fact that my feet were not actually touching the earth. This is a phenomenal achievement. Still she kept trying to get in my way to trim. What IS UP with that, anyway? I was able to execute a few fluid swings and almost managed to achieve a hoofstand. I can tell you, it was awesome! But the piéce de resistance, came when I managed to make an attempt at the Olga Korbut Flip. You see this is a high bar salto (somersault) and release at the end. It requires a standing back flip, and thus has since become unacceptable. Still, I feel it is a worthwhile goal. I did not quite achieve it, but I can assure you, the effort was SPECTACULAR! Now, if a gymnast falls, she has 30 seconds to re-mount. Okay, I didn't make the time limit, but in my defense, it was just a first effort. I can only get better from here, and I am quite sure I'll have many more chances to perfect my technique. My motto, after all, is 'Go for the Gold - if not for the Peanuts'.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Little Fish In A Big Pond

Two posts in one day. Well, I can explain since, if you recall, this is a dream. Remember, earthling, we are in the Twilight Zone. In keeping with Zonian rules, it follows that what comes second must appear first. So it is with this blog. You have to read the one before to get the full appreciation and understanding required to view this one. Exactly backwards. I warned you. Zonian rules.

Anyway, when you are the little guy, life can be an odd adventure. You find yourself wanting to do what everyone else is doing. You simply yearn to get out and have a little fun with your friends. Frolic about with wild abandon. Throw caution to the wind. But then, sometimes when you are the little guy, things tend to become a bit 'bogged down'. A rolling stone gathering moss as it were. And in the end you find yourself burdened and the road is all uphill.

Understanding dawns. The light goes on. It's just as clear as the driven snow. We knew from the get-go Cabra was half Havanese. We just didn't realize it was the bottom half that was Bichon Freezé.

Do-do Do-do, Do-do Do-do, Do-do Do-do ...

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Twilight Zone.

I knew it! Yesterday, when I posted about snow in April, I just knew it was really nothing more than a dream. Because, see? See what seems to have happened overnight? Something on the order of five or more inches fell. Yes, it is just a dream. I am sure because Watson keeps running around spouting, ad nauseum, something about there being 'more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy'. Somebody, please end this NOW! Wake up, little Marigold...it's only a dream...it's only a dream...it's only a dream...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Are You Absolutely SURE This Is April???

Oy. This just ISN'T right.

Even the flowers are confused.

Aren't we supposed to be basking in the warmth of a springtide sun?

Or perhaps this is some sort of political subterfuge?

Even the hummingbird looks confused. "I was SURE I had my migratory calculations correct. Perhaps a flaw in the Inertial Navigation system. This could indicate a need for a return to Dead Reckoning in the future.

Forget the navigational stuff. Let's head for the barn. I know right where that is.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Face of Innocence

'Oh, she flies through the barn with the greatest of ease, that daring goatmother down there on her knees...' Oh. Sorry. Lost track of what I really came here to say...giggle...giggle...hee... ahem... Okay. Got it out of my system now.

This, my friends, is the face of innocence. Wouldn't you agree? DO NOT BE FOOLED, for this is the face of le connaisseur des oiseaux morts. What the hay does that mean. you ridiculous goat? Well, literally translated, it means the connoisseur of dead birds. Yes, indeed. Seething with seemingly modest virtue, this face can locate deceased ornithological specimens anyone of lesser skill would pass right by - and would probably want to. Not THIS anyone! Not on your life, Prudence! She is made of sterner stuff. Already in the short span of her existence, Cabra has managed to ascertain the whereabouts, and retrieve the remains there-of, of more dead birds than even the Mighty Quinn himself. Such prowess, unfortunately, must go unrewarded. Still, Cabra, in her own way, exudes a success we should all aspire to. I believe it was Ladybird Johnson who said, "A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off (I'm sure no pun was intended here.) to develop them into skills,and uses these skills to accomplish his goals". To that end, we find ourselves wondering just what are Cabra's true goals? On the other hand, perhaps we really don't want to know.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

...And Stuff

The night before last, the goatmother came into the barn to perform the usual nightly routine. She noticed that hay was needed, so she climbed up on the stack to bring a bale down from the uppermost layer. She cast the hay hook into a choice bale and pulled mightily to bring it out. The only problem was the hook didn't hold and the goatmother went flying. Literally. Backward and downward, all at the same time. We watched. What else could we do? (We're only goats, for goats' sake!) The goatmother ended up smacking the floor on her side, twisting her ankle and jamming her arm upward. She lay there for a bit wondering if she had broken her ankle or any other important body parts. I, of course, became immediately concerned that she might not be able to get up and get to the Peanuts. Then I heard her mumbling something to the effect that she would have to get up because the goatfather would never come to check on her. Let's face it. Goats don't make very good Lassies. "Goatfather! Come, quickly! Timmy has fallen in the well!!!" That just isn't in our vocabulary.

Finally, however, the goatmother managed to get up - albeit somewhat slowly and painfully. To her credit nothing was broken, but merely bruised and swelling. A woman of any lesser bone density would have been left crying in her beer. You can be quite sure of that! What a trooper! We not only got our Peanuts, but got hay as well. And we have continued to be fed, though I have to admit the service has been somewhat on the slow side.

So that is one reason why I have been somewhat remiss in my musings of late. Let's face it. If the goatmother ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. But there has been another problem as well. You might recall my recent writing about the Winter That Would Not Die? Well, that was in March. This is April. This is the middle of April, to be exact. Guess what? The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday involves snow down to sea level. You heard me, SNOW. Oy. And, they call this Spring. Now THAT is a misnomer. Maybe we should just be calling it Sprinter.

At any rate, I just haven't felt very philosophical lately. It is just too darned cold to get out there on that stump. Walt Whitman had it right when he said, "Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling." Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!


Fed-Ex made a delivery to the goatfather a couple of days ago. As the truck drove up, the goatmother came out of the house. The Fed-Ex man exited the truck, looked at the goatmother and said, "You gotcha' some goats there."
"Yes, I do.", replied the goatmother.
"When I rounded the corner I saw that one there (indicating Ella atop the Go-Go-Goat Treadmill © ) and I slowed waaaay down 'cuz I thought he might just jump right over the fence."
"You are probably lucky that one (indicating Watson) didn't faint! He is a fainting goat.", said the goatmother.
"I've heard of them, but that one (indicating Ella) ... that one must be the ALPHA goat!!!"

Oy. The ALPHA goat??? Whoever heard of an Alpha goat, for Peanut's sake??? I don't think so, Tim! Still, it gave me pause and I began to wonder about the term. So I decided to do a little research and came upon an interesting definition. Now, mind you, this definition is for 'Alpha male', but really Alpha is Alpha, don't you agree? So here is the definition (you will, of course, notice that the word, 'male', is in parentheses : "
The (male) leader of a pack, usually earned his place through instilling fear in others. The pack is usually smarter than the alpha male, but is more afraid to have him as an enemy than a friend. Through evolution, however, the original alpha male behavior is becoming different; what was once fear of the leader himself, has now become fear of whatever the alpha male considers a threat to him. Despite the rank or power the alpha male may achieve through his methods in society, it is still a primitive role to have, due to the selfish nature of his life. Rest assured, if the pack ever had the chance, they would probably remove his role from their society without hesitation."

Allow me, now, to render this definition understandable in a personal kind of way. First of all, you will notice that the position in question is gained through 'instilling fear in others'. This, of course, would apply to Ella since she is such a bully. It also holds true that the 'pack' is smarter than the alpha character. By a long shot, I might add, although probably Peanut and Watson are the only ones fearing her enmity. For goatness' sake! She has long legs, but that's about it. Reading further, we see the phrase, 'due to the selfish nature of his life'. Naturally anyone who has seen Ella when the Sacred Peanuts are doled out would consider this to be a statement of truth. And, lastly, we see that 'if the pack ever had the chance, they would probably remove (his) role from their society without hesitation.' This goes without saying.

So, at least according to this definition, we might view Ella as the Alpha goat. The problem lies in the fact that Boo sees herself as holding this title, and it goes without saying that she has the muscle (well, weight anyway) to back up her claim. I'm sure not gonna' tell her she isn't the Alpha goat. I mean just because she has difficulty getting up on that tire doesn't mean that she wouldn't be there if it were an easier task to undertake. Besides, the definition goes on to state that alpha behavior is becoming different in that instead of fearing the leader, it has evolved to fearing whatever the leader considers a threat. Oy. If this is so, we are in dire circumstances here since Boo, being a Nubian, sees just about everything as a threat. Birds flying overhead, a new fencepost, oddly shaped piles of goat berries, the neighbor's cat in the pasture - you name it and it is the 'sword of Damocles' to Boo.

So we are left with the misnomer of Alpha goat. Ella fits the bill, but just can't pull it off. Boo, thinks she has the position all sewed up, but can't seem to find any minions to follow in awe (except of her size). So that leaves me to fill the void, don't you think? After all, Albert Einstein said, "When the solution is simple, God is answering."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ah, So...

Sitting quietly,
doing nothing,
spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself.

- Zen Proverb

I am ON it, grasshopper!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Case of the Warm, Shiny Stuff

Goatzooks! What is this stuff and from whence does it come? Make haste, Watson! Another puzzlement to be un-puzzled!!! What's that you say? Today is your birthday? No, Watson, this is most assuredly NOT an April Fool's birthday joke! Chop-Chop! Be fleet of hoof, my good man!!!

Hmmmm... It is warm ... and bright...

Perchance, is it emanating from within???

No! Then perhaps from without???

Alas, no, Watson! Allow me to listen and see if rumblings can be detected from the depths. Ah, wrong again!!! (However I do believe I can hear the ocean...)

Oh, but a moment to ponder the clues. Yes. Warmth. Brightness. Light. I feel a tickle in the back of my memory...(you CAN solve this Marigold!)

Why, OF COURSE!!! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! It is the SUN, dear Watson!!!!

AHHHHhhhhhhhh......... Another mystery solved. Who would have guessed that the Go-Go Goat Treadmill © could double as a tanning bed? Yes. Yes. "Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth." (Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four)