"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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Good Egg, Bad Egg

Goat Evening. Ella here. Really. Ella. You know why? Well, today was 'jour de soin de pied'. In other words, it was hoof trimming day. Guess who was such a very good girl, hopped right up on the stand, and allowed her hooves to be trimmed tout de suite with absolutely no problems? Not Marigold, that's for sure. As a consequence, the 'bad egg' has been banned from blogging and I am allowed to write in her stead. Isn't that simply brilliant?

After all, "...
after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." - Buddha. That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it. Besides, I love my goatmother. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Being Thankful

It's Thanksgiving. I bow my head. (Notice the white patch on my head even looks like a monk's tonsure.). Don't I look humble? As a matter of fact, I am very thankful for quite a few things.

First of all, I am very thankful that I am not Watson. Afterall, I wouldn't make a very good punching bag. Yet such is the way of life for my good man, Watson. At any given moment, one can enter the barn and hear thunderous bangs and crashes. One might surmise that an earthquake is in progress, or ninjas have moved in, but, then, one would be wrong. What the ruckus would, in fact, be is Peanut butting Watson ... against the wall ... the fence ... the hay rack ... the gate. Really it seems to be Peanut's mission in life to man the buttle stations whenever possible. Of course it is all in good fun (at least for Peanut), and Watson does give back some of what he gets. Despite his efforts, however, when one is prone to freezing and fainting at the drop of a Peanut (the eating kind, not the goat kind), well, what one gives can hardly be equal to what one receives. At any rate, I am very thankful I am not Watson.

This year I am also thankful that I am not the one responsible for the goatmother's recent solo flight through the barn. You are probably wondering what that's all about, and I am here to tell you that the journey was one born, not of choice, but of sabotage. Guilty parties are unknown - or at least unconfessed. It happened one evening when the goatmother unlatched the bottom half of the gate separating the two halves of the barn in preparation for the night. She proceeded to grab three particularly succulent flakes of hay for our repast, and started in to place them in the hay racks. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to her, someone had closed the bottom gate. She never stood a chance. With an armload of hay, she didn't notice the closed gate, hit it full force, and flew into the other side of the barn with moves even Terrell Owens couldn't make. Boo and I ran. Watson froze, only remaining standing because he was next to the fence. Ella (that suck-up) stayed by the fallen goatmother. Boo, deciding that demons must surely have entered the barn and attacked the goatmother, refused to go back in. IT WASN'T ME!!! I SWEAR! But I am really thankful it wasn't.

I am also thankful for Peanuts. That sort of goes without saying, really, but I thought I would mention it just in case. Christmas is just around the barn, you know.

So, I am thankful for a lot of things. I am thankful I can write this blog and that there are actually people who read it. I stand on my stump (I am exceptionally thankful for my stump), and words come to me. I hear the thoughts, and bada bing, bada butt!, the words are there. Really, "Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing." - Unknown. Oy.

Whatever. Still, there is one thing I am probably more appreciative of this day than anything else in the world. Today, I am extremely and greatly goatful that I am not a turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bette Davis Eyes

In life, there are often traits that make one stand out from the crowd. Take for example, Bette Davis. She was known for her eyes. And while Bette's eyes were quite outstanding (as humans go), I just don't think they can come close to the exceptional peepers of goats. Goats' eyes are just remarkable any way you look at it (she said modestly).

For example, did you know that a goat's eyesight is the equivalent to what a human sees with 8x or 10x binocular power? Take that, Spidey!!! This means that a goat can see and recognize things from great distances. As an example, Ella quite regularly spots the goatmother moving about in the kitchen eventhough the house is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 yards away. And those Caprine orbs work just as well close up. Boo can often be seen tracking small insects as they ascend the wall of the barn. Of course we are talking about Boo. This means one must consider the possibility that the insects may not actually be there. Nonetheless, that is entirely irrelevant here.

Anyway, goats possess horizontal, slit-shaped pupils which serve to increase peripheral depth perception. The goatfather describes them as 'Octopus eyes'. For you herding types, this means you won't be sneaking up on any goats any time soon, so you might as well stop trying. For the rest of you, it means that a goat will ALWAYS know the location of the Peanuts no matter how hard you try to hide them.

At any rate, I've put together a little pictorial to help you better appreciate the ocular magnificence that is the eye of the goat.

They come bewildered and surprised.

They come maybe-not-so-innocent and full of curiosity.

They come with long lashes - always a hit with the girls.

And a little eye make-up can go a very long way.

But in the end it is important to remember, " Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears." - Heraclitus of Ephesus. What better reason to believe in the humble musings of someone possessing such a superior pair?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Search and Rescue

Dogs like to work for a living - unlike goats - or at least most goats with any sense. This is one reason I believe that goats are superior to dogs. (No offense intended to any of my beloved dog readers. It is just one of those facts of life like 'the early goat catches the Peanut', or 'behind every good goatmother stands a great goat'.) Anyway, you might recall that I have commented from time to time on the training progress of the Mighty Quinn. It is to that end that I speak to you now.

To re-cap, the Mighty Quinn, while showing excellent potential early on, has never quite mastered the art of herding goats (to my relief) thanks to...er...due to an unfortunate meeting with my nephew, Peanut, and the electric fence. Nonetheless, he has persevered in his work ethic by achieving highest marks in the Dervish Herding School method. Still, herding has all but eluded him, except in pursuit of a rather unique prey. In this, we have discovered, lies the Mighty Quinn's true talent. For you see, the Mighty Quinn has begun to excel in the area of Search and Rescue. You know, these are the dogs able to locate 'victims' lost in the wilderness or buried under tons of disaster-related debris?

Of course the Mighty Quinn has not had any actual disasters with which to train. (Unless, of course, you count the time Boo tried to go under the gate between the two sides of the barn, knocking it off its hinges in the process, and nearly taking me out.) Despite this lack, a certain natural talent has come to light. For example, one day the neighbors' Brussels Griffon, Oscar, went missing. Everyone ran hither and yon frantically calling his name in an effort to locate him. The Mighty Quinn realized the gravity of what was happening and wandered off into the woods. Moments later he returned with Oscar trailing behind. Another day, Cabra became frightened of the John Deere pulling an empty garden trailer. As it came careening down the road driven by the goatfather, (I say 'careening', mind you, because you have never witnessed the acceleration and wild abandon exhibited by a man who has just realized the load is light and the way is absolutely clear. Trust me, it pays to get the hay out of the way.) Cabra became cognizant that her life was in danger and promptly disappeared. The goatmother called and called. The Mighty Quinn, taking one look at the desperation that was the goatmother's face, trotted off toward the house, expiditiously returning with Cabra in tow. What a guy.

So, as you can see, Search and Rescue seems to be the Mighty Quinn's natural forté. Allow me to jar your memory a bit by returning to the previously pursued DHS 'prey' which can be reviewed here. It is now Autumn. The leaves have fallen and cover the ground in thick blankets. Locating the 'prey' has become quite a challenge, particularly since there is such a large target area. Nonetheless, it has been discovered that all one need do is stand back, scoop in hand, and say, 'Find the Poop'. No kidding. 'Find the Poop'. Gauche, I know, but there you have it. You say the magic words, stand back, and the Mighty Quinn goes to work. His success rate is phenomenal. Fortunately, Cabra provides us with enough training material to cover the need. And what's in it for him, you might ask? What reward could possibly exist for such an undertaking? Why nothing more than the chance to perform the Dervish dance that accompanies each sacrificial conveyance. Not even a morsel of food or kernel of Peanut is required. (This, by the way, naturally supports my original supposition concerning the superiority of goats. A goat would merely look at you and say, 'Find the What?! I don't think so.)

Anyway, who knew such a latent talent lay undiscovered in the Mighty Quinn for so long? Granted some of you might not see the merit, but I can assure you that this is only a stepping stone to higher ground. The next step is to learn to 'sit' as a signal that the target has been located. From there, it is a mere hop, bound and a butt to finding other objects and maybe even people...or lost goats...or lost Peanuts! YES!!! So, my friends, do not mock what you do not understand. A noted Native American, Iron Eagle, once said, "God doesn't give people talents that he doesn't want people to use." I'm reasonably sure that applies to dogs too - maybe even to goats.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Rose, Is a Rose, Is a....Marigold.

Ola!, my friends. Today I will enlighten you with a bit of history. No, not a history of the goat. That would be, I am quite sure, most exciting. However, instead, my mission is a bit more defined. For you see, today I am going to tell you a bit of the history of the Marigold. My sobriquet is not just the stuff of history, but is, in fact, steeped in legend.

Marigolds originated in Central America (probably Mexico), and were introduced to Southeast Asia by the 16th Century. They have naturalized there, and are used in India and Pakistan as a medicinal, flavoring, dye and ornamental. I do not know, personally, if they are tasty or not. However, it is on my 'to-do' list.

Now, then. It seems the humble Marigold is one of the traditional flowers used in offerings in Southeast Asia. The Gonds, an aboriginal tribe in Central India, connected the flower with their God, Gondmuli. Gondmuli stole another god's wife and the battle was on - in fact, Gondmuli sort of lost his head over it. The abducted wife was sad for the loss, dropped her hairpin as she was dragged back, and a marigold sprung up where it landed. I would like to point out, that the word Gonds is very close to the word Goats. No doubt there is a connection here. Although, I must say that I am not acquainted with any wife-stealing goats. If anything, it is the other way around. Given the situation with my beloved Gun-Bun, it is clear that it is husband or boyfriend stealing that goes on. Nonetheless, sad though I may be, I have not noticed any marigolds springing forth. For that matter, come to think of it, I haven't even noticed any Peanuts sprouting up. Perhaps the Peanut doesn't enter into the legend. I can't be sure.

Anyway, another legend says that back in Biblical times, the marigold was known as 'Mary's Gold'. Now there may be some validity to this legend seeing as how my original goatmother's name is Mary and she is the one who saddled...er...blessed me with my name. At any rate, the legend goes that Mary (the Biblical one, not the goatfarmer one) used the blossoms as coins during the 'Flight into Egypt'. (Oddly, I am sure Mary, [the goatfarmer one and not the Biblical one] wishes she actually had some of this floral fortune given the state of the economy and the price of hay.) That aside, the Holy Family was set upon by thieves who took Mary's purse (the Biblical one, not the goatfarmer one) and when they opened it up, marigolds fell out. I am struck here by two things. First of all, why would Mary be carrying a purse? Didn't Joseph have any pockets? Perhaps there was no place to carry a wallet in those long gown thingies. And second, why would she be carrying flowers in there instead of something meaningful like Peanuts? Goat figure.

So there you have it. See? My name is not so trivial as you once thought - not that anyone with an iota of intelligence would think such a thing. Clearly I have a heritage to uphold - one divinely inspired. Marcus T. Cicero said, "There never was a great soul that did not have some divine inspiration." I think that sums it up pretty nicely, don't you?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nubian Voting


Psst....Where's the message?
Message? What message? Oh, for Goats' sake!


Vote? That's all?! Just VOTE?!
Well, goat grief. What more do you need? I'm a little nervous, you know. You've never let me talk before. Oh, all RIGHT.


Was that better? Can I have the Peanuts now?

Cutest Kid ...Ever!

Hey, ho! Peanut here! Guess what? Yes, I won the contest for Cutest Kid Ever born at Herron Hill Dairy. Of course it was a fierce campaign. Aren't they always? Anyhow, I want to thank ACORN (Ardent Caprine Organization of Revisionist Numerators) for their very non-compliant help. Special thanks go to the Mighty Quinn of that body. I would also like to thank all my constituents in the great states of CA, OR, WA, NC, WVA, TN, ME, VA, NV, TX, AR, KY, SC, FL, CO, MA, OK, MO, WI, PA, MN, IL, OH, NH, GA, NY, and the countries of Switzerland, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and Canada for their votes and support. I apologize if I have neglected to mention anyone. It has been a long, arduous journey, and I , for one, will be glad to get back to watching television without infused political propaganda. Truthfully, I find eating far more fascinating than politics. After all, as Groucho Marx once said, "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." In the end, I find animal cookies a lot more satisfying.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Countdown to Halloween (Minus 1) - The Spooky Castle

Now that Halloween is over, we still have to celebrate El Dias de los Muertos (the Days of the Dead). Granted most of them are past (the days, not the Dead. Ha! I kill me!) but we still have today! So with that in mind, I bring you the above pictured castle. Okay, I didn't go there. I mean they wouldn't let me in, but the goatmother and the goatfather went. You see the goatmother has this idea that every year, during the Halloween season, everyone ought to do something at least a little spooky. Hence a visit to the place you see pictured above. This is the Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, and yes, it is purported to be, you guessed it, haunted. ooooooooooooooooooo!

Of course I could spend a lot of my Peanut-eating time telling you about the history of this establishment, but it is so much easier to just send you here. Naturally the history doesn't tell you anything about it being haunted, but I assure you it is written up in many books on the paranormal. It is now a hotel, and contains an excellent restaurant (even though, as far as I know, they do not serve any Peanut dishes. They do serve a most delicious salad featuring strawberries, spinach, baked garlic, nuts and fabulous little fried goat cheese medallions.).

So, this is where the goatmother and the goatfather decided (Okay, the goatfather says it was ALL the goatmother's idea) to go for dinner. Now some folks say they have experienced phenomena here, and some folks say that is all totally absurd. At any rate, the goatmother reports that nary one spooky thing happened. Poor goatmother. I confess I know what the problem is. John Keats said, "
Do not all charms fly at the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: we know her woof, her texture (must have been that fuzzy little dirt-devil); she is given in the dull catalogue of common things (now there is an understatement if I ever heard one). Philosophy will clip an angel's wings, conquer all mysteries by rule and line, empty the haunted air (See? I told you.), and gnome mine unweave a rainbow.(That'll teach the goatmother to put those stupid little gnomes all over her garden)" Obviously the goatmother has spent far too much time around some philosophical goat, who shall conveniently remain nameless here. Oh, well, goatmother. C'est la vie! At least the food was good.