"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, January 25, 2009

What To Do When Your Muse Goes On Vacation

No doubt you have been wondering, 'What has happened to Marigold?' I'm still here, but sadly my muse has gone on vacation. I know that sounds ridiculous, but, alas, it is true.

You see, according to ancient Greek mythology, there are nine muse. These muse are goddesses who serve to inspire all manner of artists from painters, to musicians, to, of course, writers. The nine were said to be daughters of Zeus (naturally, since who wasn't one of his children?) and Mnemosyne, who was a Titan and daughter of the god, Uranus. ( Whoa! A Titan. That means she was one big mamma!) At any rate, artists throughout history have given laud to their muse.

There is just one problem. Actually there were ten muse. The original nine were Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania, but history neglected to include Caprinope. This can only be a product of extreme prejudice, for Caprinope is the sacred muse of goats. (Please note that Caprinope ends in the letters 'p' and 'e', leading us to conclude that there is an evidentiary link to the word PEanut). Works for me.

So to make a long story short, Caprinope got tired of the Washington winter doldrums, (and who can blame her?) unceremoniously deciding to take off for the Caribbean, and leaving me high and dry on my stump. Now, I ask you, is that self-centered or what? So right about now, I'm thinking, no laud for you, girl.

Anyway, so what does one do when one's muse goes on vacation? Well, you can always butt someone. That works really well unless the goatmother happens to be looking. Or, you can always eat hay, making a game out of trying to keep the best bits away from everyone else. (Sticking your head into the feeder and then moving your bum to either side when someone approaches works surprisingly well.) Or you can lay down in the shade (which is usually anywhere on the lee side of Boo) and take a nap. Or you can tip Watson, knock him over, and then run so the goatmother thinks Ella did it. Or you can just relax on your stump and dream about a day when the sun is shining warm on your back, a slight breeze rustles the succulent Maple leaves, dragonflies buzz lazily over the pond, and the day's ration of Peanuts is waiting just around the corner.

I got a letter today postmarked Kingston, Jamaica. It said simply, "Thus, with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write." - Sir Philip Sidney. Oy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year's Baby

According to Wikipedia, the New Year's Baby is 'an American personification of the start of a new year'. Okay, given the state of things, I can see where that makes sense. The New Year's Baby is said to represent beginnings, rebirth and positive thoughts for prosperity and good health. Goodness knows we could all use a little prosperity.

Of course we could ALL also use some positive thoughts. For example, Boo could stand to think about positively going on a diet. Ella could positively stand to STOP pushing everybody around. Watson could stand to think positively about, well, standing. Peanut could stand to stop being so positively cute. And, not to be left out, I, myself, could stand to stand on my stump envisioning positive and potent thoughts toward getting more Peanuts in the coming year.

There is, however, one thing about this day that I just can't see as a positive no matter how I look at it. What is that, you might ask? Well, it seems that one year ago today, Cabra entered the world. All I can say is, no wonder the economy went south and corporations collapsed. The birth of the downy dirt devil simply had to be a harbinger of doom.

I'm sure you are thinking, "Marigold! How could such an incredibly cute specimen of doghood be responsible for anything so monstrous?" I can assure you, my friends, it is possible. Might I remind you of the recent, accursed HERDING incident? Does that not convince you?

At any rate, how could something go from the sweet innocence of this...

...to the obvious corruption evident here? Why it doesn't even look like the same dog!

And you know what? Maybe it isn't! Maybe it is a changeling. Yes! Perhaps the real and true Cabra was stolen by faeries and this seemingly innocent, yet annoying, creature was left in her stead. (My powers of deductive ratiocination amaze even me at times.)

I tell you, my friends. DO NOT BE FOOLED! Looks can be deceiving. Despite what you see, this is a dirt-loving, mud-wallowing, dead-bird-finding, snowball-collecting, toy-destroying, trash-raiding, kleenex-shredding, HERDING, denizen of Hell. "All things truly wicked start from an innocence." - Ernest Hemingway. Right on!, Ernie.

Anyway, Happy New Year, everyone! Now that last year's New Year's Baby has had her reign of terror, maybe the year ahead can get on to being the best and most auspicious one ever! Oh, and Happy Birthday, you heel nipping little cookie thief. Oy.