"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, March 31, 2009

The April Fool

And it came to pass that two years ago the goatmother decided she needed another goat. Verily, it came to pass that the Lord said, "Lo, it shall be done." As though pre-ordained, it followed that a humble goatling was born on April 1st in Boring, Oregon, wrapped in swaddling dried grass (known as hay) and bleating loudly, demanding cookies. Soon his countenance came to dwell amongst the holy of holies (Marigold) and it was found that he possessed an 'oddment'. The goatmother was seen to look skyward, hands upheld, and declare, "Really, Lord. There is something wrong with this goat. At the mere suggestion of a noise he falls to his side. " At which time the Lord spake mightily unto the goatmother in an omnipotent voice (sounding remarkably like James Earl Jones) saying, "Verily, goatmother, I say unto you ... 'April Fool's'.

And so it was that Watson came to dwell among the Olympians (Okay, this means those who live on the Olympic Peninsula...not to be confused with those wimpy Greek guys).

Happy Birthday, dear Watson! May we have many more years of successful sleuthing together.
" I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life. You have shown your relish for it by the enthusiasm which has prompted you to chronicle, and if you will excuse my saying so, somewhat to embellish so many of my own little adventures." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Divine Miss 'M'

Hey, Ho! Peanut here. Yes, that's right. Peanut. And why, you ask, is it me writing when there is obviously a picture of Auntie Marigold posted here? Well, it's like this. Marigold is in T - R - O - U - B - L - E. Yep. Right here in River City, folks. With a capital 'T', that rhymes with 'fee', that mostly spells 'feet'.

You see the goatmother has been putting off trimming our hooves. You know how it is. First the weather is too cold, then it's too wet, then it snows, then it's cold, then it snows... But finally there was a break and D-day arrived. You may remember that almost a year ago, the goatmother bought this lovely little 'swing' for us. You can refresh your memory here. Anyway, this enabled her to keep the mighty Boo from laying down on her hooves where neither the goatmother, nor any member of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, formerly known as the WWF) would likely gain access to them. And it worked too - for the most part. I, myself, have never minded it and usually just 'hang out' (pardon the pun), chewing my cud. Besides, I can assure you those Peanuts are just as good the second time around.

Auntie Marigold, though, has never been able to see the merit in being cooperative, probably due to her ill-perceived 'celebrity' status. After all, she has a blog. She surely should be due 'special' consideration. This means that in her mind, she should not have to endure anything she does not wish to endure. And what Marigold wishes to endure, usually involves Peanuts... or standing on her stump... or butting someone out of the way.
But this time, let me tell you, what 'specialness' Miss Britneygold managed to achieve was in brave new heights of total noncompliance.

The goatmother came prepared. Really she did. She even got a halter because she learned in 'doggie' school, 'control the head, control the animal'. Obviously this rule is read only by, and applies only to, dogs because I can assure you it did nothing for Auntie Marigold. The goatmother had Auntie's head tied and her body in the sling at least twice before she finally gave up and called in the big guns. The goatfather came down to the barn, and even with his presence, Auntie Marigold still managed to climb the walls and then swing (literally) back around for another round while clouting the goatmother in the head with the block part of the block and tackle pulley.

Personally I think Auntie Marigold ought to come down off her 'high goat' and act like the rest of us. After all, " [Being a celebrity] doesn't even seem to keep the fleas off our dogs -- and if being a celebrity won't give me an advantage over a couple of fleas, then I guess there can't be much in being a celebrity after all" - Walt Disney.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Visit

Yesterday the goatmother and goatfather walked out of the house just in time to see this sail across the yard. The Cabrarator was promptly put out of sight, although I imagine he would have had his 'talons' full had he decided to take a swipe at that one. Nonetheless, if Cabra thinks she's had a difficult time dealing with the Stick People, it would be nothing compared to what a trip with a young Bald Eagle would be like. AND, he landed in the tree right over our barn! Now what's up with that? Wait a minute. Oh. My. Goat!!! He was after the Peanuts. I'm SURE of it. Oy.

Anyway, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Maybe the Eagle is Irish and he was just out hunting for Leprechauns. Come to think of it, maybe we ought to help. That Pot 'O' Gold would sure enough buy a lot of Peanuts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
I'll look in the Peanut jar,
And see what I see.

And if you are kind,
And if you don't mind,
Please take off the lid,
And give one to me...
...or three...
...or seventy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Odious Tail

Two posts in one day? What is the world coming to? That aside, you are probably reading that title and thinking, 'An Odious Tail? Figures. That stupid goat can't spell.' But let me tell you, you are quite mistaken for that is exactly the spelling I intended! And therein lies the tale.

You see, one day not too awfully long ago, the goatmother began to notice a certain, shall we say to be polite, excrement, begin to show up in the barn. Now it was way too large to be one of those stupid mice, and it wouldn't have been so bad except it began to show up atop the bales of hay. Not just a dropping here and there, but A LOT of droppings here and there. This would never do since anyone familiar with goats knows, with abject certainty, just how punctilious we are about what we consume. Since the hay we have has to last us until the time of at least the first cutting, and preferably the second, it soon became obvious that something simply had to be done. This being the case, the goatfather was commandeered into setting traps. Not that the goatmother is normally in favor of such things, but, well, given the nature of the situation...you understand. Anyway, to make a long story short, the rat was caught. Whew, thought the goatmother and then promptly re-commandeered the goatfather into re-setting the traps...just in case the relatives had been invited to stay over.

So all went well until... You see, there are these creatures called skunks. 'Ah, ha!', you say. But, really, you don't quite understand. You see, Washington state has two skunk species. One is the striped skunk and the other is the spotted skunk, otherwise known as a 'civet cat'. Generally, skunks are a good thing, being beneficial because they feed on lots of things we don't normally cotton to such as mice, moles, voles, rats (did I say rats?) grasshoppers, wasps, buzzy bees, crickets and beetles. (Also the occasional garden veggie, but everyone has some little vice. I draw the line at Peanuts, however.) Now a striped skunk ranges from 22 to 32 inches - far too large to get into the barn. But a spotted skunk? Those little guys are only 14 to 18 inches, and can climb like nobody's business (and it isn't anyone's business, thank you very much.) They can go just about anywhere a rat can go. Uh-oh.

This morning the goatmother trudged out to the barn. In. The. Snow. (Okay, the snow wasn't that deep, but like TNT, we know drama...) She opened the door and ..Haysus, Marvin and Geraldine!!! The emanation coming from insdie that barn could've T.K.O.'d a bull elephant ( or Boo) at 50 paces!

Now take a gander at the fellow below. He's cute, right? I ask you, how could anything so cute smell so totally bad?? Just so you know, spotted skunks are rarely ever seen ( meaning the goatmother DID NOT take this picture). They only come out at night (unlike the striped skunk who may be seen in the day occasionally), and abhor the light so much they may not even venture out on a moonlit night. (No romance there. I wonder if that's why there are fewer spotted skunks?) And, spotted skunks spray even less. No really. Stop laughing. It's true. But you see, apparently this little guy went looking for the rat and found the re-set traps instead.

You see, skunks have very poor eyesight. So much so, that it is said they will often approach people (or goats...or fenceposts...) who are standing still. It is recommended that if this happens, move...away........slooow...ly... (No goat berries, little goatie...duh!) So obviously our little Skunkie McGoo bumped the trap, it snapped shut, and startled him so badly he 'let 'er fly'. And fly it did...all over the barn.

The first thing the goatmother did was to re-commandeer the goatfather into taking up those dumb traps. Then she left all the doors open all day. (Freezing my goat-bum off here!) Not to mention that we are in dire trouble because it is also recommended that when there are skunks around one should avoid making loud noises, moving quickly or taking other steps that could be interpreted as a threat. How are we supposed to get Peanut to follow that directive? And what about Ella? Doomed, I say. We are doomed.

You know, I read that the skunk's blessed elixir is oily and only slightly volatile. Therefore it will go away 'on it's own'...veeeery....s-l-o-w.....l-y. It will go away eventually - perhaps two to four months. Oy. So far it looks like maybe we're only going to have to donate 4 bales or so to the compost pile. All I can say is it's a darned good thing the Peanuts were covered. In the meantime, anyone know if Febreze will work???

As the Worm Turns

Well, you see, here it is March. The daffodils are coming up and the crocus ( crocus? crocuses? croci? Whatever.) are blooming. But then yesterday we got what you see below. No, the trees don't have dandruff, and yes, those little white specks visible in the trees are snow. It was snowing.

And those few flakes turned overnight into this...

Okay, it isn't another 11 or 12 inches, thank goatness, but it is still quite ccccccold! At any rate, when I see this guy coming next year, I fully intend to tell him to keep right on going. After all, "...the smallest worm will turn, being trodden on..." - William Shakespeare. (Henry VI, Part 3), and I think we've been 'trodden' on quite enough for one year.