"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 2, 2010


Take a look at this picture. This is what happens when you are a long-legged, pushy Alpine. Notice the two 'polite' eaters at the left? Now you see, this is what happens on a daily basis around here. The goatmother doles out three equal flakes of hay on our side of the barn, and Ella proceeds to stick her head in the top of the hay rack and pull out entire flakes onto the floor. She does this for three reasons. First, she can. Second, it enables her to reach the most succulent morsels before anyone else, and third, it wastes as much hay as possible so that no one else will want it after it has touched the floor. Can you say 'uncleeeeean'? Now mind you this scenario always incurs the wrath of the goatmother, but Ella remains unfazed. Oy boy.

That has been my life up to now. Obviously Boo has not suffered as much as I. I mean, look at her? Do you think she hasn't been getting anything to eat? Anyway, all that came to an end yesterday. Ella's nose was OUT-OF-JOINT and I have to admit, it couldn't happen to a more deserving individual ... snicker.

So how was 'Miss Piggy' foiled? Well, you see, the goatmother and the goatfather cut a piece of stock panel exactly fitting the top of the hay rack, and hinged it into place. Since Ella always manages to take the top off anything she can reach (she views it as a challenge), a rather large clasp was affixed. What is more, another piece of stock panel was wired to the inside of the rack so that hay could only be pulled out from the bottom or through the squares.

When it came time for the goatmother to bring out the day's ration, this is how it went down. The goatmother placed the three flakes on the spool in order to open the top of the newly redecorated hay rack. Ella thought, 'Oh, boy! Look at that! Three absolutely unencumbered flakes just for me! How nice is that goatmother?' But then, the flakes were placed one at a time inside the rack and the ginormous clasp was secured. Boo wouldn't go near the thing because even though it was in the same place and looked exactly the same except for the bars, it was still not exactly as it was before and so must be a terrorist ploy to lure unsuspecting Nubians into the clutches of evil. Ella wouldn't go near it because she couldn't stick her head in the top and pull out whatever she wanted. She was so outraged, she began butting me as though it were my fault.

The goatmother smiled, opened the small gate between the two halves of the barn (which I can walk right under but Miss Legs-Up-To-The-Sky can't unless she crawls out on her knees). I walked calmly to the other side as the goatmother closed the gate and asked, 'Marigold, would you like to spend the night over here with the boys?' Livid. That's a good word. It nicely sums up Ella's reaction.

By morning Ella had lowered her standards and Boo had finally realized there was really no Hamas of Hay. Some hay was wasted, but not nearly as much as before so the goatmother was happy. As for me, I agree with Harrison Ford. "
Peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of justice."


Danni said...

Ha!! Love that first picture! Ella is an oportunist extraordinaire! All the more power to her!
And the goats' coats all looks so smooth and shiny - my boys are all fuzzy and wiry and winter-hair ridden.

goatgirl said...

Couldn't the goatfather just move the spool?
I'm just sayin'

Marigold said...

Dear goatgirl,
It wouldn't do any good. The other hay racks on our side of the barn have trays. She stands in the trays. If the trays were not there, she is tall enough to just put her feet up on the wall and reach her head in. This is the advantage of being the 'model' type I guess.

Child Of God said...

How funny!
Glad the goatmother and goatfather worked everything out. I think Ella will finally learn her lesson. :)