"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

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Kindness of Friends

The goatmother has some friends. No, really. She does. Who knew? Anyway, two of these friends, in particular, are just the cream of the crop as far as we goats are concerned. Now you are probably wondering what makes these two so special, and I, benevolent soul that I am, will explain to you precisely why. You see, these particular friends are not only fond of goats, they have actually made it their mission to enhance everyday goatie gourmandization. That means they are trying to help us eat better, and everyone knows the way to a goat's heart is most assuredly through its four stomachs.

One of these friends has been pulling out Salal and bringing it for us to eat. I think she is making room for flower beds, but I am not particularly concerned about the reason. If Salal is not her 'thing', then I am more than willing to take it off her hands. As a matter of fact I'd probably take it off her head if she offered it to me that way.

Anyway, the other friend works at a big vegetable farm. They sell all the vegetables to people, of course, but since humans are so picky, there ends up being a lot of PRAAAH-duce people won't buy. That's where we come in. Goats are not nearly as picky as people and we happen to love PRAAAH-duce. (By now you are probably wondering why I keep referring to these delectable delights as PRAAAH-duce. I can only tell you it has to do with the friend having been raised in a British household. Besides, PRAAH sounds a lot like BAAAA, and, well, it's a goat thing.)

So of late, you might say we've been eating high on the hog ... err ... goat. Sadly Ella tries to get everything first, but we've come to expect that. Still, there is more than enough to go around. I, myself, particularly relish the Kale. Watson, epicurean that he is, only cares for Swiss Chard with a small side of Fennel. Peanut is quite the Spinach devotee, and Boo, naturally, is a fan of absolutely EVERYTHING. It shows too. Oy, does it show. Remember, Boo, once across the lips, forever on the hips. Something tells me she isn't paying a bit of attention.

So here is thanks to the kindness of friends! Aesop once said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." And I assure you, my friends, these acts are much appreciated and never, ever wasted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall Reflections

I know, I know, ‘It isn’t Fall yet, you stupid goat. It’s only August.’ The fact of the matter is, however, that the night before last it got down to 44 degrees and last night it was 48 degrees. Now, when one considers that 44 is only 12 measly degrees from freezing, it seems only natural that one’s thoughts might turn to Fall. Anyway, mine did and that’s that. So there.

Now Fall is a time of reflection for sure. Summer (if you actually had one) is full of running here and running there. Full of things like muse vacations, waiting for it to finally stop raining and then waiting for it to rain at all, baby birds and baby ducks, and of course, lovely, lovely green grass and the always-appreciated-but-far-too-meager Peanut hand-out. But like the trees and plants preparing for their long Winter sleep, we, too, must go within to contemplate where we’ve been and where we want to be when Spring has finally sprung. (I’m thinking first in line to get out there to that tender, new grass after months of nothing but dry old hay).

As I stand here on my beloved stump, I look out over the pasture. The leaves are beginning to yellow, some falling, but many more (drat!) still adhering firmly to the tree. A few green blades (thank goodness!) peek through the long-dead stalks laden heavily with seed. If only Peanuts grew above ground and in the Pacific Northwest. I would be the richest of goats.

I watch Watson as he wanders stiffly by in search of leaves Boo and Ella may have missed. (Heaven knows that’s the only way he’ll get any.) Boo picks up a leaf , lifting her head ever so slightly, as she begins to contemplate some deep mystery – probably something like ‘what is that thing sticking up behind me (her tail) and why is it following me?’ Consequently, consumed by her thought processes (such as they are), she spits out the leaf having forgotten what it was she was doing in the first place. Watson is on it like one of those baby ducks on a June bug – Boo-spit and all. ‘Ahhh, Autumn…’, I sigh. (Even though it is only August).

Soon we’ll probably be seeing those stupid Woolly Boogers – or not. I guess it all depends on what kind of a winter they think we’re going to have. Last year we didn’t see any at all. (I think N.O.A.A. hired them all, and it’s a darned good thing since the Woolly Boogers are far better at predicting the weather than those guys.) The wind will begin blowing the leaves hither and yon (‘Yon’ being a relative term dependent upon which side of the fence you are on.), and we goats will begin to don our winter coats (some of us ending up looking like the Woolly Boogers).

Ah, yes. A time of reflection indeed. How many Peanuts can one consume during a long cold winter? Will there be any three-to-a-shellers? Have I trained sufficiently this summer to be fast enough and strong enough to circumvent Ella’s efforts at being first when the Peanuts are handed out? Am I brave enough to do this? Ahh, Autumn. You grace us with your presence (Even if it is only August.)

“The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, August 9, 2010

In the Shadows

You know, sometimes there's nothing to talk about and then, all of a sudden, there's lots to talk about. Take yesterday for example. We have new neighbors up the road, and one of the new neighbors brought the neighbor-daughter to visit. The neighbor-daughter is quite grown up and lives far, far away in a mythical land called O'Re-Gone. I think it is called this because, first of all, there are Irish people living there. Then, because it is so far away, it has always been gone, and then somebody apparently tried to find it and couldn't, so it became 're-gone'. That's what a few hours on my stump helped me to conclude anyway.

Okay, but I digress. Again. Why do I do that? Anyhow, you see the neighbor-daughter is quite fond of animals. I, myself, think she particularly likes goats, and anyone can certainly understand that. The fact is, though, she liked us so much she wanted to come in the pen. I will admit in hind sight this might not have been the best plan, but I suppose it is what it is. Nonetheless, she and the goatmother entered the pen and the neighbor-daughter squatted down next to the barn where Peanut was standing. (I might add that I was not far away, looking magnificent, as usual, despite my current debilitation.) Then Ella approached. Ella sniffed the neighbor-daughter and the goatmother thought, 'Oh, she's going to rub her head on the neighbor-daughter like she does me.'

Well, here's the problem. You see that picture up above? Notice that Ella's face lies in shadow. There's a reason for that. It is because she has shifty eyes. Now, had anyone else realized, as do I, what a complete punk Ella is, they might have been able to see what was coming. But humans being what they are, just didn't. Ella took advantage, of course, because Ella can. She lowered her head as if to scratch, and, instead, butted the neighbor-daughter's shoulder into the side of the barn! The goatmother was horrified, but it came as no surprise at all to me. After all, I live with that on a daily basis. Oy.

The goatmother has since tried to come up with an explanation for Ella's behavior. It could be because the neighbor-daughter got down on Ella's level, thereby causing Ella to think the goatmother was introducing a new goat to the herd. Naturally a new goat has to be put in it's place. It is The Code. Then again, it might have been because the neighbor-daughter is quite lovely, with eyes like Giada, and Ella might just have been jealous. I mean we know that Ella sees herself as the Ella McPherson of goatdom.

At any rate, Ella is in trouble yet again. At the time I thought about smacking a glob of web on her and wrapping her up right then and there. Hey, I could have if I'd really wanted to, but then my cover would have been blown. In the meantime, I smile inwardly. I smile outwardly too. Heck, I'm just a great big barrel of smiles! Sometimes life hands you lemonade after all. And, oh, Ella? I think I'd tread very softly for awhile if I were you. You just never know when you might meet a real superhero in those shadows you're so fond of. And, Ella? " ... you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk???" - Dirty Harry

Spidergoat, Oy and out, and smiling all the way.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who Am I?

Well, then. needless to say it has been some time since I posted last. Okay, partly it is due to that stupid muse, Caprinope, having gone on vacation - again. You may recall this usually happens in January, but for some reason, this year she felt entitled to two. You may also recall my having received postcards from Jamaica and Rio in the past? This time it was Marrakesh. Can you say ex-o-tic? Can you say 'stoo-pid muse'? Oy.

Anyway, that hasn't been the only problem, for you see I have been suffering from a a slight ill-adjustment to my personal apparatus. I know. What the hay are you talking about, now, Marigold? Well, ahem, you see, recently I developed a certain lopsidedness to my kid-feeding paraphernalia. Now, I assure you that no one quite understands how this came about, least of all myself. I mean I woke up one morning and well, there it was. I guess you could say that with Caprinope on her extended gadabout, my deprived subconscious must have gone over to my more Eastern dark side, and literally overnight I was changed into Marigold, 'Wun-Hung-Lo'.

At any rate, I have never experienced a day of ill health and the goatmother has been quite puzzled, not to mention concerned. I even had to endure a truck ride to the vet. Now that was no fun. Why is it Caprinope can travel the world, and even that stupid Sickly Green UnDead can go places, but all I get is a truck ride to the vet? That, my friends, is discrimination.

The vet, by the way, could find nothing wrong, so it was finally concluded that perhaps I had been bitten by a spider. Well, there you have it. I never saw a spider. I never felt a spider. But you know what? Lately I have begun to have some really bizarre thoughts. (I know, but more than usual.) And, it has begun to affect my vision too. I mean occasionally it kind of looks like there are eight of things instead of just one. Now if it were only Peanuts that wouldn't be so bad, but eight of Boo can be a bit distressing. And another thing. I have begun to notice myself daydreaming about climbing right up the side of the barn or the trunk of a tree and swinging out over the fence to the other side where the grass is really tall. I mean I think I could actually do this. A couple of times I've even found myself with my front hooves halfway up the side. And I know things too. I know and respond with lightening-quick reactions (especially when it comes to hoof trims).

Well, all I can say is I guess I'm going to have to start being very careful from now on. 'Cuz you know, "with great power comes great responsibility." This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm SpiderGoat.