Sunday, March 01, 2009

Economic Downturns Hits Home (Washington); Wendell Fired

Almost every day someone gets to be a free-range goat. Usually it is me or a skinny yearling or someone everyone else picks on. The free-range goat gets to go where it wants and eat what it wants (no rosebushes, please) and gets special treats from the farmer.

Wendell gets to supervise the free-range goat, since he is a herding dog in training. Wendell has been a pest his whole life but now he is four he is starting to be less pesty. He doesn’t eat eyeglasses or cellphones any more, for example. You can even put a cellphone down next to him on the couch and he (probably) will not do anything to it.

Two years ago Wendell got his first baby goat to supervise – Sammy. The farmer was very impressed; Wendell kept both ends of Sammy very clean and followed Sammy wherever he went, supervising him.

Last year, Wendell had Filbert. Filbert was a lot harder to supervise but Wendell did a pretty good job. Filbert was a Nigerian, so he was a lot smarter than Sammy, and he could also fit through any kind of opening, so he was much harder to keep track of, but Wendell made a reasonable effort.

So he was promoted to free-range goat supervisor, which is an important but usually very easy job.

Unless you get a Lamancha doeling. The problem with the LaMancha doelings is that they are all bottle babies and all spoiled rotten. They follow you everywhere and have no sense of personal space. I have told them to buzz off frequently, like when I need some alone time to think about Swedish fish or those pretzels with the candy coating. What are they called? Candy-coated pretzels? Do you know the ones I mean? It’s a sort of a whitish coating, kind of lemony tasting?

Anyway, sometimes you have to bite their ears (the LaMancha doelings) to get rid of them. Only they don’t have ears, so what can you do. You’re stuck.

Jessie was the free-range goat today. She is going to kid in April so she is up in the big barn with the big fat milkers, and she is doing okay up there but the farmer coddles her anyway. So she came out and was following the farmer around as the farmer did various chores, including painting the lattice for the arbor. Wendell was supervising her and everything was going well until the farmer had to go inside.

“Watch Jessie for a few minutes, Wendell,” the farmer said, and went to get a phillips head screwdriver.

Before you can say Man of LaMancha Jessie is at the back door knocking to get in. That is bad enough, but when the farmer comes to the door it is apparent that Jessie has been inspecting the painted lattice at much too close a range, which is clearly a failure of supervision.

“Can you explain this, Wendell?” the farmer asks Wendell, who obviously supervised the whole breach of free-range-goat etiquette. The farmer indicates Jessie’s bright green lattice-colored lips, leaving no room for misunderstanding.

Wendell offers no explanation. He is fired from his supervisory position and will go back to keeping baby goats clean, both ends, as soon as they arrive.

1 comment :

Marigold said...

Now, really. What can you expect from a dog? At least Wendell didn't end up with green spots on him too, as I am sure Cabra would have. Perhaps Wendell will take up crocheting?