The farmer got back from the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup last night. Six unlucky goats were chosen to go to the Fair.
Acorn was going to go, and Clementine, and Pebbles and Abby and Blue Jaye and Terra Belle. Well at the last minute Acorn's papers didn't come and someone else had to subsitute and the farmer looked around wild-eyed and realized there was only one goat the same breed and age as Acorn, and that was Maple Hollow - we call her Rosie - who is smart as a whip, wild as a March hare, and fast as a jackrabbit.
"They can't take Rosie," I was thinking. "She is wild as a March hare and fast as a jackrabbit."
"Put Rosie in the truck," the farmer said grimly, and off went the six goats, all looking horrified except Abby and Pebbles, who were born here and lived here their whole lives but still come from Oregon which gives them eccentric ideas.
Abby and Pebbles looked oddly pleased. Abby stood on the wheel well and peered out the window of the truck canopy, chewing her cud.
"Oh good," she told the others, "we are finally going somewhere."
"That's right," said Pebbles.
Clementine closed her eyes in order to make herself disappear. She is part Nubian.
At the Fair they got shoved into a pen next to some of our Nigerian cousins from Minter Bay and across the aisle from the magnificent LaManchas from Lucky Star, who each milk about 10,000 pounds of milk a day.
"So what," said Abby, "I could milk that much if I felt like it." She snubbed the LaManchas and made a beeline to the free alfalfa provided by the Fair.
"That's right," said Pebbles, joining her mother at the hay feeder.
Clementine saw what was going on and temporarily made herself visible again so that she could also begin gorging on alfalfa. Rosie peered all around the barn running the odds. If she jumped out of the pen and cut through the food pavilion she figured that she could make it out onto Meridian then head for River Road, turn south and canter along the banks of the river to Tacoma, hang a right and take the side streets over to the Narrows Bridge, cross over the Sound in the bike lane, camp out for the night in the delicious blackberry bushes by the driving range near the freeway in Gig Harbor, then make it back to the farm by Wednesday afternoon.
But then she realized she didn't have enough money for the bridge toll.*
So she shut off her brain and turned herself into a statue. Blue Jaye did the same thing. Terra Belle, drawn by a strange but powerful magnet, headed for the alfalfa, muttering to herself as she ate rhythmically: "this can't be happening, this can't be happening."
The next day the shows started and the magnificent LaManchas came back with reams and reams of ribbons and rosettes. Even Abby was awed to silence when the immense, gleaming, impeccably groomed Lucky Star's LOT Xhibit, the top milker in the country, walked by nonchalantly carrying 20,000 gallons of milk.
"Listen Pebbles," said Abby, eyeing the Lucky Star ribbons. "When we have our show be sure to come in third. First and second have to come back out for the championship round. Come in third and you are done for the day. I don't think we will be able to do any worse than third, though, since we are so beautiful. And we come from Oregon, where the goats look a lot better."
"That's right," said Pebbles.
...Stay tuned for Part Two.
*she didn't know that the toll is only collected eastbound