Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AD (Artistic Description) #2

AD #2 is Dinky Dollarbird. Dinky Dollarbird comes from a family of whingers so keep that in the back of your mind as you are reading, as if there were a soft chorus of waawaawaa gently washing over everything like sands through the hourglass.

OK Dinky looks like a Halloween costume left out in the rain. She is black and white spotted but the spots are kind of runny and then she has washed-out blue eyes like the day after Noah set sail and her hair sticks up in patches like a half-blown dandelion. It never really grew back in right after she got her horns off so it has a Hair Club for Men (waa waa waa) effect. Dinky Dollarbird is the epitome of Last Year's Baby and she goes around crying softly and right now we don't call her Dinky Dollarbird any more we call her Little Drudgery.

"Where is Little Drudgery?" asks the farmer. Where do you think? She is at the fence gazing at this year's baby, so handsome and strapping, the apple of his mother's eye. Everybody knows the trouble she has seen. Waa waa waa.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

News Update and Artistic Description #1

Ok I am going to do an update on what happened during the Internet disruption.

Crumpet started going in with the tough girls all the time like she wanted to be a tough girl. But then at dinnertime she would realize she did not want to be a tough girl and she would run back to the coddle-baby pasture and stand at the gate meowing to be let back in.

"One of these days I am not going to let you back in," the farmer said darkly. Crumpet shivered to her bones and stopped going in the tough girl pasture, marking the end of TMFGITW's tough girl era.

Ok Homer like his mother has an excellent disposition but only a very small part-Nubian brain. When he is going forward he likes to keep going forward because that saves a lot of decision-making which puts a strain on the brain. So that is how one day, still being quite small, he got into the buck pen. It was right in front of him - how could he avoid it? - and he was small enough to just slip through the 3-inch gap between the gate and the post.

Ok well when a new buck, even a very small one, comes into the buck pen, the bucks like to do a big Burning Man celebration where they all dance around naked and t-bone each other in a festive jamboree and take turns t-boning the newcomer from all sides and rearing up and galloping around and in general making the Earth shake as much as possible.

So even the farmer said, "oh dear," mildly and we watched as Homer kept walking until he reached the back fence of the buck pen and then instead of turning (see above) he simply laid down and went to sleep and after a moment's hesitation the bucks did their Burning Man Celebration all up, around, and over Homer as he took a nap. Homer woke up when it was over and walked back out the gap. It was very well done I wish we had a video.

Now Licorice went into labor. The farmer said, "are you in labor?" Licorice got up nonchalantly and strolled to the hay feeder. "I guess not," said the farmer. As soon as the farmer left, she laid down in the pasture and had two speckly blue-eyed grass babies. Unfortunately the babies did not blend into the earth tones of the surroundings and the farmer noticed them immediately and came down and picked them up and gave them a little shake to set them squalling and up they went to the horse trailer with Licorice trotting behind. They are going to live there for a couple of days.

Ok that is the end of the update but now I am going to do a new feature. This is where I do artistic descriptions of goats because the farmer always forgets to take pictures.

The first artistic description is Derringer, Clover's daughter.

Artistic Description of Derringer: Derringer is Clover's daughter and she looks like someone with shifty blue eyes wearing a pair of harlequin footy pajamas that are a size too small.

I Am Not a Figment

The Internet went out owing to an evil company we have around here. There is no point in naming names but the Company Name starts with Century and ends with Link and they are truly a terribly company. If you can choose any other company please do for your own good. How the company helps you when you call because you are having a problem is they start out by saying there is no such account. Read the account number again, they say. So you read it again, from the bill that comes from the company that the farmer has been paying for years, having called the "customer service" number listed on the bill, and they say the same thing again, in an indignant tone, "there is no such account. Our accounts do not have numbers like that."

So that is where the "customer service" begins. It takes two weeks and 17 hours on the phone but finally the farmer gets them to admit we have an account with them, which when they admitted it the farmer said right away, ok good, please cancel it effective immediately or actually effective a month ago when the problem started that nobody will fix and they say to the farmer we can't cancel your account. You have to speak to Retention to cancel your account, will you hold please I'll transfer you. And before you can say anything back to the endless loop menu as if the world were not waiting on pins and needles to hear about what Crumpet has been doing or the two little babies Licorice had in the horse trailer or Homer's adventure in the buck pen, news items which cannot be published because there is no Internet and you can't cancel the Internet that isn't working and get one that does work because you don't exist and what's more you never did, you are just a figment of your own imagination.

Anyway this is not a blog about the Internet. It is a goat blog starring me, and I am not a figment. I AM NOT A FIGMENT!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Your Own Good, That's What It's For

Crumpet went on hijinks since she was not getting any attention. She squirmed through the coddle-baby gate from the pasture where the coddle-baby Nigerians live into the down-below pasture where the tough girls live.

"I am here! I am here!" she announced. She went up on her hind legs, offering to headbutt anyone.

Maddy the Sheriff of Crazytown turned on a dime and came loping toward her and Crumpet, apparently still in control of some of her faculties, turned and ran and squirmed back into the coddle-baby pasture.

"I am here! I am here!" she announced. Betty t-boned her into a fencepost.

Crumpet trotted a little bit downhill to where there was a conference of last year's babies going on, Dot and Derringer and Dill Pickle, discussing ways of getting more grain now that the hole in the fence had been patched, preventing them from skedaddling up to the feeders where the mothers and the this-year's-babies got their highly delectable buffet of grain and peas and wheat and sunflower seeds.

"I am here! I am here!" she announced.

The last-year's-babies took turns headbutting Crumpet and it turned out they were a lot bigger than she remembered so she went and squashed herself between the panel gate and the post holding it up and she was luckily still just small enough to get through and she cantered up to the feeders where the this-year's-babies were waiting for the mothers to finish eating and after announcing "I am here! I am here!" she t-boned as many of them as she could while the mothers were still stuffing their faces, taking special care to t-bone 4-inch tall Hannah Banana lest she get too big for her britches.

"It's for your own good!" she announced cheerfully, then scampered back down to the coddle-baby pasture when the mothers started arriving and even broke into a full gallop when the Good Ship Binky, shaking its anvil-shaped head, hove into sight doing its patented muffle-scream as it scanned the horizon for its good-natured son Homer, God Forbid The Good Ship Binky should witness any malfeasance involving its little hammerheaded son Homer, woe betide even TMFGITW if The Binky should see something like this, provided that The GSB should comprehend what it was seeing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Every Family Has One

It was a dark and stormy night. Somewhere. Not here. Here it was beautiful, a balmy night in early spring, for once not raining but with a gentle breeze. From the West. That is the good breeze. Not enough of it to rattle the roof, just the right amount of breeze.

Everything was normal. Perfectly normal. Nothing strange. Everyone was sleeping peacefully inside Tara, all of the down-belows. There was nothing to raise an eyebrow until right before dawn. Right before dawn my mother got up quietly.

"Where are you going?" I asked her.

"Go back to sleep," she said, and she tiptoed over the snoring bodies toward the little strip of pasture at the top of the down-below hill. This is the spot from which you can see everything. No one can sneak up on you here.

I went back to sleep and did not wake up until I heard the farmer coming out in the early morning light. Cherry snapped awake when she heard the feed in the bucket and the stampede to the feeders was on and the farmer did the morning head count, around all the feeders, then did the count again, then turned to me and said, "where is your mother?"

I looked over right away to the top of the down-below hill, and there she was. The farmer looked too. She was just lying down, and turning sideways to push, almost like you would do if you were having a baby. That's funny, I thought to myself, it almost looks like she is having a baby, but you would have to be bred to have a baby, and my mother hasn't been bred since she had me years ago, what a pretty baby I was, really just completely darling - just then the farmer rushed past me and the next thing I knew my mother was being frogmarched up to the barn.

Inside the barn the farmer quickly made a makeshift nest in the aisle and grabbed the towels from the tack room and within a couple of minutes there were two feet heading out which seemed to make it even more likely that my mother was having a baby.

The feet came out and then the legs, which isn't unusual in fact the legs almost always follow the feet. You can make a note of this if you are keeping a detective chart: where the feet go the legs will follow. These legs were jet black and they seemed to keep coming, and the farmer said, "this is going to be a tall one, it must be a buckling," and the legs kept coming and coming and finally there was the nose, jet black too, and the farmer gave a couple of gentle pulls and out slid the Dark Secret.

The farmer gave a little gasp, probably because it was definitely a baby goat. Or maybe because it was a doeling. Or maybe it was something else? There was something about the baby, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, I knew the baby was my sister, but she looked nothing like me. She looked nothing like my mother either. But I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Lori came over later and the farmer asked did she notice anything different about the baby.

"Well it's quite tall," said Lori. This was true, it was very tall and elegant, much taller than any of the other doelings. Yes but that's not it, said the farmer. "Well it seems to have sort of wavy hair," said Lori. Yes but that's not it, said the farmer. "It's very black, quite black," said Lori. "It's one of the blackest goats I've ever seen, except for its white cap." Yes but that's not it, said the farmer. "It isn't chubby like the others," Lori proposed.

The farmer gave up. "Did you notice," the farmer asked, "that it doesn't have any ears?"

"That's it!" said Lori.

The Dark Secret was my mother's idea. No one knows how she did it, and it was a very dangerous thing to try. Things could have gone very wrong. But they didn't. So I suppose all is well and everyone got what they wanted. Except the bucks. The bucks have new no-climb fencing around their pen, and double hot wires coming soon.

The Dark Secret is the prettiest mini-Mancha we have ever had here. And the most beloved, not least because she will be my mother's last daughter EVER.

Nonetheless, all you does listening out there, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Dark Secret

Every family has its dark secrets. Our family is no exception.

But our secret is very dark. Darker than most. In fact it is black. Jet black, the blackest true black, as black as the velvet lining of your violin case.

Anyway maybe you don't know but the Baby Belle family now has only two known living daughters. They are Blue Umbrella, the blue-eyed candy milker, and Belle Pepper, my mother.

My mother has only been bred once and she had me and my brother. We were born right after the original Baby Belle died, and I became Baby Belle Jr. My brother went to live with an artist. He lives in a sumptuous goat shed with a copper roof and diamond-paned casement windows. If Martha Stewart ever does a magazine issue on goat sheds his shed will be on the cover. Our shed will be on the "DON'Ts" page if they have that. I don't think they will have that page, though. Who wants to see Tara with the flapping roof and the chewed up siding boards (it wasn't me) and the mile-high Goatberry Mountain. There are never any berries in Martha Stewart Living. Not that kind. That's why they invented Photoshop.

Anyway I got off track. My mother had me. And she was never bred again. The reason was supposedly that she did not have a good udder. But really in reality I think she was too dear. She is the dearest goat, and what if she should be bred and something should happen. There are only two Baby Belle daughters left. But anyway for public consumption the official reason was that she did not have a very good udder.

Every year when she came in heat my mother would go to the farmer and volunteer to be bred. "I don't think so," the farmer would say. "Maybe next year."

And so on. I am five years old and I have never had any other brothers and no sisters at all. Not a single one.

"Wait a minute," you are probably asking, "not even one?"

No. The answer was always no. Until the dark secret.

--- lunchtime, part 2 tomorrow --