Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Crumpy's Tender Heart

Crumpy enjoys a delicious breakfast whilst the unwashed masses wait foodlessly in their muddy mud pit. How sad for the UM in their MMP, thinks Crumpy. I wish there was something I could do to help them. Maybe a GoFeedMe or something? Or people could donate little crocheted mud socks they could wear? If only they had gotten more famous, like me, the public might care more. Oh well. A few more peas, please.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Outside the Lines With Belle and Crumpet

Butterbean was getting a lot of attention just for the simple fact of not having a tail which can hardly be considered an accomplishment and June Bug was still making headlines and Coco luckily had that shed fall on her which made her famous for what seemed like a long spell - hello! I am Coco! The shed victim! I accept your admiration! -  and Gilbert was learning to pull a cart and the Wembley babies gambolled about picturesquely and all in all Crumpet came down with a touch of Last Year's Baby and so she went in with Belle Starr and together they started a crime spree.

They were both sick and tired of being ignored.  Since they are both criminal masterminds, together they became almost unstoppable. All of their crimes were focused on grain-robbing, switching only temporarily to alfalfa-robbing when the third cutting from Ellensburg came in.

Butterbean would come waddling around in the morning showing off his uninhabited backside and the farmer would chuckle - how cute - and look away for an instant and just as the barn door opened Belle Starr would dart in front of the farmer so that the farmer had to take a step back and when that happened Crumpet would dash in from the other side hellbent toward the grain bins.

The grain bins are locked of course since the farmer is weak-minded but has learned some things the hard way, so when Crumpet got there she would start rapidly circling the grain bins like a little hummingbird while Belle Starr darted in from the other side and began circling the grain bins in the other direction, both running at a good clip and in such a manner that the farmer could not get close enough to open the lids and finally the farmer would sigh loudly and say, "All Right," which was the established checkmate signal and Belle and Crumpet would stop circling and the farmer would open the bins and give them their breakfast in a private dish while everyone else waited outside.

Because otherwise the circling went on forever. And forever is too long to wait for breakfast.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Tail of Woe

The sun came out and Beanie and friends forgot about their horns. The horns they used to one day be going to have. But not any more.

They went outside with their mothers on full display to the rest of the herd. The herd watched from behind the fat girl fence.

"That one looks okay," said Winjay, referring to Nelly. "Not great but okay."

"That one is reasonably presentable," said Belle Starr, referring to Bluey.

"I have seen worse looking kids than that one," allowed Abby, looking at Blacky.

Then came Butterbean and an uncomplimentary silence fell.

"I have not seen that before," Cherry finally said.

"That is a new twist," remarked Pebbles.

"Maybe it will come in later," postulated Crumpet, optimistically.

"Even Pinky used to have two ears," blurted Moony.

Beanie proceeded hopping about, ignoring his critics. Because after all everyone is a critic. Throw a rock, hit a critic. He looked perfectly fine after all. From certain angles. When you couldn't see that he didn't have a tail.

Friday, March 24, 2017

All Good Dreamers Pass This Way

Today is a day of bitterness and regret and we will not say anything further about the secrets of Beanie Baby until the sun comes out again and the fog of remorse has lifted. On this day in the Year A.D. 2017 Beanie, Nelly, Blacky* and Bluey* all had their horns removed. They have no comment on anything today. They don't want nobody coming over to their table, they got nothing to talk to anybody about. Over and out.

*temporary names, just for now

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beanie Baby

So that makes four kids, three bucklings and one doeling. Two of the bucklings are extraordinarily handsome, and the doeling is very beautiful, a cou clair with big glassy frog eyes. Her name is going to be Nelly, short for Cochranella, which is a kind of glass frog with big glassy frog eyes, like an amphibian china doll. If you are guessing that her mother is Froggy you are on the right track.

There are two black and white boys, both belong to Wembley, and they are currently being subjected to the farmer's naming scheme for simpletons - "just for now." One is being called Blacky, and the other, the one with the blue eyes, is being called Bluey. Aside from their names they are excellent specimens. And so is the girl, even if she is a little on the jittery side.

And then we come to Butterbean. That is the last buckling. His name is Butterbean. He got his name right away. The farmer looked at him and said, "hello, Butterbean."

He also belongs to Froggy. But he looks nothing like her. And he looks nothing like his sister, either.

He is a pale drab orangey white, suspiciously like June Bug, his half-sister. He also has her bat ears. He runs like a burlap sack full of old sneakers being thrown down the basement stairs.

"He has a good personality, though," the farmer says, watching him canter about with an expression that says, 'oh, dear.'

He is very chubby and likes to cuddle, and after calling him Butterbean for a while the farmer started calling him Beanie, and it didn't take long after that that we would hear, "Beanie Baby!" and then see him galumphing toward the farmer in all his orange splendor.

Oh dear. And that isn't the worst of it. Worst is yet to be told.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Seven Ways From Sunday

So Wembley started in to laboring and the farmer got the stool for sitting on, the Kindle for reading, the towels, the gatorade, the special treats, the dental floss for the baby goat cords, the iodine for the dipping, the gloves I don't know why because they never get used, the lube because if you don't have it you will always need it, the feed sack for catching babies when they fall out, et cetera and so on.

And Wembley did a lot of preambling, just strolling irritably around and getting up and lying down and examining and then refusing to eat all proferred refreshments, and so on, second verse same as the first. And then she started in to do something that the farmer really does not like: lying down but not pushing, giving one sharp yip of pain, just like she had stepped on a nail, and jumping back up.

This usually means someone is not getting lined up right to come out. "I hope this isn't going to be one of those seven-ways-from-Sunday breech festivals," the farmer said to Dolly, who was lying outside the stall door. Dolly gave a noncommittal look, obviously she didn't want to say anything, but the way things were going, it probably would be a seven-ways-from-Sunday breech festival.

Nothing continued to happen and finally the farmer fished around and sure enough someone's hock was jammed up against the exit door and the farmer went quickly and washed with hot water but by the time the farmer came back two rear legs were out which makes the whole thing a piece of cake and so the farmer just pulled that one out and it was a little hard to start but then it sneezed mightily and all systems were go.

Ok then back to the yipping and sure enough another breech buckling,  but that one came out without too much trouble either and so all in all it could have been much worse. C Minus kidding score.

Two days later Froggy lost her ligaments and the farmer put Froggy in a kidding stall, where Froggy began devouring all the refreshments in sight. "Listen," said the farmer, "I am going to get the supplies and I don't want any more trouble." Froggy was not listening because she was neck deep in the feeder.

The farmer went to get the Kindle, the stool, the dental floss, the iodine, the special treats,  the gloves, the lube, the feed sacks. When the farmer came back Froggy was still neck deep in the feeder only now she had two kids with her, one crybaby buckling and one dreamy-eyed doeling, sway-standing the way the new babies like to do.

"If you want to do it like that," said the farmer, "that is fine with me."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beyond the Rumen

Time out from June Bug.

Wembley and Froggy were getting ready to kid. They were neither one very big and the farmer hoped poor Wembley wasn't going to pop a big single buck kid because she is a first freshener and first fresheners have enough trouble anyway but the way things go that's what would probably happen, a big single buck kid with a head like a basketball and stupefied the way the big little boys get from just being big and being bucklings and being somewhat overcooked.

Once you are around goat farmers for a while you will understand their sour phrases. If they start talking about kidding season and one of them asks the other, how did your doe do? And the second one says, sourly, "Single Buck Kid," the first one will understand that it is a good time to say no more.

Last year Froggy was a first freshener and she had a big single buck kid, Tadpole, only she is a Terra Belle daughter and Terra Belle has this thing where she launches kids out like one of those medieval boulder throwers and all you have to do is catch them in a towel so they don't go shooting head first into the wall and Froggy was the same way. Even though her son Tadpole was a fine strapping lad he shot out in record time and luckily landed in a big heap of straw because the farmer was watching the tv news because "There's plenty of time, it's only half an hour long and Froggy won't be kidding for quite a while, she just started lying down."

Ok well the race was on and Wembley went to the kidding stall first. Wembley had been upset since she came up to the big barn because she doesn't like going anywhere without her mother Betty and also because she was a first freshener and she was just upset in general and before long the farmer moved her to a private stall because otherwise she was full of complaints. She kept calling for her mother who ignored her and then she started feeling strange happenings inside herself, deep inside beyond the rumen, and she didn't like that one bit so she would alternate between calling Betty and calling on the Great Goat in the Sky to relieve her indigestion. And they both ignored her.

(to be continued)....

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The HoG Pt 3

All right ok June comes from the Jupiter line and the Jupiter line of course is all Rosasharn and Rosasharn of course like every other line goes back Goodwood and Stonewall because that is where all roads lead, even Twinks Pixie goes back Goodwood. I didn't say it would be interesting I just said it would be history.

These lines were brought in because even though they are different from the Belle lines they are very similar and bla bla bla some theory of breeding bla bla bla milk maximization without personality disorder...bla bla bla. So that is the roots of June.

But does this explain the actual June? Could even Dr. Frankenstein have predicted the actual June? The theoretical June is fine, she looks good on paper, which is where she should have stayed, everyone looks fine on paper, but the actual June. That is another story.

Here is a brief perhaps even scanty list of June's defects and demerits:

1. Food thief. She is only about two inches tall so can sneak anywhere. Will steal from anyone even the herdqueen if there is an escape route nearby.

2. Inadequate height. See above.

3. Inadequate color. Pale sort of drab orange pinkish white. Little black button eyes like a shark. Nondescript to a t.

4. Inadequate respect for elders. See #1.

5. Inadequate respect for superiors (everybody). See #1.

6. Inadequate supply of humility.

This is the tip. Of the iceberg. Will continue with more of her shortcomings in The HoG Pt 4 but we probably have to do a baby update first.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The History of Goats Part Two

Ok where were we. June.

Ok June is the daughter of Starlord who goes back Drops of Jupiter top and bottom as previously mentioned. How Drops of Jupiter got his name is probably the same way most goats get their name. He was probably named by a girl. And Drops of Jupiter is a girls' pop song by the group Train that came out in 2001, as also previously mentioned in Part One.

There are tons of goats with pop song names for this reason. If you can think of a pop song that little girls and their mothers love there will be goats with that name. In fact there are 14 goats named Drops of Jupiter but only one of them is the famous THE Drops of Jupiter and he is June's great-grandfather and her double great grandfather and a few other relations as well which is how it goes in the goat world where everybody knows everybody. The goat world is a snowglobe, it's the perfect little teapot for a tempest.

The farmer being weak-minded did not know anything about Drops of Jupiter but listened to it once and then dutifully picked out a line from the song for June's name, which is Herron Hill Walks Like June. Only the line from the song is actually Talks Like June, but the farmer as usual wasn't listening that closely, oh well nobody will notice and the papers already got sent in and we are just going to call her June Bug anyway.

June doesn't know anything about Drops of Jupiter either and she wouldn't care if she did, if he is even still alive he is probably just another little pale pink orange red Rosasharn-looking goat like she is and she has no interest in goats, she is only interested in food and people. Or, as she thinks about it, food and the hoofless food delivery systems on two legs.

I'm sorry we didn't really get anywhere in this part. But we will in Part Three.

Friday, March 03, 2017

The History of Goats Part One

The story of June.

June was born into a normal family with normal parents. Reasonably normal parents. Her parents were Faraway and Starlord. It turned out that Starlord was fairly small. Gradually the Nigerian bucks keep creeping up in size and some of them were getting too big especially since the Belle family usually runs to plus sizes this is because they are really good milkers. Faraway is a Poppy-Chaos daughter and the Chaos family being Promisedland also runs above average size so the farmer said OK we better find a little guy somewhere but not one of those shrimps with daughters that don't milk. The farmer is monomaniacal on milk. That is all we hear about. Milk milk milk.

So anyway the farmer found Starlord, who goes back to Drops of Jupiter top and bottom. And Starlord came in to see if he could breed some bigger girls down a little without ruining production.

Drops of Jupiter you are probably saying, isn't that an old Train song? Where the singer has hair from a previous century, has lost his ability to do up buttons, and wears leather pants?

Why yes. It isn't pretty but that is where we have to start.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Betweenlands

Nobody really likes them very much and they just don't care. On the other hand nobody really dislikes them very much and they don't care about that either. Really they only care about one thing and that is each other.

This is the case of Blue Jaye and Dinky Dollarbird. They are mother and daughter. Each one is a little polka-dotted blue-eyed church mouse. Their church is the Church of the Third Cutting and the 16% Dairy Grain. They worship at the church as often as possible. They are very pious.

Blue Jaye is the daughter of my aunt, the late lamented Blue Umbrella, who was a daughter of the original Baby Belle. I guess she is my cousin but I don't really think about that. This is a strange branch of the Belle family tree, known for being quiet and mild-mannered. Even my own mother, Blue's sister, was gentle and kind. Possibly at some point they were adopted and the paperwork got lost. Or eaten by someone. Winjay loves paper especially those brown grocery sacks. Anyway Blue was always very polite and never once was put in lockdown. Which just really doesn't make sense to tell the truth.

Back to Blue Jaye and Dinky Dollarbird. Dinky Dollarbird had a nickname for a while, she was called Little Drudgery. This was because she was so morose and sad once she got to be Last Year's Baby and Blue Jaye forgot about her. But when her younger brother went to a new home she returned to Blue Jaye's side and stuck there like glue and her depression disappeared. No more moping and sighing.

Together they carved a life for themselves in the betweenlands.

Wherever they were put they would escape together and settle down right along the fenceline outside the pasture they were supposed to be in, always on the betweens between where they were supposed to be and where they were. This was so they could be around only each other and no one else, they do not like anyone else. When they were put in the fat girl pasture with the fat girls they escaped and set up a little tiny home under the overhang of the fat girl barn. The fat girls were inside the barn, two feet away, but there was a wall between them so that made it okay.

When they were put in the big barn they escaped about eighteen inches away, worming through the fence and taking over Dolly's dogloo next to the gate. It isn't big enough for two normal goats, but it is perfectly fine for them, since there is never any space between them.

When people visit they always ask, what about these two? Are they supposed to be out here? "No," explains the farmer. "But yes."

They eat, they stroll, they murmur and confer on important topics, they sleep. They never make a sound unless they are separated. Then it is Katy bar the door, the air raid siren goes off. Otherwise peace and harmony. Always in the betweenlands.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

She Was Warned

Ok June Bug got born and spent her days on 24-hour food service, traveling from the milk machine (her mother Faraway) to the hay feeder to the fat girl feeder to the old lady feeder to the fenceline feeder to the horse feeder. She remained pocket size despite her prodigious eating skills and she walked right through the holes in the fence Natty Bumppo style. Like the Leatherstocking she was a goat of many names, a spirit in the grain bin, ghostwalker, feedstuffer, micro-pig, disobediator, white fog. And so on like that. This went on day after day after day after day. After day.

The farmer's patience wore thin. Then thinner and thinner, until it was a sheet of fluttering angry gauze. It could not get any thinner. The farmer said, 'listen, I am not going to tell you again.'

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

And now she is in the lockdown cell with her fellow criminal, Belle Starr. This is what happens.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Did You Fall from a Shooting Star?

As far as who is the most tiresome kid ever I always thought it was Crumpet being ferried everywhere in private limousine, dining toute seule by barnlight in the grain bin, taking private piano lessons, wearing dog coats with dog turtlenecks underneath, mewing for her chauffeur at dinner time, ratting out any friendly thrashings she might receive. Crumpet, hands down.

But just when you think the brat bar has been set so high that no one else will ever come near it, along comes June.

Along comes June. Homely monkey-faced hoodlum with ears like two kites.

That is all I can say for now because it sticks in my craw. I will have to tell more later.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Oaf of Office

Pinky has one ear now and it has gone to her head.

She was always large but she used to be reasonably humble.

Now she stays in a private stall every night and gets first pick hay and extra peas. Everyone else gets in trouble when they stampede over the broken fence rail and into the front yard.

Yelling yelling yelling, then comes Pinky's turn and nothing but fond chuckles. Ha ha ha for Pinky, threats and promised thrashings for everyone else.

Pinky has been in her stall so long she learned how to open the door, even though she is 1/16th Nubian. Her stall is called Pinky Tower now and the way she acts you would think she is The Oaf of Office. Yesterday it was pouring so she would not set hoof outside the barn but she let herself out of Pinky Tower and started eating the third cutting alfalfa out of the haystack. She also berried freely all over the aisle and what happened. Nothing but fond chuckles.

When Hannah Belle used to do that it was quickstep frogmarch to the horse trailer, no questions asked.

When Pinky does it, ha ha ha.

Ha ha ha. I say bitterly. Ha bitter ha ha ha.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Affidavit of Probable Cause, or In Case You Were Wondering Why Tractors Have Headlights

Incident Report # 2017-01-06. Documented disaster involving: 8-month-old LaMancha doeling. Small brownish female ruminant with four legs. IQ: normal but no genius. Temperature: extremely cold. Name: Coco. Sire: Moony. Dam: Marti. Doeling was unsupervised by parents at the time of the disaster. They were busy with their own affairs, according to witnesses at the scene.

Ok the farm officer arrived for the evening feeding at approximately 1600 hours or something like that.  Maybe it was 1630. Or does it go by 50s when you do it that way? 1650? Ok I will just say it, it was 4:30. It was dark because it was winter.

Ok the farm officer arrived and began feeding. The farm officer looked around dully and then said "I thought I heard a distant screaming? Or maybe it was more of a distant moaning?"

What else is new, said the expression on Eo's face as she shouldered her way to the front of the line.

The farm officer trundled off to feed the bucks and then came back.

"There is definitely some sort of distant moaning. Or maybe more of a muffled screaming?" insisted the farm officer, then began spraying the flashlight over everybody. No one was distant moaning or muffled screaming as everyone was stuffing their face.

The farmer stumped out the back of the barn and began spraying the flashlight over the field and did not see anything. The farmer sprayed the flashlight over into the neighbor's field and did not see anything. The farmer turned and started back to the barn and then the distant moaning came distinctly from the little decrepit shed near the water tank. A sad hopeless defeated heartrending weak moaning.

The farmer stumped over to the tiny shed which was built with the uphill side resting on the ground and the downhill side resting on two pier blocks. It was built many years ago as a private home for Baby Belle. For 14 years the shed stayed on its pier blocks. Now it was off.

I do not intend to incriminate anyone but the reason it was off its blocks was because two lumbering oafish suspects Xie Xie and Schwinnie had a battle and they both t-boned into the shed simultaneously with their cinderblock heads and knocked it off its piers.  Unfortunately for Coco she was inside the shed when this happened.

The shed came off its piers, tipped up in the air on the uphill side as the downhill side moved, slid a few inches downhill, then dropped back down directly on Coco's head. From the looks of things she was lying flat enjoying a refreshing nap at the time the house dropped on her. According to the flashlight Coco was panting heavily but did not appear able to move any of her extremities (legs) and the farmer began swearing spectacularly but in a comforting tone, patting Coco and then finally saying, "it's okay, Coco, we will get you out."

Oh really how? We all looked on with interest. The farmer pushed on the shed and it did not move even one millimeter. The farmer left and in a few minutes was back, aboard the tractor, which was loaded with mysterious implements and 2-by-4s and blocks and shims and tools and the screw-on forklift forks.

And thus began the slowest rescue operation ever conducted. First the farmer took the wall off the back of the shed to make it easier to see. Then the lifting, then the shimming, shimming then lifting, inch by inch the shed went up into the air. In the distance we could hear the seals barking in the moonlight down in Joe's Bay. Finally Coco was free but she didn't move. Probably her neck was broken.

"Great," wheezed the farmer. "that's just great."

By the light of the tractor headlamps the farmer slowly and laboriously dragged Coco out from under the shed. By this time it was about 25 degrees.  Gently the farmer stood Coco up on her feet. She held herself up for a couple of seconds, then sank to the ground shivering. Neck not broken!

Coco was rushed by Kubota ambulance to a private stall and covered with blankets and filled with warm drinks and propped between two bales to keep her upright and dosed with vitamin b and other goat remedies.

In the morning she was almost fine. "People would not believe the things that happen around here," the farmer said to Sammy after breakfast.

No charges were filed although they probably should have been but the witnesses would not cooperate.

Further your affiant sayeth naught.