Friday, December 28, 2018

Willa Fig, or You Never Know What Might be Coming Down

Paisley before she went too far
Paisley's name used to be Paisley. This was because Paisley, did you ever meet anyone named Paisley that wasn't a brat? Paisley was a brat and she still is but her name isn't Paisley any more.

Because she went another step, she went a bridge too far, she took a long walk on a short pier, she jumped the shark. Goodbye to the name Paisley, it didn't work any more, she was beyond ordinary bratdom.

Now she is called Willa Fig. Or actually WiLla FiG, spelled out like a ransom note cut from a newspaper, because it is an acronym. But it sounds the same.

How it came to be was in the morning the farmer would come out and look around dimly, scanning the horizon, and say, "where is that Wicked Little Fat Girl?"

This was in order to attempt to prevent Paisley darting out of nowhere as she is wont to do when the lids come off the grain bins or the alfalfa door swings open. She is like a six-legged dryland fish the way she darts upstream into the haystack before the door closes, it is half scuttling and half swimming the way she does it. Touché, you would say, if you saw it.

Anyway now her name is Willa Fig, Wicked Little Fat Girl, and her three-quarter sister Pandowdy wondered if she could use the name Paisley since Willa Fig had outgrown it. But no, she is just not a Paisley, she is staying Pandowdy because she is a Betty granddaughter and even though Betty's name was Boxcar Betty and not Apple Brown Betty, Pandowdy is going to stay Pandowdy in honor of Betty and it's just another one of those things that doesn't make any sense, add it to the list and go on about your business.

You know the New Year is coming, it always does. So keep a fire burning in your eye and pay attention to the open sky.

And if you take free advice, here is some from Willa Fig:  

Upstream, always upstream, don't be a floater, into the breach!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cherry's Magic Milk


Golly had her twins there were two of them. One was flashy with blue eyes and frosting. That was Pancake. One was as plain as the nose on your face, just a little black goat. That was Pixie.

They were small like most baby goats and they went freely back and forth between the fence boards, going in and out of their pasture where they were supposed to stay. Especially Pixie. Pixie was half LaMancha and half Nigerian but she had a certain Nubian quality, a surprised look that never seemed to go away. She wasn't shrewd like a Nigerian or managerial like a LaMancha. She was mildly astonished like a Nubian.

"My goodness," her expression always seemed to say. She walked down into the Old Lady pasture and looked at the Old Ladies, many of them down on their pasterns and looking a little motheaten and worse for wear, especially the very old ladies. But Cherry was there too, Pinky's twin, and she was more of a Middle-Aged Lady, and she looked at Pixie with an air of dim surprise. Pinky got the brains in the family, and Cherry got all the Nubian. They are Betsy granddaughters, and that makes them one-eighth Nubian. But Cherry got the whole eighth and Pinky is a LaMancha through and through.

Anyway Cherry looked at Pixie and she said, "My Goodness."

And Pixie said, "My Goodness."

They blinked at each other.

"Are you my daughter?" Cherry asked. Cherry didn't have any babies this year or last year or even the year before, because of everything, and she wasn't very pleased about it. In fact she did not believe it.

"Yes," said Pixie.

"I thought so," said Cherry, and she came into her magic trance milk.

Not a lot of milk, since Golly was bulging with milk. But just enough. Just barely enough. That is all you need anyway.

So Pixie has one mother, and she also has another mother, a mother from another planet.

The distant Planet Nubia, so near and yet so far. Twinkling out there in the Milky Way.



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ask a Librarian

The Ottoman was captured and put in a holding pen, a 100% foolproof holding pen, because she was causing headaches. The Footstool ran around screaming. The Ottoman screamed back to the Footstool.

"Ottoman!" screamed the Footstool.

"I'm in here!" screamed the Ottoman, from inside the foolproof holding pen in the barn.

"Come out!" screamed the Footstool.

"I'm in here!" screamed the Ottoman.

Second verse same as the first.

This is the backdrop for today's agricultural adventure which is called The Owl and The Ottoman.

The Farmer had gotten the tractor repaired and was cleaning the down-below barn. The Boston Terrorist was riding shotgun in case anything interesting happened. Dolly was ensuring compliance to all the farm rules and regulations.

"I would sell a kidney before I would sell this tractor," the farmer remarked to the Boston Terrorist, as they bucketed out vast quantities of jet-black manure to the tune of the little Kubota engine.

In the background, the distant aria of the Footstool and the Ottoman screaming.

This gave Belle Starr an idea.

"I wonder if the Footstool and the Ottoman should write an epic poem."

Tangy blinked.

"A book-length poem."

"Something like this," Belle Starr went on:

"The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat
The Footstool and the Ottoman stayed ashore
and joined a herd of goats
They started screaming
and gave life meaning, and..."

"Meaning and screaming doesn't rhyme," thought Eo, but didn't say anything because what is the point. She was a poet, and hated the approximate.

"That isn't book-length," Moony interjected knowledgeably. "A book is at least two pages."

By this time the Farmer had piled up a small mountain of aromatic espresso beans.

"Moony should know what a book is," certified Tangy. "She is a librarian."

"I think you mean BARBARIAN," thought Eo.

Just then a surprising silence fell.

"What is that noise?" asked Moony. (Translation: why did the noise stop?)

The Farmer had turned off the tractor, and the rhythmic throbbing of the diesel engine was gone. But there was something else, some other kind of silence, something of an unscreaming nature.

Just then the Ottoman appeared.

"I'm out," she said cheerfully, referring to the 100% foolproof holding pen. She began looking around for headaches to cause.



Monday, March 12, 2018

The Footstool and the Ottoman

Some funny things happened. Eo and Winnie both turned 15, one was decrepit with a bowlegged hitch in her giddyup. The other was fit and cuddly as a hyena, steely-eyed as ever. Tangy aka Tanjy aka Tangerine suggested a big fiesta with quinceanera dresses.

"Whuh?" said Winnie. Eo said nothing, as usual, but took a mental note to t-bone Tangy later, when she was least expecting it, ideally when she was standing next to a tree trunk, for maximum effect.

We also had these new imported twins who became the all-time name champions for having the most names ever that didn't stick. First they had some names that they came with. Then they had some new names. They were twins from Oregon, two Belle Starr granddaughters.

They weren't much to look at, one was very scraggly and sickly for a while, then perked up. They flew about like swallows, ducking through gaps and fence holes. They were the ones the sonnet was written about: if your fence will not hold water, it will not hold goats. That is not a sonnet by the way. It is something else. I will think of it later.

Anyway they were two little flibbertigibbets, the shape of water and the color of the wind, and the fence would not hold them, they flowed here and there, seeking their own level, and always arriving just in time for dinner. So for a while they were called Ebb and Flo.

They were too nimble and spry to ever be t-boned, and champion flee-ers. When in doubt they would flee, nimbly and spryly. So after their first few sets of names wore off they were called Nimble and Spry, but that sounded too much like a law firm.

They were both POGs, people-oriented-goats, and loved to be brushed. They would stand forever to be brushed, eyes half-closed and mouths hanging ajar. Typical POGs. For a while they were called Poggy and Sue.

They started to grow bigger but the spindly one still had a squarish, ungainly, boxy quality. Goats who are going to be pretty later often have this quality. The strapping one began to add padding, first over the rump, them over the back, then down under the neck, then everywhere. This happened gradually, then suddenly. Goats who are going to be fat later often have this quality.

Anyway they came into a new set of names with this development. The well-padded one was called The Ottoman. Ottoman like the Empire. The ungainly one was called The Footstool. Footstool like the thing you put your feet on.

Those names are just for now. Something better will come along. Won't it?

The Footstool & The Ottoman