Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don't Ask

The farmer is very curious I guess because the farmer often asks the question, "what next?"

Especially the last couple of weeks the farmer was even asking Scouty the Nubian like she would know, "what next?"

It all started in September. First the farmer brought the young swollen-headed prom princesses home from the fair with their ribbons. All three of them got the sniffles, from being around lots of strange goats in a day care type setting. These sniffles immediately spread to the rest of the herd so that all the crazy ladies who were coming into heat had to wait to be bred.

So the crazy ladies stood around bawling their heads off, which made for quite a symphony of outrage with the LaManchas singing an angry tenor and the Nubians leaning more toward a soulful Delta Blues type register.

Nobody knows the troubles these ladies had seen. But nobody. It was a big sound.

So the farmer then foolishly asked, "what next?"

The next day the farmer came out to find Xtra Joy the LaMancha kid with a grapefruit-sized swelling on the side of her head. The type of swelling that makes you take a step backward when you see it, and say, "Holy Smoke!"

In the corner of her mouth Joy had a small cut as well, not noticeable until you peeled her lip back, which caused her to shriek in an ear-piercing way, making a nice counterpoint to the Wagnerian chanting of the crazy ladies. Of course there was no vet available so Joy had to wait until the next day when she was whisked off (2 hours away) to the first goat vet who could see her.

The farmer had started her on antibiotics and banamine to keep the swelling down. The vet looked dubiously at the grapefruit, opining that it felt like scar tissue.

"From what?" the farmer asked. "How can she get scar tissue between breakfast and lunch?"

The vet suggested keeping her on antibiotics to see if the swelling would go down.

"I will do that," said the farmer, "but can you please sedate her and examine inside the cut as well since we came all this way."

Joy was sedated and the vet began probing the cut and got a little flashlight out and some tweezers and a surprised look came over the vet's face and within a few seconds the vet extracted a rubber door stop from deep inside Joy's cheek. Somehow Joy had managed, who could even imagine how, to a) impale herself on the rounded rubber door stop behind the milkroom door with enough force to cut through her cheek and plunge the rubber door stop inside and b) pull her head back quickly enough that the rubber door stop came off and stayed embedded in her cheek.

Foolishly, the farmer asked, "what next?"

Then the old farm truck broke down.

"What next?" the farmer asked.

The new farm truck broke down.

"What next?" the farmer asked.

The phone rang. It was the farmer's neighbor calling to say that Tommy the appaloosa, down in the summer camp pasture in Longbranch, might be feeling sick. This turned out to be the understatement of the year.

Tommy was in a terrible state, horribly swollen, feverish, standing on three legs and shaking with pain, unable to move. Most shocking of all, Tommy would not eat anything.

What had happened to him? No one knew. He was swollen all over his hindlimbs and underbelly. The type of swelling that makes you take a step backward when you see it, and say, "Holy Smoke!" His legs looked like elephant legs.

Even such a hardened character as the farmer, fresh from seeing a goat with a rubber door stop embedded in its cheek, was shaken.

"Holy Smoke," the horse vet said, when he saw Tommy.

No one quite knew what was wrong with Tommy. For three days he could barely move, and had to have buckets of water carried to him to drink. He was loaded up 24 hours a day with pain medicine and antibiotics. The farmer secretly thought that he would die, but never said anything, just stood next to him in the paddock, chatting casually to him but not touching him, since even his skin was sore so he couldn't be patted on the neck.

On the fourth day, still horribly swollen, Tommy began to walk a little, dragging his toes.

On the fifth day it started to seem that Tommy - probably out of stubbornness - was not going to die.

Tommy has always been extremely bossy, in fact he thinks he is the center of the universe, but like so many animals, when he was very sick he conducted himself with extraordinary dignity and sweetness. He was grateful for every kindness, and nickered softly whenever he saw the farmer.

Now, several weeks later, he is back in charge of the world, and ruling with an iron fetlock, even though he still has a little bit of swelling.

The farmer was looking at him this morning for a long time. And then it seemed like the farmer might have a question, not for Tommy but for the universe.

But then the farmer didn't ask.

Probably a good idea.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Back to the Future

Well, Penrose and Betsy have been introduced to their frozen boyfriends. Penrose was relatively pleased to meet Razz Azari, who as we mentioned was a son of two-time National Toggenburg Champion Madame Razz.

But despite the fact that the moon was full and it was a starry starry night, little orphan Betsy, in typical fashion, was not at all pleased to meet her boyfriend Vincent.

Vincent was the sire of a doe named Daffy Dandelion, once National Champion and once Reserve National Champion. Betsy did not care about his bloated resume, and offered to kick him back to the 20th century in his little tube.

Fortunately for everyone, the kick was blocked, the deed was accomplished, and the swimmers are in the pool.

Go, little Vincent! Go Razz! Swim like the wind!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Hmm, here is a lost post from the summer. It somehow fell on the digital scrap heap.

I am going to put it up because it reminds me of all the long-gone sunny days, and of little Peanut who lives in Sequim now and of Zilla who went to Vashon. Also it reminds me of one of the little brats next door, who came and stood at the fence calling for Peanut for three days in a row after Peanut had moved to his new home.

I guess he didn't believe the farmer when the farmer told him Peanut was gone.

(from August.)

Now the brats next door (BND) hang around all the time watching us.

One of them comes over at 5 every afternoon in hopes that he will be able to feed Peanut his bottle. Then when the farmer isn't watching he likes to feed Annabel and Ruby and Lucy and Joy from the bottle, too, even though they are practically college age and were weaned a long time ago.

They never mention this to him, though, they just slurp from the bottle every chance they get while he laughs and laughs.

The farmer says, "you're not feeding those big babies, are you? They're not supposed to drink milk," and he says "oh, no."

Shouldn't those BNDs be inside playing video games or something? Since when do little kids play outside?

Time Travelers

The frozen gentlemen have arrived, each in a little tube from the 20th century. All of them are handsome, exceedingly well-bred, and dead as doornails.

Their names are as fancy as their pedigrees.

First, the four gentlemen of LaMancha:

Rockspring DB Dahlia Doubletake
Haute Caprine Pulsar
Little-Orchard P Golden Ace
Rockspring DM Vermil Vincent

and last but by no means least, the Toggenburg Titan himself, Sunkissed Razz Azari(son of 2x national champion SGCH Sunkissed Madame Razz, LA 93).

Penrose will be introduced to Azari when the time is right. But the question is, who should little orphan Betsy try to thaw out? Perhaps Mr. Doubletake?

The farmer does not know how to revive the frozen gentlemen, but the farmer's neighbor is an expert on introducing ladies to frozen gentleman, so she will do the honors, and we shall see if any more little time travelers arrive in the spring.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Funny, That

It is strange how a goat can be really funny-looking and also very beautiful.

I am thinking of Big Orange. Big Orange is funny-looking. She is part Nubian, and she is bright orange, and she has little crooked ears that look like sugar bowl handles. There is no denying that she is funny-looking.

But she is also very beautiful. Everyone who comes to the barn says - "which goat is that?" and they point to Big Orange. There is just something about her.

And on top of that she has a way of looking at you like she has never seen you before but come to think of it she has always wanted to meet you. She walks right up to you, almost on tiptoe, as if she thinks you are asleep and doesn't want to wake you, but wants to get a really good look at you.

She studies you. Like she is memorizing you, in case you ever become separated.

Anyway, even with her exotic new name everyone still calls her Big Orange. But the farmer says it doesn't matter what anyone calls her now, because next spring after she has her kids she is going to go to all the shows, and then everyone will know her real name.

"After all," says the farmer, "when he was at home everyone called Secretariat Big Red. You just wait and see."

I'm not sure what that means. But I will wait and see.

Cruel YouTube Video

Is this type of thing really legal? Shouldn't the Goat Justice League in Seattle be called in on this? And the Horse Justice League?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Special Treatment for the Milkers

I am now down in the cabana pasture with the other Nigerians and all the minis except Peaches and Mabel.

Fancy pants Lucy and little brown-nose Joy were bragging about how they are staying up at the big barn with the milkers. Even Peaches, who is way down at the bottom of the pecking order, with only her own twin sister Mabel to boss around, was acting snooty.

Big deal, I said to myself.

Then came what I thought was the final indignity: Bertie the half-wit dry yearling was ushered up to the big barn, because she is going to be one of the milkers in the spring.

This left me and Hannah Belle and Breezy and Jammies and Tubster (what is her real name, anyway?) and Billie and Willa stewing in our own juices. We assumed the service would be very poor down where we were, and the big fancy milkers would get all the good food, and alfalfa instead of grass hay, and lots of cosseting that they don't need, being horribly conceited already not to mention fat.

But no: the food is pretty good down here, and so far a reasonable amount of it, even some halfway decent alfalfa.

But still the milkers were acting supercilious, because they had heard that they were going to get some special treatment. Well, a couple of days went by and someone pulled up in a little white car and got out and started putting a coverall on out of the trunk, and I said to myself, wait a minute.

Wait just a minute, I said, there is only one reason for a person to arrive and put a green coverall over their clothes, and that reason is that the person is a veterinarian. Ha!

Sure enough!

Pretty soon the milkers got their special treatment - shots in the ass and needles in their necks to take blood samples.

I tried not to laugh. But not very hard.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Letter from Alcatraz

Hello everyone.

Yesterday I started to feel a little overheated in spite of the chilly weather and all of a sudden I got a strange idea.

What about the carbon footprint?

I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I know Wrusty knows a lot about it, and also Marquee, and that darling little Captain January, in fact all the bucks know practically everything there is to know about the carbon footprint.

And speaking of those gentlemen I noticed how really wonderful they looked yesterday and I was surprised I hadn't been struck by it before, in fact even last week I remarked to Hannah Belle what a disgusting bunch they were, but I must be needing glasses to say something like that because yesterday I couldn't imagine ever having seen a finer group of individuals assembled anywhere unless of course an Osmond Family photo session were under way.

So I squeezed through my private fence hole in the cabana pasture, and then I squeezed under the Willenized fence in the buck pasture, and then I sashayed - I just felt like sashaying, I don't know why - up to the pen where Marquee was blubbering and pawing and in general discoursing at a very erudite level about the perils of carbon dioxide.

Anyway, long story short, next thing I know I have a lead rope around my neck and I am being frogmarched up to the baby holding cell (Alcatraz) in the barn, where I am now in my second day of incarceration without ever having seen so much as a magistrate.

Well, I guess things could be a little bit worse - I could have been sent to the horse trailer (Guantanamo). But really. What about the due process? What about the jury of my peers?

No justice, NO PEACE!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Possible Sabbatical

It is being decided right now whether I will go on sabbatical. Last year Breezy took the year off and did not have any kids and now she looks like a beach ball with legs, even though she doesn't get special milker's grain or anything extra-yummy because she is a dry doe.

The farmer thinks I should take a year off because I have had kids every year for the last four years, and last year I had triplets which ended up giving me milk fever since the triplets were a tad on the ravenous side, but that didn't really bother me since the farmer became my nanny and I got to loll about while my kids were drinking from their bottles, and got lots of extra food and treats and pampering.

I have to say, looking at the difference between my kids and Breezy's kids, that I think it would be a mistake to give me the year off, and if I do get the year off, I want to make sure that I do not have to try to squeak by on grass hay and a tiny smattering of cob, because that type of death march ration really doesn't suit my personality or my station in life, what with being Goat of the Year and so on among other honors.

And also not to mention it but excuse me, where are the fair ribbons won by the Breezy family?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Death and the Spokesgoat

Some things just will not die, like the farmer's old farm truck. The old farm truck is on DNR (do not resuscitate) status, which means that if it dies it dies and no more than $100 can be spent to save it. Goodbye, God bless you, thank you for your decades of thankless service, vaya can dios.

It is several hundred years old, anyway; I believe Lewis and Clark drove it out here from Missouri or wherever they came from. Anyway, you may remember the old farm truck from last spring's tales of Sammy and the F-150s, who lived inside it when they were babies.

Well last weekend within hours of each other the old farm truck (1978) and the new farm truck (1990) both appeared to expire within hours of each other at the most inconvenient possible time, causing the farmer to transport a large, amorous buckling in full rut inside a Honda which was not a matter to be attempted lightly or at all in my opinion but there you are. What can you do.

The farm truck was left to fester in its own juices down at the side of the highway for several days until the farmer felt like dealing with it. At that point it was towed home by a retired ex-marine from Puyallup and that is another story but not for these pages.

Anyway after a great deal of incompetent mechanicking around it appeared that the truck was suffering from a deceased carburetor, which if you go to autoparts.com you will see starts at around $214, not including installation, so funeral arrangements were commenced for the F-150. But not so fast.

Within minutes of the supposed demise of the F-150, a friend of a friend had managed a hookup resulting in a used (but perfect shape!) carburetor for $40.

So the death of the farm truck has yet to be finalized although I myself am not the type of goat who puts a lot of faith in pre-owned carburetors. On the other hand, the F-150 has had a rod knocking since 1998, so its will to live is not inconsiderable.

Anyway, we'll see. In other news, Penrose has been declared the farm's spokesgoat - "for now" - which I don't think is fair. It is only because she is so good at looking into the camera, which can hardly be considered a skill, if you ask me.