Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Goats

My cousin Cora Belle came over yesterday for more fair walking practice for the goat show. It is incredibly dull and boring. The goat and the person walk around in a circle and that's it. That's the whole show. No popcorn or anything.

Just a goat and its person walking around in a circle joined by a few other goats and their people walking in a circle. Once in a while they stop and the person pokes the goat around a little bit, "setting it up" and making it look good. It's completely ridiculous.

I am very glad it has been decided I am not going to the fair. Anyway the whole thing was rather odd because Cora Belle seemed to enjoy it and she would let any person walk around with her, even a three year old, and would allow herself to be posed like a Gumby. I find it very strange that she is Hannah Belle's daughter; Hannah Belle will not obey anyone, not even the farmer.

But Cora Belle paraded around extensively and it was very dull until she was joined by Tangy.

Tangy used to be known as "the swordfish" for her style of walking, which is to throw herself up into the air and flap around like a marlin on a sportfishing show. We were all very impressed by it. But she has even outdone herself now.

Yesterday she was doing fair walking practice and she had a full-blown tantrum and threw herself up into the air and then flat on the ground. The farmer's friend who is a very very good showman did not let go of the collar as Tangy expected, just held on patiently with Tangy flopped completely on the ground.

Tangy refused to get up, turning her body into a boat anchor, which wasn't hard since she is the fattest yearling here. After a few minutes an ordinary goat would have gotten up, but not Tangy; instead, since she was already lying down, she took a short nap.

The farmer says she isn't going anywhere much less the state fair but I hope they do take her to the show because it was a lot more interesting than Cora Belle's style of white glove perfection. Cora Belle must get that from the Shirley Temple side of her family.

PS I forgot to mention all photos were taken by PETA representative Wendy Webster. No animals were injured but the farmer's elbow was slightly wrenched, not that anyone cares. In future we will try to get an observer from the Human Fund to insure that human injuries are kept to a minimum although there is no guarantee they can be avoided entirely since Tangy is part Nubian. Thanks.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The farmer unexpectedly found an old picture of Marty, the kindest Nubian who ever lived. But you can probably tell that just from looking, even though she is asleep in the picture. She loved to sleep with her head on her little daughter Marigold.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pipe Gate Massage

Sometimes you can come within an inch of your life and not even know it.

And that is what happened yesterday.

Not to me, but to my Aunt Hannah Belle.

It was a red letter day. The farm had been rendered spotless. This was because the dairy inspector was coming for a visit. He came right on time and inspected all around the barn.

Even Walker the Talker, the little minimancha buckling who has something to say about everything, had been instructed to keep quiet.

The dairy inspector nodded at everyone in the barn. We nodded back, pretending to admire him. Then he put on a hairnet, which meant he was going into the dairy. The farmer went with him, and they were gone for about five minutes.

While they were gone Aunt Hannah Belle mysteriously appeared. She had been 100% banned from the barn during the inspector's visit, owing to her incorrigible behavior. In fact the farmer had put her down below with the fat girls and mended the little hole in the fence that Melly had made.

"That ought to hold you," the farmer muttered with satisfaction, having woven the field fence back together with an attractively rustic snaggle of baling twine.

Maybe the farmer shouldn't have said that.

We watched in shock and awe as she sashayed down the aisle toward the grain cans. She hannahbelled all three of them in rapid succession, spilling 150 pounds of dry cob and 14% dairy ration onto the barn floor in a seven foot swath.

She ate with lightning speed, like one of those people turned loose in a grocery store for ten minutes. Even Betsy was impressed.

Then for a change of pace she jumped onto my mountain of pea hay, knocking a few bales out of the stack while she searched for hay with the peas still on it. Even Winnie was shaken by her audacity.

A gasp went up as everyone heard the door of the dairy open. Aunt Hannah Belle scuttled away, moving like a worried crab with her feet seeming to rotate underneath her. She ran around the corner toward the pipe gate into the front pasture, and it seemed she had time to make a clean getaway, but then there came a familiar grunting noise.

She was stuck in the gate, too fat to squirt through from the angle she had chosen. Stone cold busted. The dairy inspector, three feet away, popped his eyes in surprise to see a fat little goat teetering between the pipes of the gate.

"What is that?" he said.

"Oh she gets stuck in the fence sometimes," we heard the farmer say nonchalantly. "She is a little bit fat."

"Isn't that cute?' said the dairy inspector.

"Yes," agreed the farmer grimly, looking daggers at Aunt Hannah Belle, who had shrewdly adopted the attitude of someone enjoying a nice relaxing pipe gate massage.

"Well, I better get going," said the dairy inspector. And he turned around and walked in the opposite direction. The farmer took a step into the barn, saw for the first time the hannahbelled cans and the wanton destruction of the one-goat buffet, and smoothly pirouetted back out.

"I'll walk you to your car."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let a Smile be Your Umbrella

The camera is broken. If it wasn't there would be a picture here of me standing in the grain bin eating all I want.

Anyway today there was a 'cloudburst.' This is where the clouds burst and the rain comes drenching out. The farmer had just gone to the store when it happened.

We were locked out in the pasture because the farmer says the milkers are too lazy and they need to stretch their legs and eat apples and not loll about in the barn all day. So the farmer locked everyone out and went to the store.

The clouds burst and everyone scattered. Aunt Blue and Mr. Jimmy and Senor Franky went running down to the fat girl pasture where they stood in the cabana screaming and taking enemy fire from the fat ladies who do not appreciate outsiders coming into their little cabana which they seem to think is some kind of luxury resort in spite of its extremely dilapidated condition.

We watched with interest as they ran in and out of the cabana. First they would run in and take enemy fire from the fat ladies and scream because of that. Then they would run out to escape the enemy fire and scream because of the cloudburst. Then when they couldn't stand the cloudburst any more they would run back in. And so on.

Up above Tangy was running in circles for no apparent reason except she is part Nubian. Winnie the Hun ran back and forth between the wellhouse and the apple tree. She couldn't decide which one blocked out more rain. Everyone else ran back and forth trying to get away from Winnie.

Did I mention us. Me and my mom just went into the barn. I am very small so I go where I want. My Mom is a Baby Belle daughter so she knows how to push on the locked gate in a certain way so she can go through it. When we got inside Aunt Hannah Belle was already in there eating pea hay.

Hello she said. Stand over there and eat only the hay that falls from my mouth onto the floor. Okay we said.

Outside the cloudburst and the screaming and running continued while we ate pea hay in a thoughtful manner.

After a while the farmer came home and let the drenched milkers back into the barn. But not before running and calling for me. I signalled to be picked up and the farmer carried me over to the grain bin to eat all I wanted.

"I'm glad you did not get wet," said the farmer. "You might catch cold."

I looked over at the milkers. They were angry as hornets and sopping wet to the bone. Drowned rats is one phrase that comes to mind. How sad, I thought, eating my grain.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yesterday we got to go out with the big goats. We went to the orchard pasture and then we all went out into the summer meadow where there is free grass and brush. The grass was over my head so I started crying in a dignified fashion.

No one came for me probably because they were all stuffing their faces with free hay.

So then I started screaming at the top of my lungs because what else could I do.

None of my friends or relatives came. Later my mother said, "I heard you but I could tell you weren't hurt and I was busy."

Busy eating.

There was a big crashing noise of a large creature running through the brush and then the farmer picked me up. I was way up in the air and I could see everything. Down below in the meadow all the goats were eating buckbrush and canary grass.

Winnie the Hun was eating hardhack. Big Orange was snuffling around the pears that had fallen off the pear tree. Zane Gray was up on the old oil tank that had rolled down the hill. How did he get up there?

I could see everything. I was like a Queen.

Later we were up in the front pasture playing and I saw the farmer. I ran over to the farmer so that the farmer could pick me up.

I looked out and down below I could see the fat ladies crowding along the fenceline clamoring for pea hay.

The farmer carried me into the barn and put me down in the grain bin so I could eat all I wanted. I was standing on a mountain of goat candy. I was like a Queen.

Then the farmer carried me over to the stacks of pea hay which no one is allowed to touch because it is like gold. The farmer put me on top of one of the bales so I could eat all I wanted. I was like a Queen.

The farmer's friend from Longbranch came over and saw me standing on top of the wall of pea hay.

"You better be careful," said the farmer's friend. "You will spoil her. She is just a little goat."

"I will try to remember that," said the farmer, brushing the pea hay out of my beautiful coat.

I was like a Queen.