Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End is Near

The end of the year is near. And so is the end of the Goat of the Year poll.

Thank Goodness.

Happy New Year from me, Million Belles, aka Millie, aka Baby Belle, Jr.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cora Belle the Horrible, and How She Got Her Name

Cora Belle does not live here so I have to write her story.

Hannah Belle was going to do the story but she is completely illiterate.

Anyway, Cora Belle, how did she get her name?

When she was born her name was BlueBelle. She was very very pretty right from the beginning. Hannah Belle always has the prettiest kids at the farm. Except for me of course.

Her kids are Charzan, Orzbit, Boxcar Betty, Peanut, Goatzilla, Harley, Filbert, Cora Belle, Inky, and Shaq. You may notice that most of them are boys.

All of them, actually.

Except Betty and Cora Belle.

Well when Cora Belle was born the farmer said she was the prettiest Nigerian ever born here. She was also oddly obedient and cooperative. BOOORRRIIING. But after a few weeks she started to get more wicked like her mother. Soon she was ducking through fence holes and bounding up the stairs to the hayloft, and so on. Behaving in a much more Hannah Belle-like manner.

Well, thought the farmer, maybe BlueBelle is not the best name for her. BlueBelle is a name for the teacher's pet. Not for a dyed-in-the-wool hooligan.

Hannah Belle had always been called Hannah Belle Lecter for her devilish ways, and so the farmer changed BlueBelle's name to Cora Belle, so that in future, if necessary, she could be called Cora Belle the Horrible. She even learned to head-butt Wendell when she was only a couple of weeks old, making the farmer very proud.

But Cora Belle mysteriously reverted to cooperativeness as she got older, so she might as well have been called BlueBelle after all. She even allows little toddlers to lead her around by the collar, which is ridiculous.

Several people saw Cora Belle's picture on our web site and asked if they could buy her. Well, no, said the farmer, she is not for sale. But one person was more insistent than the others, and she agreed that she would show Cora Belle if Cora Belle came to live with her, and she also agreed that Cora Belle's brother Filbert could go with her. And so that is how Cora Belle went to live at prestigious Minter Bay Dairy Goats, and that is how she became the junior champion at the state fair, much to the dismay (click for a photo of the crowd's reaction) of the onlookers.

So that is Cora Belle's story. Very touching.

Vote for Cora Belle if you would like to vote for a teacher's pet. You better hurry, time is running out.

Uptown Melody

Hello my name is Melody. I like to be called Melody. I do not like to be called "Moldy" (people, please ee-nun-see-ate) or "Melanie." My name is Melody. I am very beautiful and so is my mother and so is her mother and her mother and her mother and so on stretching back endlessly into the history of beautiful goats.

I do not like podunk situations. I do not like one-horse towns or county fairs. I like state fairs and national shows; I will not exhibit anywhere that does not have an approved espresso stand.

If you are thinking of inviting me to one of your goat shows and your show does not have an espresso stand with a qualified barista (hand-pulled of course, I would not be caught dead near a pushbutton espresso machine), forget it. I won't come. Also the stand should have hazelnut biscotti but that can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

When people think of me the word that springs to mind first is "uptown."

I expect to win this sad little contest, and if I do not there WILL be consequences.

I dare you not to vote for me. Try it and see what happens. Thank you! Also, I want world peace and some nice REI tents for the homeless.

Marigold Wins Contest

Marigold has won the Goats of Christmas Past contest. Marigold, please send your mailing address.

The correct answers are:
1. April
2. Ginger Jones (we also accepted Jonesy although it is only half right)
3. Goatzilla

The bonus question answer:
1. Chile

A few guessers guessed the goats, but no one else got the dog.

Congratulations to Marigold. Remember to wash behind your ears when the soap arrives, Marigold.

Monday, December 28, 2009


1. What is the point of the Goat of the Year Poll?

There is no point.

2. Does the winner win anything?

Yes, the winner wins a bag of swedish fish and is also featured on the cover of the annual calendar.

3. When is the poll over?

At the end of the year or when we remember to turn it off.

4. Has a wether ever won the poll?

Yes Peanut won.

5. Has a LaMancha ever won?


6. Has any member of the Breezy family ever won?


7. Has a mini ever won the poll?


8. Has a Nubian or Nubian cross ever won?


9. Has a Toggenburg ever won?


10. Has anyone outside the Baby Belle family ever won the poll?

No. The Baby Belle family always wins.

11. Why?

They get the most votes.


Hello this is tangy short for tangerine but tangy is not my real name. I can't remember my real name. my Mother's name is Big Orange, but that isn't her real name, I can't remember her real name. You may have read about my trip to the fair with corabelle and my special style of walking. I can't remember what it's called. I don't care if you vote for me or not in fact I hope I come in last, I like to do everything last, I am the last one in the milk room every day except for Jessie she is always behind me. I guess last doesn't mean what I thought. Oh dear. Please vote for me.

Windy Wednesday

Hello my name is Winnie. My real name is Windy Wednesday. I was born on a windy Wednesday. That's how they got the idea for my name.

I have received ten votes in the poll. That is out of 2000+ votes.

What have I done to deserve this award.

Well, I did not win a fancy rosette at the fair. I am not anybody's favorite, not even my own mother's. My milk does not taste like candy. It tastes like really nice milk, the way it's supposed to.

What have I done to deserve this award.

Well I am not the state champion of anything. I do not hog the limelight. I am a plain black and tan LaMancha with no flashy colors. I do not have blue eyes. I do not do a swordfish walk. I walk properly, like I am supposed to.

What have I done to deserve this award.

All I have done for the last six years is to show up for work twice a day every day rain or shine and give more milk than almost anybody else. All I have done is milk through two years when I was a yearling. All I have done is let all the people in the cheesemaking classes milk me.

"Get Winnie," the farmer says when they come. "Anyone can milk Winnie."

All I have done is give extra milk for Stacy's kids or April's kids or Breezy's kids or anybody else's kids when they weren't feeling well enough to milk.

"Get some milk from Winnie," the farmer says when someone else can't feed their kids.

All I have done is come when I am called and leave when I am asked to leave.

That is all I have done. I can see why no one is voting for me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Goats of Christmas Past


Be the first to name these three Goats of Christmas Past correctly and win a free bar of our plain brown goat milk soap.

Tiebreaker: Name the Dog.


(And Baby Belle, Jr.)

editor's note: comments were supposed to be turned off so no one could see anyone else's answers. somehow one comment accidentally got published. for a clue: the comment that got published contains 1.5 out of a possible 4 correct answers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One More Thing

Hello this is Jammies again. We have heard that my half-sister Cora Belle has pulled out all the stops in urging everyone to vote for her. Well that is fine but it just reminded me that I forgot to mention that I am an orphan.

This is a picture of me with my dear mother before she passed away tragically.

You can vote for me here if you would like to vote for a kind, brave, unassuming orphan.

Please remember the rules of our annual (sort of) poll: there are no rules. Rules are for sheep, not goats. Vote as much as you want.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Hello. My name is Brandy. I am eleven. I used to be the herdqueen. Everyone thinks I am still the herdqueen. I was strict but fair. I did not waste time trying to get anyone to like me. I just did what I needed to do. I have two daughters, Wronny and Winnie. Winnie is older but Wronny is my favorite. That's just the way it is.

I had two other daughters, Sophie and Earlene, but they only lived a short while. Because of that, and because I milk way too much, I am retired now.

Now I rule the down-below pasture, which is very easy. It is all full of dry yearlings and simpletons. I do not have to do anything at all to rule it; I just give meaningful looks. By now even the simpletons take my meaning.

I am still watching the big barn, though. Wronny is ruling it now. She doesn't know it, but one day I will just nod my head and she will be the herdqueen.

For now, I am just watching her.

You can vote for me in the poll if you want, but it is your decision. Do what you need to do. And don't look back.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Take this Chad and Hang it

Hello this is melody i am filing a grievance with the elections commission because i have been unfairly excluded fropm the poll and this is a breach of my civil right i always pay my poll tax right on time and i am never late and there is also prejudice against me because i am from oreogon and i am a lot cuter than the goats here because that's just the way it is. anyway i think the whole poll is going to be thrown out and started over because i am all lawyered up and in case you didn't know this is what democracy looks like. also there has been a lot of complaints from right thinking people who want their fair rights to freep the poll and vote as much as they want if they can clear their cache or hide their ip address or eat their cookies which is how the Good Goat wanted online polls to work. so please be sure that you have not heard tghe last of me. in the meantime please boycott the poll thank you for your support. yrs in freedom, future goat of the year, melody.

Jammies' Story

Hello. My name is Jammies. This is where my story starts. I was going to write a book but it seemed too tiring, so I just wrote a paragraph. This is it. In the end I triumphed and became the farmer's personal milker with my milk that tastes like candy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Goat of the Year

It is time for the Goat of the Year voting.

These are the nominees.

1. Cora Belle. My cousin Cora Belle does not live here and I do not think she should be eligible but no one asked my opinion and I guess my cousin Peanut won one year when he didn't live here so there is nothing I can do about it. And Cora Belle is actually Peanut's full sister so I think it is a little redundant to nominate her but she is the Junior Grand Champion from the Washington State Fair. The judge said "this little goat really caught my eye," but so what, that could just mean she needs glasses. Cora Belle lives over at Minter Bay Dairy Goats. As far as personality she is bossy and self-centered with a high opinion of herself.

2. Tangy. Tangy the swordfish did not injure anyone at the State Fair and that is the one and only reason she is nominated. As far as personality I don't think she has any.

3. Jammies. Oh precious little Jammies, the Queen of Special Treatment. Does Jammies want a bonbon? Does Jammies have hurt feelings? Would Jammies prefer ginger snaps or licorice? Is Jammies warm enough? Is anyone bothering her? What does she want for her birthday? What about an iPod shuffle with goat folksongs on it? This is the type of thing we have to listen to all day long as regards Jammies, but the Farmer says Jammies triumphed over adversity on the BUB program and she deserves to be nominated as much as anyone.

4. Winnie. Winnie is six years old and she is one of our best milkers and she has never been nominated for anything because nobody likes her. Winnie and Wronny are considered professional goats and anyone off the street can milk them and often does. This year Winnie had triplets and she went down like a stone with milk fever and then after two days of coddling she got up and soldiered on. Big deal. As far as personality Winnie has the personality of an assistant principal at a reform school.

5. Brandy. Brandy is really old, eleven or so, and she is the herdqueen, so I don't see why she needs to be nominated for anything. It is not like you can get a promotion from being the queen. She is the mother or grandmother or great grandmother of almost all the LaManchas here. But anyway she is really old and she hasn't died yet so that is her main accomplishment, woop-de-doo.

6. Million Belles. Oh my gosh, that's me. How humbling to be in such elite company! My real name is Million Belles but everyone calls me Millie or sometimes people call me Baby Belle, Jr. As far as looks it is like a vision of a shimmering oasis on the desert when you see me. Sometimes people swoon when they lay eyes on me, why wouldn't they. As far as personality, the main word used to describe me is adorable. As far as hobbies I enjoy being carried around and admired. As far as food, I will eat anything, I am not fussy. Thank you for considering me! P.S. I will vote for you if I get a chance!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gracie's Strange Dream

Gracie came over to see Cowboy. Gracie used to live here with her sister Joyjoy. They moved away to their own house but yesterday Gracie came back.

Pinky didn't see her, thank Goodness. Pinky was very upset when Gracie moved away.

Pinky goes by a French name now, Zut Alors, so maybe she doesn't remember the old Pinky memories. She doesn't seem to remember anything to tell the truth, except dinnertime. Even if she doesn't remember dinnertime she is always checking.

"Is it dinnertime? What time is it? Dinnertime?"

Anyway, last night Gracie came over and in the morning she went out with the barn babies to enjoy the pouring rain after spending the evening with the three buckling boys. The barn babies are Zydeco, Zenyatta, Zapricot, Zedoary, and Joy.

Joy is called Big Joy because Gracie's sister's name is Joyjoy, and she is called Little Joy, although someday she probably will be bigger than Big Joy. But anyway Big Joy lives with the babies because she is too shy and retiring and if she goes around anyone her own size she never gets anything to eat because she just stands in the corner quaking. So Big Joy lives with the little babies so she can pretend to be a big shot.

Out they all went into the rain and then all of a sudden Gracie had a brain flash when she saw Cowboy because yesterday when she saw him she wasn't that interested.

But this time she goggled her eyes and gave a "WOWZA!" look and dragged the farmer to the gate to let her in to Cowboy's muddy love shack.

Tomorrow she will wake up and wonder if it was all a dream.

Anyway pretty soon her new family came to get Gracie. Melody of course tried to insert herself into the limelight when she saw the potential for a new audience but she was too fat to fit through the gate. So I was rightly picked up and carried around as befits me. Everyone remarked how adorable I am, although I did not get any treats.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One of Those Days, or, Everything Running Smoothly As Usual

It was one of those days.

First of all it was 12 degrees in the morning, which is too cold.

The wind had blown the roof and one of the walls off the rugrat barn, which is the sun chalet for the babies who live in the shed. They were confused when they came out of their cozy shed, but that is not unusual. They looked at each other cautiously, to see if the others were also surprised. Their expressions said: is it just me? Or did this building used to have a top part? And a wall in the back?

The consensus was inconclusive. After all, it is certainly possible that some of the things we take for granted never even existed. But maybe they did. Anyway, the rugrats pressed on gamely, accepting the new reality.

Zut Alors perched on her own tiny ice rink - the frozen-solid water bucket - to mull things over.

The farmer put a special coat on Wendell to go out for his six second piddle because it was so cold. It was a very stylish coat that the farmer's French Bulldog used to wear, black and sleek with a fake-fur leopard-spotted collar. Very European.

"Do not lose that coat, Wendell," the farmer instructed. Wendell zipped outside and was back scratching at the door in six seconds. Without the coat.

So that was how the day started and from there things just got worse, with the farmer spending most of the day toting water in buckets and chopping wood by hand, and trying to make cheese even though it was way too cold for the cheese to drain properly.

The big brown truck had a dead battery. The little brown truck had a dead battery too. Because it was 12 degrees. The farmer was also getting a dead battery, right around dusk. Which comes at around 3:30 or so these days.

Then suddenly to enliven things, a water pipe under the porch burst. Water gushed merrily under the house into the crawl space. The farmer huffed down to the wellhouse and shut off all the water. There is a lot of water here, water to the house and the barn and the dairy and the cottage and the greenhouse and all the outside taps, most of which were covered with a foot of pipe wrap anyway and completely unusable.

Then the farmer crawled under the house, where it was pitch dark by now, and where the previously gushed water was freezing fast into little ice puddles which took a lot of the fun out of crawling around in the dark under a house in 12 degree weather. The farmer was looking for the water shutoff so that just the house could be shut off and the cottage and barn and so on turned back on.

Because it's nice to have a little water now and then. You can't make tea without it.

The farmer couldn't find the water shutoff and so crawled back out to get a flashlight and to call the neighbor who is a plumber. First the farmer tried to go on the Internet to look up the neighbor plumber's number, but of course the internet wasn't working, it hardly ever does. On the plus side, the phone wasn't working either, so it didn't matter that much.

The farmer went back outside to use the cellphone to call another neighbor to ask the other neighbor to call back with the number for first neighbor, the plumber neighbor. Then went to examine the burst pipe and collect some good flashlights, because if you crawl under a frozen house with just one flashlight it is a dead certainty that the battery in it will expire as soon as you get within three feet of the water shutoff.

Before that was even finished the second neighbor pulled in the driveway with a full set of flashlights and crawled under the house and shut off the water. It was agreed that the burst pipe could probably be fixed pretty easily, and that all in all things could have been worse, but that the pipe fixing would best be left until after a couple of days of thawing.

Then finally the farmer came out to feed everyone in the pitch dark, two hours later than we were all supposed to be fed.

All things considered, everyone politely pretended that everything was on schedule and running smoothly.

Sometimes that is the best policy.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Big Orange Milk

The farmer started getting wild-eyed again as Jammies drip-dropped back down in production. Big Orange was ushered in to be the farmer's personal milker, and her milk was pronounced pretty good.

"But she is no Jammies."

You might think a comment like that would hurt Big Orange's feelings but not one bit. Her goal in life is to stay under the radar.

The temperature crashed down into the 20s which meant all the outside water had to be turned off. This caused a lot of cursing with water being schlepped around in buckets. Wendell retired to his couch cushion, only hurtling outside under duress to pee on the truck tires. Then dashing back into the house. He has perfected the six second sub-zero piddle.

Peaches of course got to wear Baby Belle's blue jacket which had been retired "forever" (six months) because Peaches is very sensitive to cold. Meaning that she forgot to grow her fur out because she is only half Nigerian.

Two visiting lady goats came over for the purpose of getting to know Cowboy, my father. After the introductions Cowboy made a few half-hearted attempts at romance, but one of the visiting ladies was a big red Nubian and before long she was chasing him all around the buck pen, with her little sidekick bringing up the rear, in a festive Yuletide parade.

He fled energetically.

You know what they say. Cold hooves, warm heart.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Not So Cold Turkey

It has been repeatedly shown throughout history that those who dish it out cannot necessarily take it. This applies to Winnie for example who likes to think she is All That but scuttles away whimpering and twitching like Lady Macbeth if Wronny gives her the Evil Eye. And the same for Peaches the supposedly mild-mannered mini-Mancha who cannot even get a crust of sandwich bread from a tiny LaMancha baby. Since she was two weeks old Zydeco (aka Zydeco the Fearless) has stood her ground against Peaches.

Right now Peaches rules the three sad weaned boys completely by terror, a reign which certainly will end as soon as Mr. Jimmy realizes that he is already almost as tall as The Peach Fuhrer. Then Peaches will go back to cowering and wringing her hooves.

But anyway that is a roundabout way of saying that somehow primarily by sighing and moaning and producing exotic treats including Swedish Fish, some very large grapes, and a bowl of warm oatmeal with brown sugar in it, the farmer was able to get Jammies to eke out enough milk for a latte.

Meanwhile I cling grimly and milklessly to life, scraping by on orchard grass, local grass, peas, cob, maple leaves, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, and whatever other tiny smatterings I can glean from the cruel world.

They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. Turkey, apparently, not so much.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Dark Day

Precious Jammies came in heat and went down and got bred to Cowboy. And now the farmer is wearing a black armband and a somber expression. Because as soon as Jammies got bred she somehow managed to shut off her milk. Just like that.

No more candy milk for the farmer. No more candy lattes. Nichts, Naught, Nothing.

The farmer is on weaning.

Everyone tiptoes and whispers.