Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Harmony and the Polar Express

Q: Can't We All Just Get Along?

A: Yes, if it is cold enough.

Around here we are used to the Pineapple Express. It comes in the winter from Hawaii, dumping gallons and gallons of rain and bringing a clammy unseasonable warmth, sometimes even 60 degrees in January. Occasionally during the Pineapple Express a bunch of flies will wake up, thinking it is April, and flutter around groggily until the Express blows out of town.

We are not used to the Polar Express. Last night was an all-time record low of 8 degrees here, making Monday's 30 degree snowstorm a pleasant memory.

After the snow the sky cleared ominously, north to south, turning a bright bitter blue and bringing in the Arctic wind from Canada. That is not how we like it here. We like our wind from the West, even if it means the Pineapple Express. That is what we are set up for.

The farmer has been stamping around babysitting the pipes with wraps and heaters and every tap turned to dripping and half the time on bended knee praying to the God of Plumbing: dear Lord, please help the pipes and keep them whole in their hour of need amen dear Lord.

As far as us goats the farmer does not seem too concerned, although Izzy did get rescued and plunked into the Nigerian refugee stall with the rest of us.

That's ok because we have our own system. When it is 50 degrees or 40 degrees or 30 degrees we keep to our usual hierarchy. When it is 20 we start to make exceptions: for example the night before last we allowed Cherry's daughter Bing to sleep in our pile even though she is only half Nigerian.

When it got down to 10, we abandoned the hierarchy completely. All the goats from the snow-filled cabana piled into the barn together into a single heap. Pinky, Jr. (the lamb) was lying by Brandy (the lion); Wronny pretended not to notice that Jimmy and Jimmy Jr. were invading her space; Winnie turned a blind eye to the appearance of Betsy, whom she normally cannot tolerate.

Meanwhile one of our flickers fell out of a tree, stone cold dead and frozen solid. So sorry, little flicker, best to travel with a herd during the Polar Express.

By midnight last night Penrose, being a Swiss goat, had to get up and move closer to the door - she was getting too hot in the pile. "Excuse me, won't you," she asked politely as she tiptoed to a new spot, taking care not to step on anyone and freeing up a heat pocket in the middle for Xie Xie to roll into.

Sometimes, we are the world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow Day

A lot has been happening so we have not been able to post the information about the new Sheriff of Crazytown. But don't worry it is coming.

Right now there are a couple of inches of snow on the ground and the snow is still coming thick and fast.

Well that's fine, who cares, I have my winter coat on, except last week a big windstorm came and blew the roof off the buck shed and part of the roof off our cabana. So no one wants to go inside the cabana, since it doesn't really have that "inside" feeling since there is an inch of snow inside most of it. The farmer couldn't get the sheds fixed in time with one thing and another so the big bucks moved to the baby buck shed and the baby bucks moved to the big barn, and the farmer relented and let a bunch of Nigerian refugees into the barn instead of cramming into a tiny corner of the cabana where there is no snow.

I got to go to the barn and my mother Belle Pepper and Hannah Belle and Big Orange somehow snuck in with us, I guess because she is the mayor she can go where she wants, and Betty and Iota (Pawprint) and Ringo.

Since the baby bucks are in the barn with their buckly aroma pervading every corner everyone who was thinking about coming into heat came into heat all together creating an ungodly din of Nubianesque screaming even though we do not have any fullblood Nubians any more. You cannot hear yourself think, which isn't usually a problem but today all of a sudden in a quiet patch I heard myself thinking and I was thinking, "where is Izzy?"

Izzy is my daughter and she was trapped out in the snow with no mother or brother to cuddle with and so I started screaming and the farmer said "oh Millie are you coming into heat?"


The farmer doddered off to go get some hot chocolate so I continued screaming and Ringo joined in with me but we were a poor second to the overheated Valkyries.

Occasionally from deep down inside the snow-filled cabana we would hear Izzy peeping forlornly and we would also hear Pinky calling like a foghorn, probably to one of her imaginary friends. And now and then Penrose would shout, "Why me?"

Eo suffered in silence as usual, with her eyes narrowed, plotting her revenge on the cruel world.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet the Mayor

Elections are very expensive so it has been decided that Big Orange will stay on as Mayor of Crazy Town, even though she is not really qualified any more. That has never stopped anyone else.

But don't worry, there will be a new Sheriff, and she is overqualified, so that should make up for it.

Tomorrow, you can meet the Sheriff.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wendell's Traveling Dime Store

If you look at our dog Wendell you might not think much, he just looks like a boston bulldog, plain black and white with four paws and a round head like a little pumpkin. But inside that pumpkin there must be pages and pages of the Sears catalog or something because Wendell loves to bring things home from faraway places.

This happens when he gets under the fence and goes snuffling around the neighborhood, which is strictly forbidden so it only happens roughly three or four times a day.

Here are some of the items Wendell has brought back from his travels: stuffed animals (several regular teddy bears and a duck wearing shorts and suspenders and a little cap), hand tools, unmentionables, a slice of pepperoni pizza (still warm), a plastic Godzilla one foot tall, a carburetor, 10,000 balls (tennis, golf, and other sports), a new pair of socks (tag still on it).

Those are just some things. We don't have room to list everything. It is possible he is running some type of backwoods delivery service. We just don't know.

Anyway you might think a dog that has the nerve to snatch a slice of pizza that is still warm or a carburetor which somebody almost certainly needs, probably a large person with muscular forearms, you might think a dog like that would be very brave.

But that is not the case.

Yesterday Wendell was sitting in the living room and he started shaking and shaking uncontrollably, which is what he does when he is in the grip of a terrible fear. The farmer looked out the window from whence the horror came and there was a deer in the yard. More of a fawn, really.

And last week Wendell was in the barn and the farmer shooed him out but he wouldn't go which is a serious violation. "Get out, Wendell!" the farmer yelled, but Wendell just sat there shaking and shaking like the end was near. The farmer looked out and the tuxedo cat from next door was strolling through the garden. Wendell was pop-eyed with terror.

So you might think that a little dog afraid of a tuxedo cat and a fawn must be a terrible coward. But consider the case of Wendell and B.D., in which Wendell routed a bold, gigantic coyote.

So maybe he is both, a terrible coward with the heart of a lion and the guts of a burglar. And a traveling dime store all his own.