Monday, October 04, 2010

The Cruel Twist

They had the Harvest Festival Farm Tour last weekend. This is where people go around our Peninsula looking at pumpkins and chickens. They track mud everywhere and park in the ditches.

The farmer came out to see if anyone might like to go and represent the goat kingdom at the neighbor's farm, which was on the tour. There was a big stampede out the back of the barn, led by everyone. Not even Tangy wanted to represent the goat kingdom.

"That is ok," said the farmer bitterly. "We don't need any of you. We have two nice goats from Minter Bay going."

And the farmer went off to help the farmer from Minter Bay who was bringing the two goats who had volunteered to represent the goat kingdom to the public. Only as usual the farmer forgot almost everything except one folding chair, so the farmer from Minter Bay who had gone to all the trouble of bringing the two "volunteer" goats also had to sit on a tiny postage-stamp sized chair that looked like something a hummingbird might perch on. That was while our farmer lounged on a full-sized comfy chair, not even looking apologetic.

Anyway the two volunteers were Filbert, Hannah Belle's son who has become a goat celebrity from last year's Harvest Fest where he got his picture on the front page of the paper. And George, aka Curious George, one of Alice's mini-mancha triplets from this summer. George is a baby and he put on a show of shivering and whimpering while Filbert chewed his cud in a blase fashion.

Filbert is known as a professional goat.

Anyway the public started coming and it turned out in a cruel twist of fate that Filbert once again was the Candy Goat. This means he was wearing a little pack and the pack was filled with candy. Good candy, like tiny Milky Way bars. Not sourballs wrapped in plastic and petrified candy corn.

So this made Filbert extremely popular. "Why don't you take a look and see what he has in his pack," the farmer from Minter Bay would say to the children, and they would look in the pack and give a little gasp of delight.

The people who owned the farm were selling animal treats for a quarter. So all the children had little sacks filled with peanuts and cracked corn and carrot slices. And they would all give Filbert something in exchange for their Milky Ways, so he had an excellent racket going, and spent most of the day licking his lips. That part was not the cruel twist.

The cruel twist was George, shivering and whimpering. He was the Trash Goat.

"Now don't forget," the farmer from Minter Bay would say. "When you finish your candy, put the wrapper in George's pack. He is the trash goat."

That is why I don't volunteer for any of these expeditions. Because even though I know someone gets to be the Candy Goat, I know there will also be somebody who gets to be the Trash Goat. And that is all the incentive I need to stay home.