Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pillar of Fear

The farmer put a hand on Brandy and Brandy came right up to the barn. Too skinny. And too old. Bad combination. She is eleven or twelve or something like that, a very old bag. Poor Brandy, you might think.

Wrong again. Poor barn dwellers. Brandy went in a stall with Winnie and Joy. Winnie is her daughter but you wouldn't know it since Winnie is about twice her size. Joy is a mild-mannered crybaby who always fakes something or other so she can go to the barn. She was already recoiling in horror since she was in the stall with Winnie and Winnie was telling her a thing or two and what a surprise she burst out crybabying and then Brandy arrived.

Pretty soon Winnie was recoiling in horror and Joy was relaxing at the hay feeder cheerfully. Brandy doesn't bother Joy since Joy always kowtows but Winnie is kowtow-impaired so Brandy always sprays the fear on her. That's what it's called, spraying the fear.

Brandy could spray the fear across a high school auditorium, she is that good at it, but she can also pinpoint the fear like a laser beam and that's what she was doing, lasering the fear right into Winnie's eyeballs so that Winnie was frozen in the shape of a goat statue and didn't know which way to turn while Brandy ate all the grain in a leisurely fashion and nodded cordially at Joy, who curtseyed politely from across the stall.

If you saw it and you didn't know any better you would say what a pretty tableau. A kind old goat eating grain and a nice young doe munching hay and look in the middle, a statue of a wide-eyed goat frozen with one hoof in mid-air. How whimsical, just like a scene from Heidi.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friendly Fire Continues

Some nimble farm boys came over and this is always dangerous. Within a very short time Izzy was apprehended and carried to the barn screaming "I hate you! I hate you!"

The farmer sat with her in a stall and since she was already apprehended Izzy did not see any point in refusing treats. So she ate some grain from the farmer's hand.

"I hate you I hate you," she muttered as she chewed.

The farmer came back later with part of an apple.

"I hate you I hate you," Izzy sputtered with her mouth full.

The farmer got an actual brush and brushed Izzy. "This is a horse brush!" Izzy screamed. "I hate you!"

A bunch of bottle babies crammed into the stall with Izzy and began t-boning her because she was a new girl to them. They aren't very smart so they thought Izzy had disappeared when she went under the hay feeder. She stayed under there, looking out murderously in a very Eo-like fashion.

The farmer came back with some fir branches and the bottle babies swarmed like locusts, picking the branches clean. The farmer secretly gave Izzy some alfalfa pellets while the bottle babies were distracted.

"I hate you," Izzy murmured politely, allowing the farmer to pet her for a moment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Nubians

No one is keeping score any more because it is so tiresome but if they were the score would be: Izzy 12, Farmer 0.

Izzy has not been recaptured for Friendlies and she is getting prideful.

"That farmer will never catch me," she told Acorn, the part-Nubian bottle baby who accidentally got on the wrong side of the fence somehow she didn't know how and neither did anyone else.

"What farmer?" Acorn wanted to know. Acorn forgets that there is a whole world behind her that she can't see unless she turns around. Then when she turns around she forgets the world that used to be in front of her. Sad.

But not unexpected.

Izzy has decided she wants to be like Hannah Belle, a gum-chewing safecracker.

Except Hannah Belle is VERY friendly.

Izzy doesn't care. "That farmer will never catch me."

She was sizing Acorn up as a possible underling, I could tell. Since she is the smallest goat here, Izzy has no underlings, which can be stressful.

"I won," Izzy told Acorn.

"What did you win?" Acorn wanted to know.

Then Acorn suddenly turned around and caught a glimpse of the farmer and her memory came rushing back and she ran bawling like all the bottle babies do to be coddled by the farmer.

The farmer put Acorn back on the right side of the fence and gave her a banana peel and then Acorn went skipping off behind the farmer with a whole new world in front of her.

"What did you win, Izzy?" Moldy asked, horning in on a private conversation as usual.

Izzy gave Moldy a black look and then watched her ex-underling dancing along eating treats from the farmer's pocket.

"Mind your own beeswax, Moldy," I explained.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Nine inches or so of rain coming over the next few days. What else can I say.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Welcome Wagon

Not much exciting happens here in the winter. Unless a tree blows down or a roof flies off or a coyote turns up in our pasture.

The winter is quite dull. Unless we get a new girl.

Last year we got Moldy the simperer.

This year Gracie is here. Gracie is not really a new girl. She was born here. She is a great-granddaughter of Marty our favorite Nubian but she is mostly LaMancha so she has improved intelligence, which is nice for her because she can find the barn by herself.

She went to live with a new family and only comes back to visit the buck during breeding season. That only happens once a year so almost everyone has forgotten her by the time she comes back. She should wear a red suit like Santa maybe that would help.

In this video she is only wearing a purple collar while everyone extends a friendly New Girl welcome to her.

Snow Day

They said it would be nice and sunny today and don't worry about snow, go about your business, go out and eat some brambles if you feel like it, but send your farmer to get extra peanuts because maybe it would snow tomorrow. So I won't even bother to tell you what is happening right now because you know what is happening.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Fool Me Once

The farmer came down and strolled around the down-below pasture.

Everyone followed the farmer as a courtesy for a few minutes. Then since the farmer had no food we went back to more important matters. Except Moldy who continued doggedly.

The farmer looked at the apple trees that had fallen over in the storm. The wood was partly cut and stacked.

"This will make a nice flavor in the pizza oven," the farmer commented to Moldy.

Then the farmer strolled a little closer to the cabana.

"Look here, Moldy," said the farmer, "this is where the morels grow in the spring."

Moldy simpered in acknowledgement.

Then the farmer strolled over to the cabana where I was lounging with Izzy and Ringo.

The farmer sat down on one of the rickety cabana benches and looked up at the sky in a slow-witted musing way. "Pizza Mit Pilz und Ziegenkase," the farmer murmured in astonishment.

Penrose and Joy and Winjay and Moldy and Abby and Brandy looked up at the sky to see what the farmer was looking at.

Izzy dived under the feeder.

The farmer looked over with a sigh at Izzy huddled just beyond arm's reach, chewing her cud shrewdly and giving the farmer a very frank stare.

"I will see you tomorrow, little lady," the farmer said, and got up from the cabana.

Izzy did not say anything but I knew what she was thinking.

Not if I see you first.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Izzy, One: Farmer, Zero

Izzy went on Friendlies.

This is where they carry you up to the barn and put you on mind control to improve your friendliness. It is very unusual for Friendlies to be required in the Baby Belle family. It only makes sense to be friendly. You can't get peanuts from across the room.

The mind control involves you not getting any food unless you eat it from the farmer's hand. If you eat from the farmer's hand you get a lot of nice food and treats. If you don't eat from the farmer's hand you don't eat.

The farmer took Izzy and put her in a stall alone while all the bottle babies were out browsing. A little while later the farmer came and sat in a chair in the middle of the stall ignoring Izzy and reading a book about how to build a brick pizza oven. Izzy ran around and around the stall trying to get away from the farmer.

Unlike a Nubian she realized after two trips that since the stall was 10 foot square and the farmer was in the middle, she couldn't get any further away than five feet. So after two trips she stopped running and backed into a corner and stared at the farmer balefully.

After one chapter the farmer got up and went away.

The farmer came back with Moldy a couple of hours later. Moldy follows the farmer like flypaper. "Oh Moldy, would you like some treats?" said the farmer, and fed Moldy some grain. Moldy gobbled it greedily, simpering at Izzy from across the stall.

"Oh, Izzy," said the farmer, "would you like some grain?"

Izzy turned her back.

"I see," said the farmer, and left with Moldy.

A little while later the farmer came back and picked up the book again and said, "refractory brick," looking up at the ceiling in a slow-witted musing way. Izzy looked up too, puzzled, and the farmer abruptly caught Izzy with lightning speed and sat with Izzy in the chair, petting her.

Izzy was stiff as a board and mad as a hornet.

The farmer took out a peanut and inserted it manually into Izzy's mouth. Izzy spat it out onto the floor.

The farmer took another peanut and shoved it into Izzy's mouth and held her mouth closed for a minute so she could taste it. The farmer let go and Izzy spat the peanut out and it bounced off the stall door and plonked into the water bucket. Izzy loves peanuts.

"I see," said the farmer and got up to leave.

Two can play at any game and this time when the farmer opened the door Izzy made a bold broken field run to daylight in the style of Walter Payton and before the farmer could say "I see" she was out of the barn and through the panel gate and down the pasture and through that little wedge between the railroad tie and the down-below gate and that was that.

The farmer came down later and looked at Izzy through the fence and said, "I will see you tomorrow little lady."

Izzy pretended not to notice and did not say anything but I know what she was thinking.

Tomorrow. Who cares about tomorrow. This is today.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Izzy Goes on Friendlies

The farmer came down and took my daughter Izzy just like that.

Izzy is very very tiny and the farmer wanted to examine her. Also the farmer thought Izzy was getting unfriendly because she hadn't been put on friendlies for several reasons. For one she was born at the end of the year and this is just like people who have a lot of children and the first few have to go without cake and bicycles and they have to mow the lawn and wash the dishes and learn some manners and so on and the last few dine exclusively on Belgian chocolates flown in from Brussels and they run completely wild. Simply because the parents are too tired and worn out to resist. All the parents can do is say, "now, now."

Or sometimes they will say mildly, "put that down. I mean it, now." That is all they can muster.

Anyway everyone was too tired and worn out to put Izzy and Ringo on friendlies so they were a little bit enfants sauvages as they say in France. They did as they pleased. And they were very tiny.

And being Baby Belles they were hard to catch in a fair fight and so that is why the farmer came down without advance warning and blundered about in a typical fashion pretending not to notice anything and then grabbed Izzy with lightning speed. If it had been Cherry's daughter Bing or Mel's daughter Elbe I would have said, "touche! Nicely done!"

But under the circumstances I cried foul and so did Izzy but not to any avail, she was trundled off to the barn to be put on friendlies.

If you don't know what friendlies is I will explain it tomorrow.