Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still Undefeated

The farmer set up the milkstand in the middle of the barn aisle for purposes of milking Hannah Belle ALL THE WAY OUT.

Onlookers looked on.

Hannah Belle jumped right on the stand and began eating as fast as she could.

"That's nice," said the farmer. "How nice."

The farmer started milking at top speed.

Things went very well for two minutes, then Hannah Belle began performing milk evading maneuvers which drew oohs and ahs of appreciation from the spectators. Not since Scouty's udder was bitten by a spider have we seen this type of Cirque du Soleil performance.

I was frankly expecting a better showing but in fairly short order the farmer looked into the bucket dreamily, where there was two minutes worth of beautiful Nigerian milk, and said, "this will be enough for several lattes."

And that was that.

7 to 0.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Smackdown Scheduled

Everyone here is very excited. Hannah Belle's kids went home yesterday. That's too bad, but they got a nice home so it isn't sad. Hannah Belle isn't bothered.

But she is carrying around about a gallon of delicious Nigerian milk.

Which means that this morning the farmer announced, "Look at you, Hannah Belle, you will get pretty tired carrying that big bag of milk around. I will milk you out this evening."

The farmer says this every year.

"I mean ALL the way out," the farmer clarifies, for the edification of the po-faced onlookers.

"Oh really," says Hannah Belle, t-boning a mini-mancha out of her way at the feeder.

Hannah Belle is seven years old. So the farmer has said this six times. The score is Hannah Belle 6, Farmer 0.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Betty's Dilemma

Well I shut off my milk because I was afraid my chandelier might start looking too good and I did NOT want to go to the fair. I just shut it off like a faucet.

Betty's kids went to their new homes and Betty made the mistake of filling up with milk which made her udder look really beautiful.

The farmer started milking her which Betty didn't like at first. But Betty is naturally agreeable and after a couple of days she could see the upside - free lunch twice a day, followed by a licorice whip - so she quit fussing because that wasted valuable time when she could have had her head in the dish stuffing herself.

I told her Betty, I said, you better watch yourself or you will wind up at Puyallup in September. You will be in a tiny little pen and people will be staring at you like before and they will ask, "how old is this little lamb?"

"Is this one of those alpacas?" they will say.

"Can I pet it?" they will ask, looming over you like dirigibles and reeking of hot dogs and sunscreen.

"Would you mind selling me this goat?" they will inquire. "I live in an apartment but I take long walks every day."

"Why is it standing in the back of the pen," they will complain, "my little boy wants to pull its ears."

Mmm, said Betty.

Betty! I said.

Mmm, said Betty. I could see she was thinking about my helpful comments.

But I could see also that she was thinking about the beautiful stacks of free alfalfa at the Fair. The beautiful dairy alfalfa. No stems in it. Just beautiful leaves from the Columbia Basin. And also the scone crumbs in the morning before the public comes, the sleepy mornings in the barn with goats from all over to look at. And the orchard grass on the side. And the beautiful alfalfa, piled up as far as the eye can see, better than the best wedding cake in the world.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bloody Murder

Well today some people came and got Duchess, Betty's daughter. She is going to live in the north of France. Or maybe Granite Falls? Someplace like that. Anyway Duchess didn't seem to mind much because they had alfalfa in their car and she couldn't cry while she was eating so the mother and child separation was a little muted to say the least.

Bye mom, luv ya, I'll email you some alfalfa from France if I don't forget. Or Granite Falls?

But there was nothing muted with Percy, he got stuck one pasture over from his mother and screamed bloody murder after going seventeen minutes without milk. Meanwhile Jimmy was swelling up like a beach ball with the milk Percy had not drunk and pretty soon she was crying bloody murder too. Then with all the bloody murder Lucy realized her son Baxter had gone off accidentally with Percy, just following the wrong trenchcoat in the crowd, not through any intention of malfeasance. And so she started in with the bloody murder and when Baxter heard his mother screaming bloody murder one pasture away he took a good long look around him and said, 'wait a minute, these people aren't my mother," and he started in crying bloody murder.

That's what kind of day it was which the farmer knew would happen this morning after listening to the weather lady on the newscast say that today there would be "the threat of partial clearing."

That is the kind of summer we are having. A summer where a weather lady can say with a straight face, "This afternoon there is a threat of partial clearing."

Don't worry, the threat did not materialize. Just the rain. And the bloody murder.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Tiny Giant enjoys a cold frosty one at the F.O.G.

photo by Mark Virtue.

Monday, July 11, 2011

F.O.G. (Field of Goats)

The Field of Goats day was a success mostly because I didn't have to go. Tangy went and also Hannah Belle's kids Charlie and Belle. From the other farms Filbert also went, and so did Prancer the Dancer from Blackberry Hollow. Also Pepper and Buttons and the Tiny Giant, the world's largest Nigerian bottle baby, he looks like Yao Ming with wattles.

I think there was one more but really who cares. The important thing is I didn't go.

Apparently there was a pile of rocks there to climb and there was some packgoating and also feeding of the bottle baby. It seems like everyone probably had a certain amount of fun, except Charlie and Belle who spent the whole time thinking about the milk they weren't drinking, since their mother didn't come with them and they don't care for drinking from bottles.
photo by Wendy Webster

Meanwhile back at the farm we got switched pastures which we don't like so there was a rebellion with Blue's delinquent daughters refusing to stay in the new pasture. For once the usually obedient Duke and Duchess joined the rebellion and by that time I decided to join too since there was nothing else to do.

Then Betty joined and so did Joy and so I resigned from the rebellion because it was old news and also I saw there were blackberries in the new pasture.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Hay

It is the annual week of The Hay and I would personally like to take a moment to thank The Hay for its service to caprinity.

Dear Hay: Thank You.

Dear Hay: Please try to stay out of the feeders close to Betsy or you will find yourself immediately engulfed in a vast dark burbling cavern from which only berries and noxious gasses (please, Betsy, we are trying to breathe) escape.

As far as the disobedience parts 2-613 previously promised, the size of the list has grown unmanageable and cannot be attempted at this time owing to The Hay and other more pressing matters but yes there has been additional malfeasance some of it mind-boggling.

But there have also been strange obediences including an alarming pattern of cooperation by Tangy who now fancies herself a professional goat. Yesterday she allowed herself to be dressed up in a pack and new collar in preparation for this weekend's first-ever Field of Goats, a small humble event taking place at the Longbranch Improvement Club where she will parade around demonstrating Goats of Little Brain in Action.

Tangy only complained when she was asked to stop packgoating around and go back in with the general population. She did not swordfish walk or pancake herself on the ground or even so much as try to t-bone Wendell who was yipping around foolishly as usual.

"What a good girl you are, Tangy," said the farmer, "see, if you just practice a little you will see it is fun."

Sure. That's fun, carrying other people's stuff around on a hot day.

Hannah Belle thinks Tangy is saving up for one colossal disobedience, a public-swordfish-pancaking for the record books.

The suspense is killing us.

Friday, July 01, 2011


Disobedience has been running rampant here. Betty and a gang of hoodlum kids made a hole under the side fence in the front pasture and let themselves into the garden where they did not do anything productive. The participants have been issued demerits, and some of them are getting close to their limit. Oh actually one of them was me.

Big Orange and Hannah Belle got turned out in the back pasture to stretch their legs with their babies. They jumped the fence and left their screaming babies behind and started a rumble in the lower pasture that ranged up and down the hill for over an hour.

Everyone in the lower pasture has been issued demerits whether or not they actually participated because the farmer could tell that the ones who weren't participating were just waiting their turn and probably lazy on top of disobedient. Big Orange has been banned from the back pasture.

Willen the fat Haflinger broke the latch on the gate. Then he broke a fence rail.

Pinky kicked over a bucket of milk.

"That's the last straw!" The farmer yelled. But this was premature; there were additional straws to come.

....stay tuned...