Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And They're Off

Well the Super Bowl smackdown finally came on the schedule and Zinnia the Ninnia aka the Beady-Eyed Sourpuss was turned out in the milker pasture with Wronny. She went out there with her two kids, A.J. and Edie, who are inexplicably sweet and adorable although I guess it is not that inexplicable since Chaos is their father.

Okay, first of all, confidence: what is it? Is it stealing lunches from little kids? Is it t-boning the slow-witted? Is it sneaking up behind an intelligent, kindly, extremely correct (except for the chandelier udder) Nigerian and biting its ear while it is trying to take a nap? That's right, Zinnia, I am talking to you. The answer to all these questions, especially the last one, is no.

Confidence comes from deep within the rumen of the true herdqueen. Confidence is its own reward. Confidence is like a little bird that flies NORTH for the winter. WHY NOT TRY SOMETHING NEW? Confidence babbles happily like an Alpine brook; it knows its way down the mountain. Confidence is the peace that passes understanding, like a bucket of warm Cherry trance-milk. Ommmm. Confidence lies sleeping in the sun, because there is no need to get up.

Getting up is exactly what Wronny did not do when Zinnia swaggered into the milker pasture radiating what she thought was confidence. Oh Wronny saw her, but really, some things really do not merit one's personal attention. Wronny flicked an eye over at two of her underling lieutenants, Elbie and Schwinnie, and they took off like a shot - yes, My Queen! - in Zinnia's direction.

Zinnia quivered out one last swagger and then realized too late that her confidence was really arrogance. Her brain shut down in a flood of panic. She wheeled and ran. And ran.

And ran, with the portly Hounds of Hell warm - Hot burns too many calories - on her heels.

Wronny yawned and went back to sleep. Ommm.

Losers please send licorice (black.)

c/o Millie
Herron Hill Dairy
Home Wa 98349.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Staring Circle

It has been a beautiful August here, no rain except a few sprinkles and not too hot, only in the 80s or so and sometimes in the 70s. The farmer got out the clippers and has systematically been shaving the fair candidates to see what is in there under all that hair. Blue Jaye was shaved and she looked beautiful but she isn't making much milk. Clara Belle also looked beautiful. Clover did too.

Marti was shaved and sometimes she looks pretty good, sometimes she has the topline of a brontosaurus. She just keeps rising like a loaf of bread dough and she can't always be punched down. One day the rear is too high, the next day the front, the third day she looks good.

Sandy was shaved and she looked surprisingly good except for her head, which looks like a miniature donkey's head, with a wattle on each side only one wattle is under her ear where it is supposed to be and the other kind of dangles lopsidedly along her neck which isn't a good look. Also they aren't the same size, one is a grape and one is more of a ping pong ball. When everyone saw what Sandy looked like under her hair we cleared a small circle around her for staring and now she travels around with her own little buffer zone, the staring circle, which no one ventures into.

"Oh dear," said Abby, when she saw her daughter Sandy in her hairless glory. Pebbles did not get shaved because she did not settle so she won't be going to the fair. Pebbles is the pretty twin. Sandy is the unsung twin, and there was quite a chorus of unsinging when she came out of the cutting salon in the barn.

"Is she adopted?" asked Crumpet. Crumpet is one of Sandy's little sisters.

Derringer, one of Clover's daughters, also got a haircut. "Hmm," said the farmer, when Derringer came prancing out.

This does not bode well for Derringer. Usually when the farmer says "Hmm," the farmer then says,  "I don't expect her to come in last." And sure enough, a few minutes later the farmer remarked to The Terror as Derringer went pronging back to the Pear Tree Pasture, "I don't expect her to come in last."

The Terror was busy eating hoof clippings and didn't say anything.

For Derringer, sadly, this probably means a lifetime of goat shows, unless she has the good sense to grow her udder out in the shape of a chandelier, which is what I did, and I have never been anywhere near a ferris wheel and I wouldn't know an elephant's ear from a corn dog.

Anyway the farmer allowed that we might get a couple of ribbons at the fair.

"Especially since we have a secret weapon this year," the farmer explained to The Terror.

The Terror was asleep by now, and didn't say, "Secret Weapon? What Secret Weapon?"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

We Are The World

A funny thing happened and that was we almost forgot about Moldy coming from Oregon. In fact the other day Crumpet scoffed when someone told her Moldy was from Oregon. Moldy is Crumpet's grandmother.

"Moldy was here the day I was born. She has been here her whole life."

I guess Crumpet thinks the world sprang into existence on the day she arrived. The whole planet was made specially for her, even the alfalfa and the leaves on the trees, and before she was born it was just all stuffed into a closet somewhere or the trunk of someone's car, no need for it. But when she was born Snap, same day delivery, get The World out of the trunk, Crumpet is here. And don't forget Moldy.

Which just goes to show how delusional she is when we all know that the world would have started when Baby Belle was born years ago, back when there was no Oregon, only Walla Walla and the Key Peninsula. 

That is what Izzy was explaining to Crayola when she got t-boned into the side of Winnie's shed by one of the LaMancha yearlings, one of the fat ill-mannered ones, oh wait they are all fat and ill-mannered. Anyway the LaManchas insisted that the world started in Port Orchard, just north of here, because that's where Brandy was born.

I guess there is some truth to that, so we will include that in our history book if we ever write it, that when the world started there was only Walla Walla, the Key Peninsula, and Port Orchard. That seemed settled until little Marti, the great-granddaughter of our old scatterbrained Stacy said "what about the Nubians?"

Because it's true, the Nubians were here, scatterbrained Stacy and beautiful kind Marti, when the world began, so we really ought best to include them in the history book, at least in the foreword if there isn't room for them in any of the more interesting chapters, so that is what we will do.

"But where did the Nubians come from?' asked Crumpet, and this was a puzzler that stumped even the Nubian crosses themselves and there was a long silence until someone said, "Mars I think."

That sounded right so we took a note of it. 

Walla Walla, The Key Peninsula, Port Orchard, Mars. Thus it is written.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Main Event

Clover was able to t-bone the Terror as it was doing some fancy scurrying around the apple tree. It scurried right into her, looking behind at Clara Belle and practically t-boning itself, although Clover took the credit. Of course the Terror gave a yelp and the farmer came running to pick it up. So that is good, we scored one point, our first. It did not go to the grain bin afterward, which is odd. I hope this doesn't mean there is a new policy banning grain gorging as the treatment of choice for those with hurt feelings.

Crumpet has flopped out as a show goat and as a milk goat and her piano playing lacks artistry to say the least, so the farmer is going to make her the new ambassador goat and she will have to go around to Harvest Tours and things like that wearing a little backpack stuffed with tootsie rolls which Filbert used to do as the official Candy Goat before he got well and truly sick of it. Sad news for Crumpet. Oh well, somebody has to do it.

Zinnia whose name is really Zenyatta had the two surprise kids, Chaos kids, and she is very pleased because now she has a private stall in the barn and she gets special food. She is one of the Brandy style parents, always hovering and taking umbrage at real and imagined threats to her darling drab tots. She tried to t-bone the Terror but the Clover incident had already taught it to use its side mirrors and it dodged spryly out of the way, laughing.

The two new babies have their father's personality, which is nice for everyone since Zinnia is a beady-eyed sourpuss who thinks she owns the whole peninsula.

The appearance of the Zinnia twins means that there is an epic smackdown on the horizon: in a couple of weeks Zinnia will go out with the milkers and she and Wronny will come head to head and I don't know who will win but I do know I want a ringside seat. It will be a real Category 5 Goatnado.

Just my opinion, but it will be a cold day in Honolulu when the Sourpuss takes the Soprano.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Two Tiny Boats Against the Current

The Terror inspects Eau-de-vie, Brandy's great-great-granddaughter, and appears to find her satisfactory. We have learned that the Terror is supposed to be called "Sammy."

Sammy and Edie.

The Water of Life

Plan B we decided was to wait and see as far as the Boston Terror goes. We can wait. Just try to wait us out some time and see who wins. We can wait.

Because time will tell. Time always tells.

Time told us that Pebbles wasn't going to kid because she was due a week ago and she hadn't done anything and since she was the last one on the kidding chart the farmer rolled up all the baby towels and took them inside until next year.

And time told us that Brandy would not be with us much longer which we knew anyway since she was several hundred years old but still one of the farmer's favorites, who knows why. Yesterday she was just so tired so she had a lot of special treats and several apples, which she loves, sliced thin and fed by hand and her spirits were good and she wasn't in pain but she wouldn't get up.

"Will you get up, Brandy?" the farmer asked. But she wouldn't get up.

Today was the day.  In the morning she ate a few apple slices, and had a shot of vitamins and a shot of banamine in case she was in pain. The farmer sat with her and petted her along the neck, which she usually doesn't allow.  Brandy drank a quart of warm water with electrolytes, which made the farmer think she would rally.

"She is a tough old bird," the farmer said to the Boston Terror. The Boston Terror goes everywhere with the farmer.

The farmer got up to go do some more chores and Brandy woke with a start and called after the farmer and the farmer turned around and looked back at Brandy for a long minute. One of those looks between two old friends where only they know what it means.

Then the farmer turned away and went up to look for the paint rollers. And when the farmer came back she was gone.

That ought to be the end of the story. But it isn't. It never is.

The farmer went and started digging a grave for Brandy and the ground was so hard and dry - we have hardly had a drop of rain since June - that the farmer soon had to stop.  The farmer dragged the hose over and ran some water into the ground to try to soften it and then started digging again and then hit a shelf of hard clay and had to stop again and this went on for a while and then in spite of always hating to cause people any trouble the farmer left a message for the kindly neighbors with the backhoe and before long they arrived and lickety split they had the nicest grave dug and that may sound like cold comfort but there is something to be said for a really nice grave, especially for a herdqueen like Brandy.

Well just as Brandy was being laid to rest with an apple and a handful of dandelions there was a distant peeping cry from across the other side of the pasture. The farmer ignored the cry, and thanked the neighbors profusely because after all what is nicer than someone helping you dig a grave on a moment's notice. Nothing, really.

The neighbors left and the farmer fed the Terror and the girls behind the barn and then there was the peeping again so the farmer did a head count and came up one short and so the farmer pushed open the gate and hustled toward the cabana looking for Pebbles but the cabana was empty and Pebbles was lying indolently in the shade at the top of the hill, still fat but still not pregnant. On the way back out the farmer passed Winnie's little shed and happened to look inside and there was Zinnia, wearing a guilty expression, along with a pair of newborn twins, a boy and a girl, still wet.

"How did you get here?" the farmer asked, nonplussed. They didn't answer.

Their names are going to be Applejack and Eau-de-vie. Those are two kinds of brandy. And if you ever had seventh grade French you know that eau-de-vie means "water of life." The water that always keeps flowing.

When we look at them we will think of Brandy. And the backhoe. And the kindly neighbors. And the water of life. And the way time always tells.

7 Cedars Yogi's Brandy 4/18/2000 - 8/3/2013
Herron Hill CB Eau-de-Vie 8/3/2013 - .............

Friday, August 02, 2013

Plan A

It was decided by the power that be (Eo) that Crumpet would approach the Boston Terror and explain to it our rules for dog behavior and the consequences that might result from any rule-breakings.

"Why me?" asked Crumpet.

"Why not?" said Eo, and this proved to be a stumper. Crumpet went up toward the barn to explain the rules.

1. No chasing.
2. No barking.
3. No unsolicited opinions or offers of fake "assistance." This includes "helping" anyone to finish their dinner.

We watched with interest as Crumpet sallied forth, radiating confidence and bureaucracy despite her hamsterly size. She had gotten almost to the barn when the Terror came bounding toward her in an unnervingly friendly manner, barking gaily. Nonetheless we expected Crumpet to deliver our ultimatums and bylaws in a professional fashion but instead she turned tail and ran in abject terror, with a 4-inch tall Boston Terror nipping delightedly at her pasterns.

"The Most Famous Goat in the World," Jammies mentioned mournfully as Crumpet pronged toward the cabana.

"All right," said Eo, "let's go to Plan B."