Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The End of the Line

There was a show. There was too much to do the farmer did not want to go to the show. Blue Jaye looked beautiful, she had spent two weeks learning how to go around in a circle without pancaking or swordfish walking, then all of a sudden she got lopsided and her production dropped like a stone and the farmer said forget it, just forget it, I am not taking Sandy the screamer and Morchella is too fresh and Clara Belle really has milked off a little too much weight and Crayola is still limping from hurting her foot and it would take four hours to clip Marti and Clover won't bag up so forget it just forget it let's just forget about it what is the point anyway it is a little ridiculous walking around in a circle with a goat on a hot day when the fence is falling down and the gates have yet to be hung and it costs a lot of gas money to get to the show not to mention the entry fees so let's just forget it.

Then the farmer looked out into the pasture where Crumpet was browsing away pretending to be a horse and even though Crumpet was extremely tiny she had grown two inches in the last two months and she was almost the size of a regular six-month old Nigerian, which would be good if she weren't a yearling, and the farmer looked at Crumpet and in spite of her extreme tininess Crumpet was perfect in every way and Crumpet knew it very well.

"I could just take Crumpet," the farmer muttered, perhaps having suffered a mild stroke or some other brain malady of unknown origin. "I could just put Crumpet in a crate and just take Crumpet."

"But Crumpet is too small to show," said the vestigial smidgen of the farmer's brain that was still functioning correctly. "And what about those gates? When are they going to be hung?"

The farmer from Minter Bay had also apparently suffered a mild stroke and agreed - reluctantly - to go as well. Into the truck and off they went at zero dark thirty, so early that most of the scintillating conversation en route was about the pleasantness of the traffic. "Look, there is hardly any traffic," one of the farmers would say.

"Isn't this nice," the other would say.

"What about that parade in Seattle?" one would say.

"I hope we don't get caught in that traffic," the other would say.

"Look," the first would exclaim, "there is hardly any traffic."

The people in Seattle may ride their bicycles naked but they are not so crazy that they get up at 4:30 and drive two hours to a goat show.

At the fairgrounds all the Nigerians were screaming in protest. But not Crumpet. She sat in her crate chewing her cud shrewdly and surveying the motley crew of reluctant pageant participants and you could see her thinking aloud, "these fat girls are no match for me."

The day dragged on interminably with the usual goat show delays. As usual the Minter Bay goats did very well, both of them making it to the championship lineup. By the time Crumpet went into the ring it was mid-afternoon. There were a bunch of other dry yearlings, probably twelve or thirteen, and several - if not most - of them were quite fat. Some were beautiful and fat, some were just fat. One was already at the height limit. She was a good six inches taller than Crumpet.

This is not one of those stories where Crumpet triumphs over the fat yearlings. The first judge started arranging the lineup. He glanced briefly at Crumpet and put her near the end of the line. Another judge did not even look at her, not a single glance, before putting her right at the end of the line. The third judge took his time and patiently looked each goat over thoroughly. He put Crumpet at the end of the line.

But as he went down the line giving his reasons, he stopped when he got to the end.

"This little doe at the end of the line is extremely correct," he said. "in fact there is nothing wrong with her. She is perfect. She is just too small to be competitive."

"That's right," thought Crumpet, surveying the fat losers ahead of her in line with pity and compassion as one should when regarding those less fortunate. "Perfect in every way."

This gentleman has a firm grasp of the obvious, thought the farmer. Unlike me.