As one gets older, one tends to repeat oneself. It’s so amusing to young people who can’t imagine NOT having mental clarity, yet second nature for those of us over 40 to ask “or did I already tell you that?” So you’ll all forgive me if I repeat myself here and say that many people, when they visit Star Gazing Farm, say they wish that they, too, could have a farm sanctuary/live in the country/be out with nature all the time.
And I repeat: Dudes. Think about it. Think about weeds, 100-200 pounds of manure production a day, escaping steers, the odor of duck poop, what happens to dry dirt when it rains 3 inches in one day, barn mucking in 100 degree weather. If nothing else, think about Mr. Newman Goat.
Today I was fortunate enough to have help with buying and hauling in feedbags. Dr. Cinthia Fabretti, a wonderful veterinarian from Brazil who has been helping out with animal care and getting all of our medical records in good order as she awaits her final Maryland vet license, took a trip to the feed store with me. Now, I come and go in my pickup all the time. The only time I really evoke any interest amongst the animals is when there are bags of feed in the back of the truck (“yo, it’s da feed truck!”), and they converge like locusts. Enormous locusts with horns.
Today, however, we took Cinthia’s vehicle, and here’s the weird thing: Newman saw us driving in the gate, and from the expression on his face I KNEW that he knew that we knew he knew what we were transporting. What is this, goat ESP? He chased us up the hill and attacked us as soon as we got out of the car. It kinda felt like he was nailing us from both sides at the same time, but I’m thinking that isn’t possible. Right?
The good doctor has formally offered to serve as a witness for any future assault (not to mention breaking and entering) charges we may want to bring against Mr. Newman Goat, since he not only opened the back of her car and helped himself to one of the bags, but he also nearly knocked her over and undoubtedly caused bruising, if not of the body, at least of the ego.
Feeding the animals around here has its problems, in general. Anyone who has visited will attest to everyone’s round tummies. No one is even remotely starving, but to listen to any of them go on and on about “food this” and “food that”, and “when will the food come out, and, “oh, there she is, there is fresh hay, let’s go, rush her, but no, on second thought we’d rather have oats … ok so where the h*ll are the oats, lady, let’s rush her!?” you’d think that they haven’t eaten in weeks.
So they have me trained. Early in the morning before heading off to work at the county jail I trudge up the barn stairs and get them a bale or two of hay to “tide them over”. The stuff has a funny way of flying about, however. More than once a colleague has reached over and plucked a piece of it out of my hair. The thing is, it’s a bit of a dilemma when you find yourself in front of a class of male inmates and realize that there are at least 2 extremely itchy pieces of hay stuck inside your bra.
So I say to you romantics: think three or four or five times about this silly notion you have about moving out to the country, and when you get unnatural things lodged in your underwear, don’t bother complaining to me!
Till next time,
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats