Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
I never thought I’d come to say these words, but Mr. Newman Goat has actually done the farm a favor … in a very backhanded goat-ish sort of way. After the back porch demolition derby, he has been working for some time now on chewing off bits and pieces of the house – the wood frames to the windows on the office and the wood siding on the older part of the house. The vinyl siding enrages him (neither chewable nor tasty) and so he has taken simply to head-butting the wall every day for about 15 minutes to keep his neck muscles in shape.
Well, I finally asked my neighbor, a carpenter, to come over and look into replacing some of the window frames and siding. Alas, I cannot blame the subsequent alarming findings on Mr. Newman… but in fact were it not for Mr. Newman’s superficial chewing damage, we never would have pulled off the siding and discovered the unfortunate fact that the sill board underlying an entire wing of the house has rotted away and those walls have no footing.
Now, I will not go so far as to credit him with good intentions in these endeavors, but nevertheless, losing the foundation to one’s house is somewhat critical information to obtain. Thank you, Mr. Newman. I think.
Several people have commented that “Farmer Anne has been kind of quiet this year.” Yeah, OK, I get the hint (but remember I’m the lady with no foundation under her floors). You think that the animals don’t bug me about this all the time, too? Evidently they feel that my PR efforts on their behalf have been less than satisfactory. Fred (the sheep) still blames me for not being able to get his Letter to the Editor published in the Gazette.
(I tried Fred, I really did, I even sent your photo). The truth is, it’s my understanding that the animals have been advertising for a new secretary.
Shocking, but true. I’ve no doubt that given half a chance Mr. Newman would learn how to type (he once did, in fact, jump up on the shelf holding my computer keyboard but it didn’t survive the landing). What I’ve found is that they’ve begun discussing their issues with a dear friend who has been taking animal communication courses. She has been good enough to clue me in on things, and while I won’t relay all of their secrets here (though a failure as a secretary, I do understand something about confidentiality agreements), some thoughts recorded from Mr. Newman do bear repeating.
The first words out of his mouth: “Well, I have a lot to say”. No, really?
Shoot, we all thought Newman had nothing on his mind whatsoever….
Evidently he feels there are “a lot of ducks” here. I don’t personally think that 13 ducks on a farm is really overdoing things, but I do admit they are somewhat noisy at night just before going to bed. Since Newman lurks around the duck pen at evening feeding time hoping to steal some grain, and rushes in as soon as the pen is open in the morning, I’m not sure why he would mind about “a lot of ducks”. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s recently learned how to bash in the galvanized steel door to the duck pen and has on at least 3 separate occasions locked himself in there with the birds. Being fond of these feathered creatures I can’t imagine having much objection to their company, but as well all know, goats are particular.
What really has us stymied was the absolutely straight-faced uttered words, “Life is hard here”. I’m trying to wrap my mind around that one. Unless he was exhibiting sympathy (unlikely!) towards the human who spends hours a day cleaning, feeding, fixing, tending, and worrying about where the next dollar will come from to pay for everything, I’m at a loss to know what he means.
This is Newman’s daily fare:
Free, unlimited food.
Fans in the barn.
Neighbor’s porch furniture to lounge on.
Sheep to beat up.
A woods full of delicious trees and berries, and when those don’t satisfy,
There is always an entire house to eat.
Mr. Newman even has his own exclusive roof upon which he indulgies in daily mid-afternoon sunbaths. He gets first crack at the grain, and helps himself to electronic equipment left in my truck. I certainly do not want to belittle his claim that he has a hard life, but I do think that a goat with not only verbal but advanced architectural skills could provide some substantiation for his claims. But I’m almost afraid to ask….
Till next time,
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats http://www.stargazingfarm.org