Sunday, January 8th, 2006
From time to time people have tried to give Mr. Newman a middle initial.
Not a middle name, just a middle initial. We had Mr. Newman T. Goat (T being for the compost tea we were thinking about marketing). Mr. Newman P. Goat (you can guess what the P stands for). Somehow nothing has really stuck. So for years it’s been just “Mr. Newman Goat”. I would now like to amend this to Mr. Newman I. Goat. I=”I’ll try anything once.”
Folks, goats have a bad reputation around here – nationwide, as far as I know. Worldwide, in fact. People say they eat tin cans and clothing, and that really is not true. They might TASTE a tin can, or in Newman’s case, he drinks out of them (coke and beer, mostly), and they might nibble on clothing that has any aura of food about it. But come on, goats are not dumb!
Last night I was reminded again of Mr. Newman’s willingness to explore all things culinary. Taking some romaine lettuce out to the new baby turkeys, I offered a small piece to a sheep, who sagely turned it down (“we’re sheep, doofus, we eat grass”). Still, everyone could see that I had something edible in my hands – I think there must be a neon glow that surrounds all foodstuffs that only ruminants can see, because even a cup of coffee will get me surrounded by The Mob. At any rate, back to the lettuce – I did politely offer the leaf to a number of animals as I pushed through the crowd, but you could practically see their lips curling in distaste. And Mr. Newman? Mr. Newman boldly stepped right up to me and wrested the leaf of lettuce from my fingers, crunching on it and proclaiming it “EDIBLE”, swiftly following me to try to grab more.
Sigh, if only I could keep him happy with bits of lettuce. Alas Mr. Newman has a wandering eye. It appears we may need to move forward with the plans to fence in the entire house like the battlements at Edinburgh Castle, because he has recently discovered how much fun it is to pull the vinyl siding off the side of the house. And we’re not even finished with re-doing the screened in porch that he bashed to pieces a few years ago or replacing the window sills he gnoshed on.
Cars continue to be a problem. We’re lucky in that most people see it as a funny novelty when they see Mr. Newman’s distinctive white bottom sticking out of their window from the driver’s seat. Our volunteer was lucky; she had just bought a brand new car but didn’t get any tickets due to the bite marks taken out of her temporary license plate. I, personally, however, have not always been so lucky.
Inspired, in point of fact, by Mr. Newman Goat’s entrepreneurial spirit, I recently decided to launch a new web services business called “Hoofprints Consulting”. I bought a really slick new Blackberry for the business, complete with super duper anytime minutes and Internet access on it (so my clients can reach me even when I’m in the pastures). I selected the bright red model so that it would be hard to misplace. I painstakingly typed in all my contacts and set up my email account. And I made the fatal mistake of leaving it in my truck overnight. The following morning the truck door was swinging open and the $200 piece of electronics….. as Montgomery Gentry would say: “Gone like a freight-train, gone like yesterday, Gone like a soldier in the civil war, bang bang.”
Perhaps the “I” in Mr. Newman I. Goat needs to also stand for “I have no choice to but love him….”
Till next time,
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats http://www.stargazingfarm.org