I suppose everyone gets just a little frisky when the weather turns nice, the grass is green, the flowers are blooming, mama birds are sitting in nests with baby birds, and everyone takes off their winter clothing. Mr. Newman has been shedding his undercoat of cashmere and truly, he looks awful. He rubs up against fences, leaving traces of the stuff behind, and tufts of white fluff are sticking out from his body at all angles. This does not, however, have any effect whatsoever on his self esteem. Imagine waking up with a slight hangover, alligator breath, hair sticking out from one’s head, clothing rumpled, and yet having the self assuredness and ego of a goat like Newman. I’d say this is something we ought to all strive for.
Along with the attitude comes, naturellement, the Newmanish behavior. On Sunday afternoon I received a phone call. “Hello, this is your neighbor’s son.” “Yes?” “You know, I’m the police officer.” My blood started racing. I thought, he must know about the ticket I got for the busted taillight, and I thought of all kinds of stories to start telling as to why I hadn’t fixed it yet, pant pant. What is it about cops that brings out the guilty in all of us. But I digress. “Your ram is out heading for the street, ma’am, and I thought you ought to know about it.”
Now, as far as I know, I don’t have a ram, but the certainty in his voice that this must be one of my gang made me go racing out only to see NEWMAN enjoying the long grass in the front yard. As soon as he saw me, he guiltily leapt over the fence back into the pasture.
“Oddly enough, some owners have little trouble keeping goats on the farm with seemingly simple fences, while others couldn’t keep a goat on Alcatraz. ” – Clemson University Goat Handbook
Later that very same day, I went out to the back porch and found Newman standing there. Not so unusual – the garden fence has been busted for some time, and he and the lambs (aka The Terrible Two) have been regularly sliding under it, and helping themselves to whatever goodies they think don’t exist outside the garden fence. The only problem was, it appeared that he could not move. He seemed to be wearing an enormous white babushka on his head, and was standing stock still. What was most unnerving was his seriousness. You must know by now that Newman laughs at all of us most of the time, but at this moment he looked like a banker or a lawyer, yeah, I’d say it was more a lawyer-like look he had to him. Maybe he was meditating.
Swami Newman? I don’t know what it is about humans that make us so sluggishly slow to react in bizarre circumstances (had Newman found me tied up in a large white babushka I feel certain he would have taken immediate action…). But soon enough I realized that he had gotten his horns completely tied up and knotted in the Mexican hammock and was absolutely immobilized.
One could speculate just exactly what he thought he was doing with that hammock, but it’s probably left unsaid.
There are times when I just want to scream “I don’t get it! No one else wears hammocks on their heads on this farm!” There are times like this morning when the mild mannered couple who stopped by ask in all seriousness what exactly it is that Newman wishes to obtain from inside their car.
There are the times when I try to walk up the driveway and he blocks every step of my way, like that mean neighborhood boy who wouldn’t let me walk down the sidewalk when I was 6 years old. There are, quite frankly, a lot of these times. But today as Mr. Newman Goat sat on his throne in the sunshine surveying his fiefdom, looking more handsome than Antonio Banderas and more self assured than Sean Connery, I thought, I’m really lucky that this being, this goat, this person, this incredible bigger-than-life dude decided to make Star Gazing Farm his own.
Till next time,
Farmer Anne Star Gazing Farm
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats