Last Sunday we sheared our sheep here at Star Gazing Farm. Among attendees was young Sebastian, a long time friend of Mr. Newman, whom I introduced to the other visitors as “knowing many of Mr. Newman’s secrets”. Honestly, the only secret I was thinking of was the incident when his mom brought us some Black eyed Susans which Newman proceeded to eat, but I thought it would make this young boy feel good to know he “had something” on our renegade goat.
The thing is, it appears that Mr. Newman has more secrets than I imagined. It’s worse than having a cheating husband – everyone else is the first to know. You see, our neighborhood annual gathering was also Sunday, and at this event I learned some disturbing news. Evidently almost every afternoon Mr. Newman and “several other goats” have been hoisting themselves over the fence and exploring the neighbors’ gardens. The girl up the road said, “I came home from school and found them lounging on the porch furniture.” I asked, gulping, if this had happened more than once and she replied matter-of-factly, “No, we moved the furniture to the back porch.” No doubt.
Now, I figured this all occurred before we did a farm-wide fence-fixing frenzy thing. So I asked the parents, who did not seem quite as delighted as the daughter about this goat-lounging deal, whether the goat walkabouts were recent or perhaps, hopefully, a more distant memory. “Oh no”, replied the mother with alarming alacrity, “just last week.”
What I find really unnerving is that I largely work from home. That is to say, I don’t go out much. That is to say that my social life leaves something to be desired, and as a result I have a pretty good pulse on goings on at the farm (or so I thought). But I do work part time teaching local felons (and we won’t even get started on the irony of that) and it would appear that it is during those few hours of absence that Mr. Newman hops over our carefully constructed fencing to explore neighboring vegetation.
Fortunately the neighborhood has a history of wandering livestock. The folks up the road had a pony who knew how to unlatch gates and would go every afternoon to graze on the lawn belonging to a man who manicured it with tweezers. And the previous residents of my farm were raising farm hogs one of whom once bust out and went up to the top of the hill, terrorizing the lady neighbor who tried for several hours to (a) figure out who the pig was, (b) how to move her more than a few feet away, (c) how not to get charged by an 800 pound sow. I gather that the rooting the pig did in her garden has since been repaired.
The only good news in all of this is that despite his many carjacking attempts here at the farm and the shameless breaking and entering he has done in the house, so far Mr. Newman has not yet actually done much more damage than eat some local flowers and hold conferences on the neighbors’ porches. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I brought an extra big bottle of wine to the neighbors’…..
Till next time,
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats