Truck Tales from the Farm

For those of you who have met Mr. Newman Goat — and for those of you who have not, but wish you had — you will know that of course he is a “car guy”.

Very early in his stay here at Star Gazing Farm he taught himself how to open up my truck doors with his mouth, aided by his nose and horns (it’s actually about a 5 step process which tells you something about his IQ not to mention his persistence). What might not be known is that goats have an incredibly strong sense of smell, and Mr. Newman is no exception. That is to say, should one be carrying a box of Dunkin’ Donuts in the cab of the truck, a goat might get wind of them.

I want to say up front that it is not my habit to be carrying around boxes of donuts (in my truck or otherwise). Nevertheless, I suppose it won’t surprise you to learn that Mr. Newman did discover such a box about 3 weeks ago, opened the truck door with alacrity the moment I was out of sight, stepped onto the passenger seat, and dispatched the box of donuts (as well as the donuts themselves).

The difficulty here is that I had just moments before gathered the chicken eggs for the day, and being a bit of a lazy farmer, I had laid them carefully in the passeneger seat of the truck until I drove back down to where there were fewer steps between me and the refrigerator. Said eggs were not only broken by Mr. Newman Goat’s hooves, but ground thoroughly into the fabric seat, where they festered and stank for well over a week. Perhaps two.

There is, to my knowledge, no cleaning product that removes rotten egg smell from old farm trucks. The fact that the air conditioning has not worked in this vehicle for two years suddenly became an odd blessing since I’ve become used to “that windblown look” during the summer, and open windows are an imperative when rotten eggs smells are about.

Which brings me to the next stage of the life of this old truck. I like to call this “The Adventure of the $400 Bale of Hay”. You see, for the moment (until I can locate some spare change or it becomes too cold to stand the breeze), there is a permanent open window just behind the driver’s seat.

The unfortunate event that blasted it open occurred on a day I was transporting a 1000 pound round bale of hay in the bed of the pickup, and was forced to stop suddenly by an uncertain/untrained/imbecile traffic control dude working in a really very bad location on a steep hill in Boyds.

Said 1000 pounds came crashing through the back window of the pickup as my foot slammed on the brakes.   Word has it replacement costs for the window are over $370 at the cheapest auto glass place, and since it’s summertime and the AC doesn’t work anyhow, why not just leave it be? (For the record, I realize you city slickers will not “get” this concept at all. I offer no apologies nor explanations except to say, YOU try living out here with Mr. Newman Goat and insane traffic control people and you may begin to get into the “good enough for me” groove).

I don’t know if it is the broken window, the rotten egg smell emanating from within, or the multiple hoof marks and dings and dents on the sides, hood, and roof of the vehicle (some in fact created by steers Rocky and Bullwinkle whose fetish with my truck is considerably bizarre but will need to be detailed in another story), but I’ve discovered the most amazing power on the road: when I want to merge into traffic, people yield to me. No one wants to risk an encounter with this vehicle. You know the rules around here, right? Keep on driving and pretend you don’t see the SOB on your right trying to edge in. Yield to no one! And yet just today a nice looking red sedan let not only a really dirty dump truck get in front of it, but me, too.

I’ve long thought that despite the havoc Mr. Newman Goat has wrought on the farm since his arrival 5 years ago, that maybe, somehow, he is trying to do me a favor. That maybe deep down under all the bravado, he loves me. What scares me is the notion that he might have had this all planned out….

Till next time,

Farmer Anne

Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3

A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats