Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Photo: Claire de Lune, formerly of Bent Barrow Farm,
and young Jasper Jules frolicking on a different winter day.

The goats made an admirable show of ingenuity today: they broke out, shoving the gate aside as FarmWife wrestled with her barrow full of frozen droppings. They had freedom. They had liberty. They had adventure.

They traded it all in for a frozen goat turd.

Here's how it happened. FarmWife, knowing from experience that the goats would only be caught with a bribe, looked around. No grain. No hay. No gravel, even, to rattle in a tin. What she did have, and in abundance, were nice solid little poopsicles! Scooping a few into an empty bucket, she rattled away.

Missy, Empress of All the Light Touches, succumbed first. This is good, because Missy is the one most likely to make real mischief when at large.

Jasper Jules, Garden Tool, succumbed second. You'd think he would have learned from watching his mother that no good could come from sticking ones head into that bucket, but he hadn't. It is a good thing HE was caught, as he is the one most likely to do something oafish like trip on the raised beds or knock over a muck fork when at large.

B.G. was the last to investigate the poopsicles, and the first to try to taste them. FW stopped her in time, and rewarded them all with a bite of apple at her next opportunity. It wouldn't have been too bad if B.G. had stayed loose—she loves jailbreaks so much that she might have just trotted in circles through the orchard and garden for hours, head high, in her best Proud Arabian Stallion routine. She would not have thought to make for the lane and true freedom.

I, Fenway Bartholomule, watched the whole undertaking from a respectful distance. I would not have escaped, and if I had I would not have gone for the rattle of frozen goat droppings. I am better than that.


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