It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Murphy, Oh Murphy

"Murphy? Look at me boy. What's the matter?"

This was behavior that I was familiar with . My father, when upset with us, would stop talking. It could last from an hour to many days. it was his way of dealing with the incessant demands of being a father..., and, always, when he was angry about something.
But, this was a GOAT.
"Murphy? don't be like this. You mustn't turn away for lack of words. Tell me what's wrong."
Without moving from between the two oak trees he turned his head and said, in a low and quiet voice...
"Bopethewyllysia bod o'r gouau." His eyes were filled with love and understanding. I knew, then, that this was not about my father at all. It was about Murphy and his ability to understand things; to feel things that other goats didn't.
Even though he had a rudimentary command of the English language, I always thought that English was not his "first" language. When he was a little goat and he was in his learning to dance stage, he would say words like "wydth" and "mewn". Beautiful sounding words that sang from him, like musical lyrics to some ancient song, while he danced around the goat yard. I laughed, with the other goats, saying that Murph' was "being mythical" and that he was "speaking in the other tongue." He always seems to be from another place.

Now he was telling me something that he couldn't say in English and I didn't understand.
"Bopethewyllysia bod o'r gorau" There it was again and then ..., he slowly walked over to me......
Murphy looked up at me and, in the language of his life now, said...
"Everything will be alright, Farmlady."
I reached down and touched this beautiful animal; this quiet, sometimes distant animal that seems so different from the rest. He let me rub his ears and neck, watching me intently.
"Thank you, sweetie. I know it will."
and without the other goats vying for attention as they usually do..., Murphy nuzzled my hand and whispered "Cara 'ch", and a breeze came through the oak tree, circled around me like arms; protective, loving...., and then moved in wider circles until it disappeared into the hills beyond. I heard this voice once more before it was gone, only this time it wasn't Murphy's. It was my mother voice, within the circle of wind , saying "I love you, my daughter. Everything will be alright."
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8 comments:

Sue said...

Chills.....
You are a story teller with great feelings.
hugs, Sue

Laura ~Peach~ said...

murphy and your mom are right... and yes it is me with the name on the mix :) hugs :) and grits :D

jojo said...

I've got a tear or two here... that is just beautiful.

KaReN EiLeeN said...

I soooooooooooooovloved reading your post. First time here....I will be back again and again. I am a Farmgirl at heart and waiting to raise my own farm animals soon.......if they are even half as sweet as yours........
Karen Eileen

KaReN EiLeeN said...

My Sympathy on the passing of your mother...good to have your goats for comfort...

KAREN EILEEN

Eve said...

It will Farmlady...it will.

Good sweet ol Murphy!

Reddirt Woman said...

Murphy is a special, special goat and he truly loves you FarmLady. He feel your pain and has to wait until he has your full attention so you will understand what he needs you to know... It will be alright. He is a mystical fellow for sure. And such a sturdy lad that you know you are safe to lean on him.

Thank you for my tears. You can sure tell a story my friend. As can Magical, mystical Murphy. Does he still dance?

Helen

Jan Ely said...

Anyone that can make you feel better in this time of grief is a true friend. Hug that goat and hug those trees.