I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, January 28, 2011

What are you guys doing in the goat house?

It was after lunch yesterday when I went outside to pull some weeds, play with the dogs and talk to the goats.
Mind you, the sun was shining, it was warm, and there was a slight breeze. One of those perfect California winter afternoons.... and where were the goats? In the pasture? Lolling in the sunshine.... faces to the sun? No, those silly goats, who have been praying for the sun to shine in the past weeks of fog and cold, were inside their goat house. The door was open. They were not being prisoners denied their rights.
They heard me as I came out to the fence....
"Hi, guys. What's up? Why aren't you outside standing in the lovely sun... eating the grass and enjoying the nice day?"
Bart came over and gave me his "Hi, Farmlady. I'm so handsome. Aren't I wonderful." look. He breathed on me and got in my face,as he always does. Then Murphy gave me the cutest look and said "Hi Farmlady. Wyd mortl dayth ." I don't know what you think about goats, but this goat is very special. It sounds like Gaelic but he could be channeling my ancient Welsh ancestors. I'm not sure. Whatever it is, he's a magic one for sure.
Freckles just posed for a minute,looking toward the entrance to the pasture....
And Brownie.... well, he didn't say a word. He just looked toward the house and back at me.
Then he spoke...
" It stinks out here. When are you going to clean this pen up?"
"Well, hello to you too, grumpy. What's the problem?"
Brownie continued... "We were glad that the Prospector cleaned out our house last week but this part.... well, the extra straw on the ground it just not working. The sun never comes here near our house and it's damp and cold."
"Brownie. The gate is open all day. You can go down the run to the pasture and it's sunny there. You don't have to stay up here."
"Well, I've been watching the sun lately and I think that it is lower right now, and the house is blocking the sun from this place."
"You're very observant, Brownie."
"Observant? Is that like being annoying? I know you think that I can be annoying Farmlady. I just..."
"No, Brownie, that's not what it means. I'm paying you a compliment. It's means to be aware of things.You are a keen, perceptive goat that notices things that other goats don't. You just get a little obsessive about things and you need to lighten up a bit. The sun is shining. It may not be shining right here, but all you have to do is walk down to the pasture and you can have all the sunshine you want. The great being that oversees the world does wonderful things for us but he expects us to help too, once in a while. The two of you, together, can make your world a beautiful, sunny place.
"Oh bother, Farmlady. That was speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You tell me I'm a smart goat that notices things that other goats don't and then you say that I need to lighten up and go where the sun shines. I would rather stand right here..."
"And complain?" I asked.
"Well....." Brownie looked away.
"I suspected that, Brownie, but let me tell you something. That sun is going to move higher in the sky soon. In fact it has already moved and pretty soon it will be shinning on the goat house and this area too. You just have to wait for another month or two."
"What? Two months, three months? That's crazy. I'm not waiting that long."
"Then you can walk down the run to the pasture. The sun is shinning there."
Brownie thought about this... then he said,
"I could do that."
"Yes, sweetie, you could."
"Yes Brownie?"
"Do you love me?"
"Oh, Brownie, I love you so much it makes my heart ache."
"Even when I complain a lot?"
"Yes, even when you complain."
"Even when I'm OBSESSIVE.?"
"Yes, I love you, even when you worry too much."
"No... obsessive. When I'm obsessive."
"Right, sweetie. The words means worrying about things too much."
"Oh!... I do that, don't I?"
"Yes you do, but it's OK. I love you no matter how you are."
Brownie looked over at the gate and then at me....
"Do you have a carrot coin for me?"
"Yes, I do. Would you like one?"
"Yes, I would love one."
"Can you come over here and get it?"
"Do I have to?"
"Yes Brownie, you do."

Later in the afternoon, when the sun was only on a small part of the pasture I saw Brownie and the other goats standing on some rocks, heads toward the last remaining rays of sun, with what seemed like smiles on their faces.
I guess we all need to know that we are loved, even when we are sometimes unlovable. If it works for a obsessive, insecure old goat I guess it can work for anyone.
Have a good day.....


  1. I do not think they would like visiting me! Its snowing again and they would sink its so deep.

    They are so cute...

  2. that picture you use for your heading is fantastic, together with the O's and the G's

  3. You need to write a book. Honestly. When I read posts like this, I can even hear the different rhythm and inflection in each goats voice!

    I was seriously thinking of getting another goat or 2, but I'm starting to think they talk too much.. lol!

  4. those goats are just .... awesome :)

  5. Another good post about your goats. Hope they got a lot of sun. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  6. I agree with tatersmama. I was totally caught up in this and the lesson you were teaching US old goats.

    Everyone I know would benefit greatly from reading this post. You're pretty darn special, ya know?

  7. Howdy
    God bless you and your dear goats !
    I have been rather like Brownie with winter dragging on and wishing the sun would shine longer . Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your adorable goat family .They are truly a fascinating group. Each one has a purpose and I love the way they share with you and the way you Famlady share with us :)
    Blessings of happiness to you all
    Until Next Time
    Happy Trails

  8. This post might have been titled "When the Farmlady talks like God and the goats talk like people." Yep all kinds of things to think about in this post.

  9. Awwwwww, loved this! I just wanted to give Brownie a great big hug after reading this.
    We, too, count the days until the sun is higher than the trees around here...


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