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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

It's time to launch my 2018 campaign...for a goat

When we had sheep, horses and cattle keeping the thistles, grasses and weeds down on the pasture were not a problem. But now that we have no grazers amongst us, our property just beyond the house yard is looking rather wild and unkempt. In my opinion, what we need is a goat. I may start a campaign.

My campaign will not go unresisted. The Farmer has a vendetta against goats, with good reason. When he was working in Manitoba for the government he drove a rental car to various client farms. One hot day, he left the windows down on his Kia to circulate the air. While he was inside speaking with the property owner, a tribe of unruly goats took advantage of the situation and climbed into his vehicle. They didn’t just scratch the exterior of the car doors with their sharp little hooves on the way in the window. They ate everything they could find on the inside.

When my husband (who was not my husband at this time) returned to his car, he was amazed (among other emotions) to discover that his briefcase had been chewed apart, and the contents had been reduced to crumbs. Worst of all, the upholstery on the seats of the government-issued vehicle had been ripped apart with tiny goat teeth and the stuffing eaten or thrown about the car. One goat was still inside, gnawing on the coffee cup holder which no doubt had added flavour from daily use.
The Farmer opened the door, grabbed the goat by the horns and removed it from the vehicle. Then he sat down on his hollowed-out car seat, slammed the door and drove away, vowing to never deal with goats again. This is what I am up against.

The Farmer’s case against goats was compounded one day when we visited friends who used to own them. Jennifer told us of when they had guests over for a barbecue, and one man parked a shiny classic sports car in the drive. Don’t worry; the windows were up….but the curious goats could not resist the temptation to confront the other goats they saw reflected in the gleaming exterior of the car. While the owner was enjoying a beer and burger on the back porch, they quietly and repeatedly dented in the doors and side panels of the circa 1968 Mustang. I think the man switched to whiskey after he saw the damage.

But seriously. Goats would be perfect! They are much like sheep in their temperament, only they are far more intelligent. They are quite mischievous and get bored if you don’t provide items for them to play with, climb on, chew and head-butt. So you build them ramps and plateaus and hiding spots and leaping platforms. You give them chew-balls and tug ropes. You let them be goats. Then you sit back and enjoy the show.

Our property beyond our half-acre of yard is basically glacial moraine. It has huge rocks embedded in and protruding from the earth, as deposited there centuries ago by a sliding glacier, apparently. This makes it nearly impossible to cut the grass, even with a bush whacker. Those rocks would destroy any equipment. Goats, however, would be thrilled. Fresh grass, meadow flowers and thistles, and rocks to climb on! Heaven. And a happy goat makes delicious milk, I’m sure. I wonder if I could figure out how to milk one. Perhaps there is a YouTube tutorial on that…

I have launched successful campaigns in the past. The trick is to let the Farmer believe getting a goat is his idea. We need two, because one would be lonely. Also two would stand a better chance against a roaming coyote, and they could keep each other warm in the winter.

This farm is pretty quiet without livestock. Our guests will be bored while poolside this summer if they don’t have anything to watch and comment on. Fergus the Golden Retriever can’t be a one-man show; that is exhausting. And the turkeys, while entertaining, won’t be here for long!

This is my proposal. I think it’s fairly convincing. Goats are entertaining, they provide milk (who knows – maybe I can even learn how to make goat’s milk soap!) and they keep the weeds down so we don’t have to.

Wish me luck in my campaign. I’m goin’ in.

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