When I was little, I told my mom I was going to be a cowgirl on a dog ranch. I liked dogs, but I loved cowboy boots….My first existential crisis arrived when I was told I couldn’t have a pony in downtown Shelton, WA. I remember standing at my bedroom window, cursing my pony-lessness, looking out into the maze of walnut tree branches, and I knew it for the first time: I was alone in this world…The smell of alfalfa, is intoxicating to me, if I could make a perfume, it would contain that citrus grass smell that I love so much….This year I decided I’m going to move slowly, take my time, chew on the end of a piece of grass, ask everyone how they are doing before I launch into what I need from them…Somehow this all relates to the goats.
They’ve changed my life. Suddenly, I have occasion to buy alfalfa. I went to Alamo Feed and Grain and got two bales of a mix of alfalfa and grass. The clerk, a man with an amazing waxed moustache (he was about 25 years old) and I chatted a spell before I bought my items. My car reeks of the stuff now.
Once home, I unloaded the bales and realized I need a pair of hay hooks. That’s just my reality. The goats love the grass and alfalfa, they chewed thoughtfully while I crammed the bales into the “hay loft.” Then I sat in the sawdust with Bilbo and Bebe and read the newspaper (Bilbo tried to eat it), and drank some coffee. The turkeys strutted over to investigate. A chicken came, laid an egg, then headed out again. A bunny on the loose came out of nowhere, installed himself in a sunny corner, and fell asleep, ears flat against his body. Alfalfa from the hay rack fell onto my hair made me sneeze a little, drifted into my cowboy boots that didn’t seem quite so ridiculous in downtown Oakland anymore. Everything was so calm and peaceful. Bebe made a little bah-bah noise to me. I don’t speak goat, but I assumed it was a request for some sunflower seeds, which I dug up from the shed. Bilbo came over for a scratching, like a dog. Bunny, chicken, turkey, goat, human. Was this the dog ranch I had pined for so long ago?