Goat story

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?

12 responses to “Goat story

  1. What a great post: There should be a gift registry for new goat owners. You could put hay hooks on your wish list. Though it seems like you have already many wished-for things, including that alfalfa aroma.
    Best of luck with the kidding!

  2. LOVE it! This is definitely the picture of bliss.

  3. Riana Lagarde

    oh i am crying, this is so beautiful.

    i adore the smell of alfalfa too. do you think its because we grew it on the ranch? the big bend after the gate was alfalfa. i have some sprouting in a jar right next to me. i also drink it like tea. i’ll figure out how to capture the essence and make a perfume for you. hmm pork fat or water distillation?

    i am so happy for your farm, its so wonderful and makes me so happy for you! big hugs

  4. i love this story. love it.

  5. Thank you for sharing this story! What we, the blog reading public, need now is a Goat-Cam.

  6. Riana Lagarde

    i second the goat cam. i have an old web cam that i never used, do you want it?

  7. bhaaeee
    mheaaee
    bhhaaaa

    Love the sound of goats in the morning…

  8. soulandsubstance

    I love your blog. Please come visit my brand-new blog about sustainable urban agriculture, called http://urbansubsistenceliving.blogspot.com/
    I’d be honored if you would consider contributing from time to time.

  9. I love reading your blog, Novella :)

    And I’m getting a great vicarious thrill out of your having Bebe and Bilbo on the farm.

    Alfalfa smells intoxicating. I’m thinking a bit of hay absolute, some broom, and other coumarin-rich essences would be a good start, with some violet leaf to inject a dose of chlorophyll. (Uh oh, you brought out the perfume nut in the bunch!)

  10. Novella Carpenter

    thanks y’all! i’m so glad to spread the joy.
    riana, bring the webcam to nyc, and i’ll mount it. it will not only be a goat cam but a chicken, rabbit, and turkey sex cam!!

  11. You do know that any self respecting goat WILL eat that goat cam don’t you?

  12. Wow! After all I got a webpage from where I can truly get valuable information concerning my study
    and knowledge.

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