Goat story

6 Feb

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. Moonbear February 7, 2008 at 3:40 am #

    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. C(h)ristine February 7, 2008 at 5:50 am #

    LOVE it! This is definitely the picture of bliss.

  3. Riana Lagarde February 7, 2008 at 5:53 am #

    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. samin February 7, 2008 at 6:43 am #

    i love this story. love it.

  5. Sandra February 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

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

  6. Riana Lagarde February 8, 2008 at 7:54 am #

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

  7. RMD February 8, 2008 at 9:29 am #


    Love the sound of goats in the morning…

  8. soulandsubstance February 10, 2008 at 2:37 am #

    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. Sara February 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    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 February 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    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. Alex March 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

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

  12. Napoleon April 21, 2013 at 2:27 am #

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

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