So, it seems like my blog (complete with new, purty, gussied up look) is going to be here for a while. With this being the case, I cannot in good conscience continue to blithely blog on about this or that without sharing something with those of you who may not already be aware. This is one, simple fact: goats are evil. (Note to my fellow Beat Cats - you've read this before, I know.)
I've told you how I grew up on a working sheep farm. Well, we didn't just have sheep. We had dogs, cats, various rodents (guinea pigs, gerbils) and.......an evil goat. That goat, Skeeter, was pawned off on my family one year by some people from our church who owned her, along with a few sheep, and were moving so they had to get rid of their farm-y animals. (Side note: the weird thing was that they didn't live on a farm; they lived in a regular, old residential tract with just a slightly-larger-than-normal back yard, and they had one of those shed thingies you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes out in the back with these 5 or 6 animals. I always thought that was really weird as a kid. Still do now as an adult, actually - I can't imagine one of my neighbors with a sheep or goat, much less 5 or 6 of them, in their back yard!) What they neglected to tell us was that (a) Skeeter was eeeeevil and (b) that she was knocked up at the time. About two months later, we're driving down the driveway on our way to church on Easter Sunday when we see Skeeter standing in the barnyard, acting strange. "Hop out and see what's wrong with the goat" says Dad, so I do. Hmmmm, the problem seems to be the smaller goat coming out of her hindquarters, methinks....... A couple of hours later, Skeeter had twins, who were adorable and frisky and whatnot. Once they were old enough to be weaned, we sold them to other farms. Skeeter, nobody wanted and I think my parents didn't really want to get rid of her, anyway. Little did they know.....
Here is the first point at which we kids realized that Skeeter was evil. You see, after she gave birth to and then weaned the twins, Skeeter continued to give milk for the REST OF HER UNNATURAL LIFE. She never, EVER dried up. She confounded the vets, the ag specialists at the cooperative extension, the 4-H goat club experts. We tried EVERYTHING to get her to dry up as she should, but it never happened. So, every day for the rest of her life (which was YEARS), my sisters or I would have to milk that damn goat twice a day. We had a milking stand with a catch for her head so she couldn't get away. We'd have to first convince her to hop up onto the stand (usually with grain or some other treat), then we'd secure her head in the holder and that's when the fun began in earnest. We'd be sitting next to her back legs, milking away, and juuuuust when the bucket would be getting full, she'd kick it over, unless we serenaded her while we milked. (She'd kick us, too, by the by. She was an equal opportunity kicker.) We couldn't serenade her with just any old song, either. Oh no, The Reflex or Only the Good Die Young weren't on her playlist. We had to sing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" the entire time we were milking her, or she'd kick us and upturn the milk bucket. Ever been covered in fresh, body-temp goat milk? In the summer, when there are loads of flies buzzing about? Not fun. (Our sheep dog at the time, a Komondor named Tasha, was the one farm denizen who didn't mind Skeeter's ridiculous milk production, as she got to drink fresh goat milk every day.)
Skeeter also would let herself out of the barn whenever she darn well felt like it, as she could open doors - any door, locked or not. (Never said she wasn't smart, just that she was evil.) She'd wander off into the neighboring farm's fields to cause some damage to their current crops (they rotated corn and alfalfa, either of them being a treat to Skeeter) or worse, she'd head down the driveway to the road and block traffic. (We always hoped someone would take her out in one of these games of goat v. car chicken, but no one ever did.) Too often, we'd get a phone call from the local cops to come get our goat off of the street - we wouldn't have realized she'd gone for a stroll. There she'd be, with a line of cars honking at her and she'd be bleating and spitting back at them. That isn't to say she'd COME with us, at least not willingly. You ever try to drag an uncooperative, 160 pound goat somewhere she doesn't want to go? In front of an audience of pissed off, running late motorists? Yeah, it is as much fun as it sounds. (Incidentally, one thing those years with Skeeter were good for was practice in moving a recalcitrant preschooler. At least when the kiddo doesn't want to go somewhere and needs to be moved along, she weighs under 40 pounds, doesn't have pointy, manure-y hooves and rarely spits or bites.)
Skeeter's evil didn't stop with her wandering. One of her primary Evil Skills was the way she'd rear up on her back legs in a "kung-fu" sort of stance, spitting and bleating, and attack us if she felt like it. Like when you were trying to change the water buckets or sweep the barnyard or just exist within her presence when she didn't want company. Yes, attacked by a kung-fu goat. She'd drive us out of the barn/barnyard and once she was successful, I swear to you she'd look pleased with herself. One time when she let herself out into the driveway as I was trying to get to school for play practice, I inched forward to the point that I was practically touching her with the front of my car. That damn goat CLIMBED UP ONTO MY HOOD and dented it with a kung-fu style, double-foot stomp. Dented Bessie, my beloved Oldsmobile Delta 88. Her evil knew no bounds. She just had a bad, bad attitude. She seemed at best contemptuous of humans, and at worst as though she was acting on orders from the Goat Home Planet to terminate human existence, or at least annoy the heck out of it. I can still hear her bleating and spitting. Goat spit, ick. Goats do not have a super-long life span, but Skeeter did. She wasn't young when we inherited her, and she lived for well over a decade after she came to live with us. I was in college when she finally kicked the bucket. As the years went on, she just got more swaybacked and potbellied and hollow-cheeked - she was the goat equivalent of the Cryptkeeper in her later life. I think she just lived that long out of spite, I swear. So, like I said, goats = evil, and Skeeter = evillest of them ALL. I mean, just take a look at her - don't you see the devilish gleam in her beady eyes?
Thus ends my PSA for the day. I feel better now that the world knows about Skeeter and her ilk.