Archive for October, 2012

On drunken goats

Tis the season of the drunken goat.
For weeks the cider apple trees hung heavy with their fruity delights, boughs just out of reach of the greedy goats who live in the orchard. But now the apples have started to fall.
As well as the orchard, the goats have 3 acres of wildflower meadows, which you might think, in summer, would be like a human living with an ‘all you can eat’ gourmet restaurant in the kitchen. But no. Apparently this is not enough for 5 goats. The first thud of an apple on to the ground marked a greed fuelled frenzy, worse than humans queueing for a new phone.
« Apple! Apple! Apple! »
Pushing, trampling, shoving, butting: « Maaaaaaaaaaa, I NEED that apple! Maaaaaaa! I cannot live without that apple! I have always dreamt of an apple like that. My life will be over if that apple is not MINE! »

But over time things changed. There were many apples littering the ground. Apples had become boring.

« Apple. Yawwwwwwn. Been there, done apples. Pfffft. »

Until… something magical happened.
« Apple…Sigh. I suppose I have to eat it. I won’t like it, but since you, two-legged one, won’t give me carrots, if I don’t eat it, I’ll probably starve to death. SIGH again (and bigger this time). »
Goat rolls apple into mouth with a long-suffering expression, tail hanging low, ‘sheep-style’…
But then…

« Oh…Oooooooohhhh…Ahhhhhh… » Wide beatific, goatish smile. The apples are fermenting.

Drunken goats, like drunken humans don’t all fall into one category.
Bazil, my horizontally laid back Rasta-goat, becomes Mr. Chatty and Opinionated. Lazy days chewing Armorican carrots and dozing amongst buttercups and dandelions are forgotten, as he attempts to share his views on everything from the latest in fleece shearing styles to the effects of climate change on water levels in his drinking pond.
Molly and Daisy, by contrast, are merry drunks. They dance horn in horn, tunelessly singing ‘Mrs McGinty’s Goat’ and giggling uproariously at secret in-jokes, to which the other goats are not privy.
Dixie is a show off drunk.

« Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! » as he balances precariously on a rocky pinnacle.

« LOOOOOOK at MEEEEEEE » as he attempts to mimic Moroccan climbing goats by leaping on top of his manger.

« MEEEEEEEEE! » as he gets his head stuck trying to squeeze through a space in the fence that can just about accommodate a cat…

And Muppet…Queen Muppet, the elderly matriarch…She is a bellicose drunk.

« What? What? Do you have a problem? » She gallops up fiercely to poor giggling Molly, her own daughter, and butts her.
« And you? What are you looking at? » Dixie gets pushed off his balancing rock.

Then she spots an apple tree. It’s giving her a funny look.

BUTT! She charges it head on. BUTT!

« Apologise! » She glares at the offending apple tree. « Or you’ll be sorry. »
The apple tree drops an apple by way of apology and Muppet is appeased.

One would think that being drunk all day, at some point a hangover would kick in. But this doesn’t seem to be the case (lesson in this?) Each morning, I find the goats still drunk, having continued to gorge on fermenting apples all night, and then swigged a hair of the dog (or ‘fleece of the goat’ as it’s known in goatish flocks) at dawn. No ill effects appear to be felt…even after head butting apple trees…

And… one final observation… They are not just drunk. They are DRUNKS.

Many apples lie on the ground. Some are fresh and crisp, the sort of apples that only a couple of weeks ago they would have savoured. But now these are discarded. Long noses are turned up in disdain as they root out the most rotten ones…those with the highest alcohol content.

A day will come when the drunken season is over, when the last of the apples has rotted too far. But maybe…if they’re lucky, there could still be a few liberty caps growing in the orchard…

Dionysos was raised in the form of a goat after all……..

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