Monday, November 14, 2016

Ides of Nov


Rainy Monday. I woke early to a new tap... tap... tap noise. I've learned to never ignore that sound. We have a brand new leak in the hall. Positioned a couple of buckets and went back to sleep.

Now C. is up on the rooftop with a bucket of black roof goo. It's probably a tiny hole where a nail has worked its way loose up through three layers of tarpaper.

I've been on mushroom-washing duty. I'm on the third grocery bag of the big white funnels, the really dirty ones. I wash 'em, C. slices them, we rotate them through the driers and into jars.

Earl and I were out decanting chicken food from a sack in the car into a bucket this morning. (I keep the 40-pound sacks in the car, or in the hallway in a lidded garbage can – the better to repel goats, mice and Earl.) Filled the bucket, closed the car hatch, boobled toward the chicken house. And then we saw the goats. They had escaped their pasture and were loitering near the chicken yard. "Shit," I believe I said. Earl wagged in agreement. 

The bucket had no lid. The goats weigh about 80 pounds each. I tend to fall over. We continued on. 

I brandished my cane, a heavy black one, in a preemptive way, and made rude eye contact. "Move, you bastards," I believe I said. They came ahead; I tried to ward them off with the cane; they came on over and under the cane simultaneously and planted their big horned heads in the bucket and pushed; I hit the ground just after the bucket. Bastards. I haul myself back up. My robot jammie pants (yes, I am retired) are all muddy at the knees. My hands are covered in mud and chicken shit. The horned bastards are hoovering layer crumbles from the ground. I briefly consider gimping into the house and asking C. to help me put these damn goats back in the pasture, just like a big baby. 

Hell, no. I grab the bucket and again make for the chicken house. The goats leave the pile of grain on the ground and go for the bucket, shoving their heads inside. I reef on someone's horns, spin around and go down again. More mud on the robo-jams. I climb back up. This time I fetch the big goat a smart rap on his nose with the cane. He seems surprised, and backs away. Little goat brother makes an end run around Earl and the cane and goes back to chowing on chicken grain. I fetch him a smack on the nose, too. I call Earl over and we push the goats back toward the pasture gate. I get the gate open, and we get one in, but the other escapes. We start over. Noses are smacked. One is in, the other hesitates... "Get 'em, Earl!" I cry, and he does. Gate closed.

Chicken breakfast was served in a big pile on the patio.

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