does eat oats….

does eat oats....

{…and mares eat oats, and goats eat everything. I was watching a little flock of them today, snuggled up together on the lawn against the sudden chill, and surrounded by green grass as they were it was interesting to see what they nibbled on. A dead leaf, a piece of straw, another dead leaf, and what appeared to be pretty much just dirt.The other thing goats famously do, of course, is climb on things — they’re not picky in this regard either. There was what appeared to be a two-by-four half-sunk into the grass, skinny-side-up, and one of the bigger goats meandered over when she saw there was an audience. She casually put one foot up on the board, then another, then for a moment was balanced with all four hooves single-file (putting her at the dizzying height of two inches further above ground than her fellows). She couldn’t quite manage that *and* walking forward, as it turned out — but like a cat she appeared to maintain her dignity by way of careful misdirection and studied nonchalance. She quickly found and snapped up yet another dead leaf, as if that had been her true aim, then munched it thoughtfully to emphasize the complete and near-effortless success of this endeavor.

The cows, meanwhile, were soldiering on through the spring muck the way only cows truly can, with their dark-eyed patience and their unwavering air of “this, too, shall pass.” They munched their hay, flicked their tails, probably chatted about how the mud would soon be keeping the flies off, or some such Midwestern sentiment. There’s a reason we have so many cows out here.

The goats, I think, just don’t have time for all of this. They are not stalwart prairie folk, but mad and daring mountaineers who can abide only so much stillness and waiting and calm. There are things out there RIGHT NOW for them to eat, to climb, to dance on — they are Raven growing bored of the dark, Anansi itching for a tale to spin, Loki trying out his feminine (and equine) wiles … and of course old Pan, watching it all with a twinkle in his eye as the satyrs make merry in the meadows.

I’m rather fond of goats and of tricksters, as you may have noticed by now.}

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