I know the homecoming of our sweet Buttercup and Clover has inspired much elation in our bloggy neighborhood — and a pinch of envy too. (Dear Lyanda confessed as much.) And while there is plenty of bliss here over the jump-and-tumble goatiness of our new lives (goats scampering on the picnic table, goats clambering up the wood pile, goats cavorting in the meadow), there is also some...how shall I put this delicately? Well, there's some consternation on my part. I am, after all, the gardener of the family. And while I love the goats, the goats love the leafy greens of my labors, and that has caused some tension between us — just as some of our perspicacious friends (I'm looking at you, Tom, and you too, Clare) predicted.
The goats started with the raspberries and moved to the roses and ended up standing in my herb garden. You have to understand that my herb garden is pots on the back porch. Rosemary branches ended up lying torn on the boards. Thyme was hanging out of little mouths. I looked up from cooking to see Clover standing in the thyme pot and eating the Swiss chard from another pot. I might have shrieked. I might have muttered something about rosemary-and-thyme seasoned goats roasting on a spit. (Sorry, Blossom! Sorry, Fern!)
The leash was a good idea, but who leads whom?
Blossom and Fern are very vigilant about the goats' whereabouts. But goats move fast... One minute they are trying to get in the back door, and the next minute they are around by the front door eating the ornamental pine tree that finally, finally, finally got tall enough to disguise the ugly retaining wall, which the goats were standing on so they could eat the top out of my lovely little evergreen.
I might have shrieked some more. Later, Blossom tried to console me: "But, Mommy, the pine made their breath really really fresh."
Birch has intervened. Fencing the goats' run was slow work. But he made sure that it was a large, shady space with lots of jumping opportunities: a goat playground. When he finished and the girls led the goats in, it was glorious fun. Birch reported to me, "We've achieved TGH!"
"What's TGH?" I asked.
"Total Goat Happiness."
It remains to be seen whether we've achieved Total Mommy Happiness. I'm worried our little darlings can climb fences.