By Danielle French

Animals Make the Farm

Although I live in the heart of farm country, I’m reluctant to call myself a farmer. I always wanted to have the full farm — gardens and animals, cows lolling in the fields ready to give milk twice a day, chickens — all sorts of things that signify a real, honest-to-goodness farm. But in a problem I share with real farmers, I just don’t seem to have enough hands on deck to manage it all. A larger-scale chicken operation may still be in my future, but honestly — milking at 5:00 a.m.? Not so realistic when there’s a flock of girls who need to be fed before being shooed off to school.

So instead of cows, I have a lot of “useless” animals. My wonderful goats are a lovable bunch, but I often think it would be easier to herd cats. Shawn built a beautiful fence that would — as my neighbour Ralph said — contain elephants. But goats are like mice; they can get out a hole one-eighth the size of their body. It’s actually miraculous watching them in contortions a yoga instructor would not be able to perform . . .except when you realize those contortions are leading to an escape.

Maybe it’s a new sideline experience I could offer to visitors (for a substantial fee of course!): the Amazing South Pond Goat Escape Artists. In the middle of an event, we could nudge Millie and her crew into those impossible feats, and as a bonus, guests would be treated to baby goats skipping around the property nibbling on hats and lace. Or maybe not — it’s starting to sound a bit like a scene out of Amelia Bedelia!

As for the dogs that are supposed to be keeping the animals in line — where are they when all the action is going down? Sleeping. Sleeping, lounging, gnawing on a bone, sleeping. Goats? Coyotes? Please. They’d rather relax.

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