Hello!  It’s Lotus and Minnie here, we have something to tell you, but we don’t have much time before the farmers get back.  Listen closely.  We’re really worried about the Curbstone Valley farmers.  We love our humans, and they’ve been so very kind to us, but suddenly something strange is going on.  Are they working too hard?  Do they need help?

A couple of weeks ago we knew something wasn’t right when the humans finally let us back in the house.  We thought we’d get to bounce on the sofa like old times, but they hurried us past the bouncy chairs, into a strange room, and closed the door.  Then some other doors, ones we could sort of see through, opened up.  They picked us up, one at a time, and then…I couldn’t believe it…they actually sprayed water on us!!!  They sprayed water on me first, while Minnie was waiting outside.

"See, I'm all soaked through! They called that bottle behind me "soap"...what's a soap?"

Why would they do this to us?

They know we’re goats, and we don’t like water, the farm wife even said so herself.  Here, in this post, see?!  Maybe she forgot?

The water was warm, but it was very wet.  Well, maybe it wasn’t soooo bad, but…then they started pouring this goopy stuff all over my fur!  It smelled really yummy, like tasty flowers, but…I don’t understand why!  My fur was so pretty, but then they made it all scruffy looking, and they did it on purpose!

Then the farmwife started rubbing me all over…this way and that, and next I knew, my fur started breaking out in foam!  It looked like those milk bubbles we get on our chins after a bottle feeding, but it was everywhere!!!  I didn’t know what to think.  Was I sick?  Is this contagious?  Is this permanent?  If I get stuck like this Minnie is gonna laugh at me!!!

"Really, you really think this is a better look for me?"

Oh, wait…heehee, never mind, I forgot, she was pretty funny lookin’ too when the farm wife did it to her as well!  She didn’t like the water on her head either, and tried really hard to shake it off.

"Oh, not the ears, I hate water in my ears"

So, they sprayed this water, and stuff they called “soap” all over us, and then sprayed more water on us!  The farmers always seemed so nice, but we’re really worried about them.  Why put that “soap” on us, and then spray it back off?  Makes no sense to us!  And what is this “soap” stuff anyway? What’s it good for?  It smells tasty, but they won’t let us eat it.

The glass doors opened again, and I was attacked by a giant sheet of fabric, with flowers on it…I think she called it a “towel”.  That wasn’t any fun, she wouldn’t let me eat that either.  Again with the rubbing all over, and then Minnie disappeared behind the doors.  After they attacked her with another “towel”, they put our collars back on, and took us both outside together to stand in the sun.  I hung out with the farmer, while Minnie was with the farm wife for a bit.

It was really nice and warm outside, which was good.  We both felt cold after that water was sprayed on us.  The farmers just sat there out there with us, and stared at us while we grazed on grass, and strawberry leaves.  That part was nice, but we both smelled a little funny.

After a while, the farmers took us back to our barn and yard, and that was it.  Everything else that afternoon was the same as every other day.  We got fed on time, a little brushing, some treats.  I’m a little sad though that we didn’t get to bounce around in the house. Not even a little!

Maybe all that doesn’t sound so strange to you, but the next day…oh, the next day was worse.  MUCH worse!

They locked Minnie in the barn (she was NOT happy about that!), and asked me to hop up on the stanchion.

"Oh, treats just for me? I must be special!"

We always get treats up there, so I was very excited, and wondered what they were going to feed me that Minnie wasn’t allowed to have.

The farm wife picked up my feet, and mumbled something about planes and shears.  I don’t know what she meant.  Planes?  We don’t fly.  See?  I said things were strange.  Then the farmer put a bowl of treats in front of me.  Funny orange stuff, some sweet stuff, I don’t know what it was.  Some of it I recognized, but there was extra stuff in there too.  I don’t know what it was, they didn’t say.  Some of it tasted a little strange at first, but it was sweet, and good too! Maybe they were trying to say sorry for the water the day before?  I’m not sure.

But I don’t understand what happened next.  The farm wife grabbed my foot again, stretched out my whole leg, and then my leg started to shake.  I couldn’t stop it, I tried, but it felt like it was buzzing.  It was kinda loud too.  She let go of that leg, and then picked up another one.  Mmmm….those treats were really tasty.  Then I noticed my back started shaking…my sides…my neck.  I felt like I was shaking all over!  I really wondered what was going on back there?!

"I don't know what this game is, but you're gonna put this back on when you're done, right?"

All I could think was, what’s this stuff on the stanchion?  Oh…wait, that’s ME!?!  It is, isn’t it?  What the…why?!  Ok, let me get this straight.  You dumped water on us yesterday, and that stinky soapy stuff.  You said it was to make our coats “clean”, and smell “fresh”.  I don’t know how to say this…but…YOU JUST CUT IT ALL OFF!!!  Look at it!!!  I’m NAKED, and now my coat is on the floor, and DIRTY AGAIN!  Why did you clean my coat, and then throw it on the floor?!?

"My coat was so pretty. Why did they shave it all off?!"

It makes NO SENSE.  Are you farmers feeling alright?  You can fix this, right?  Maybe glue it back on?

Minnie couldn’t see what was happening, as she was still in the barn.  I tried to warn her, but I didn’t know how to describe what they were doing to me!

After a while, farm wife said “that’s enough for today, we’ll trim your face, tail, and feet some more tomorrow”, and she let me off the stanchion.  She said something about not wanting me to get too much sun that afternoon, so she put me back in the barn.  But as they put me in, they took Minnie out, and locked the door.

"Oh, do I get to play now? Lotus said there are treats!?"

After a minute or two I could hear that buzzing noise again, but I couldn’t see what was going on.  I knew though, I could hear it.  Poor Minnie, I’m so sorry, I tried to tell you.  The farmers have gone crazy!

"How could you do this to me? I thought you loved me. I look ridiculous!"

Minnie sounded like she was putting up with their craziness pretty well, but then I suddenly heard her cry out, and it was LOUD!  Minnie said it was because the farmer picked her up, and leaned her backwards, and the farm wife was trying to shave off the fur on her tummy.  Minnie tried to stop them, but the farmers didn’t let her keep it.  I think that’s just mean.  Look at her back, there’s almost nothing left!

"How am I supposed to stay warm now?!"

Just like me, they took all of Minnie’s fur.  So sad.  Minnie’s coat was very pretty.  She had this lovely red color on her back, but they cut it all off.  After a while, the buzzing sound stopped, and they opened the barn door again. I gulped, afraid of what was going to happen next.  I peered around the door and saw the farmer was holding Minnie in his lap, and the farm wife was sitting down over on the deck.  I wondered…is that it?  Are we done?

"I feel a slight breeze! Brrrr!"

First we were sprayed with water, then this!  What’s going to happen tomorrow?

We were very relieved that nothing happened the next day, everything seemed to go back to normal.

But then…I can’t, I can’t even say it.  You wouldn’t believe me anyway.  I’ll just show you. Does this look normal to you?

"Do my ears look green to you? The farmers did this to me, on purpose. I don't even look good in green."

They painted our ears GREEN!  It’s not even a pretty green.  That wasn’t the worst of it.  After they stuck this goop in our ears, they then stuck these sharp things in our ears too.  They kinda hurt for a second.  You should have heard Minnie, she screamed so loud!  I don’t know what this was about, but I overheard the farmers say something about “tattoos”.  What’s a tattoo?  Well, whatever it is…it’s green.

"Really, alfalfa colored ears was the best you could do? Why not pink, or a subtle yellow to blend in with my fur?"

I’ve heard about tattoos, but I dunno why we have to have them. They hurt!  The farm wife said something about tattoos being required to be shown, and then she said something about “show season”.  We’ve been shown to people before, but we didn’t need green ears then.  Why now?!?  The farmers did promise they’d never do this to us again, but we don’t know why they had to do it to us now!

We really liked it here on the farm, but now there’s all this strange stuff going on.   It’s making us a little nervous.  First water, then soap, cutting off ALL our fur, green stuff and sharp things in our ears.   Oh, and then they take us for walks, but at the end of the walk, they’ve been putting us in a crate, in the car, and drive us around for half an hour.  We don’t even go anywhere special, we just come home, and go for another walk.  Sometimes they just have us walk around and around in circles.  I’m afraid to ask…but are the farmers alright?  Should we find them some help?  What’s this ‘show season’ the farm wife speaks of?  Why are they driving us around in the car, walking around in circles, and doing all this other crazy stuff?  Something doesn’t seem right.

"Uh oh, we better fly, I think the farmers are back!"

We love the farmers, and our pretty barn.  All the blackberries, and strawberries, all the hay we can eat, the naps on laps, but things just aren’t quite right around here lately.  Uh oh…Minnie, I can hear the farmers outside.   Oh!  They’re saying something about a trip?  Really?  That’s a relief!  Maybe things can get back to normal while they’re gone?!  Oops…slurp…I hope farm wife doesn’t notice the little bits of alfalfa on her keyboard.  Minnie, we better get back to the barn!

~Lotus the Goat