Lotus & Minnie: A Close Shave

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Farm Blog, Goats | 43 comments

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


  1. Lovely post, but I’m with the goats on this … what’s going on?
    🙂 🙂 🙂
    Christine @ The Gardening Blog´s last post…It’s almost Winter in Two Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

    • I know, the poor goats. They had their routine down, and then we upset things a bit. We’ll have to clip again this season, for other shows, but thankfully, no more green tattoo paste. That goop is really difficult to wash off…and we wore gloves, but it gets everywhere! 😉

  2. Awesome post!!! had me laughing from begining to end…..have fun at the “shows”!!!

    • I don’t think the goats found it very funny though, but I’m hoping we’ll all have fun at the shows this season 🙂

  3. It’s amazing how our animals have picked up keyboarding skills, isn’t it? Duncan is quite the stylist. too. Wonderful post! The things we put our critters through – well tis the price they pay for domestic bliss. When will you start showing them? Oh and, re your title – might you perchance be fans of — Wallace and Gromit??

    • It’s a good thing Lotus’ hooves aren’t any bigger, I’m not sure my keyboard could stand it!

      They have their first show this week, so it will be interesting to see how that goes. You’re right, we are fans of Wallace of Gromit. See, if we’d had a Knit-O-Matic machine, we could have done the goats all at once…and made a sweater too! 😛

  4. Aw, poor girls! Such a funny post, from their point of view. I bet they still love you though, even after shaving off all their hair. You’re so good to them, trying to get them used to driving around in the car. I didn’t realize you were planning to show them.
    Alison´s last post…Wordless Wednesday — Relaxing in the Garden

    • I think it’s good to show the goats. We’d like to breed our goats for good dairy quality, and honestly, I think the best way to do that, is to see other goats, and have others see your goats. By allowing them to be judged we’ll learn to recognize the areas in our own herd that may need improvement, or desirable traits we’d like to retain. It’s also a great way to meet other breeders, especially for adding to our herd, or for breeding.

  5. Awwwwww. Is the show next week? We’re looking into tattooing all our critters just for ID sake. And leg banding the poultry.
    Rachel Hoff´s last post…The Truth about Goat Milk

    • Their first show is within the week. I’m hoping the green has mostly worn off by then 😉

  6. Isn’t Lotus’ spelling and grammar excellent? It must have been hard typing with those hoofs! But I have to say I’m as bemused as Lotus and Minnie. And those green ears! What an hilarious post!

    • Lotus is a stickler for grammar 😉 I think they were doing ok, right up until the green ears part. Poor things. I’m sure they really do wonder why things have been so different lately, but they should settle down now…well except for the shows of course!

  7. That is so funny, I love your humor and really enjoyed the little video you showed of them in the goat area jumping and playing. I would have a few of these if I lived in a more rural setting.

    • They’re so much fun to have around. If we had more room here, we’d have a lot more of them! 😉

  8. I think Lotus should write more often! I presume an agricultural show……..but I’m a bit confused Clare – why wash them before getting the haircut? did it make it easier then to cut their fur?
    [email protected]´s last post…What’s in bloom in May?

    • Yes, it’s a dairy goat show. The main reason to wash them BEFORE you clip, is it gets expensive having your clipper blades sharpened. If you wash the grit and dirt out of their coat first, it helps to extend the life of your clipper blades. Clean fur definitely cuts easier than a coat that’s dirty, oily, or matted. It did seem a shame to trim it off though, they smelled remarkably sweet after their bath 😉

  9. Do they have to be bald naked for showing? Or will it have grown back to an appealing level
    Elephant’s Eye´s last post…May around our garden

    • Actually, it’s preferred they’re not just shaved for show. We tried to time their clipping to be within 10-12 days of this show. When Minnie was first clipped, her black areas almost looked grey because you could see the skin through the hair. Already there’s enough growth back in her coat that her colors look rich again, and the reddish areas on her back are growing in too. They just want the goats to be neatly clipped, but it’s my understanding the judges also look to see if you allowed enough time for the goats to grow their coat out a little before the show, so they look their best. I must agree with Minnie, the first day they really did look a little ridiculous! 😀

  10. Oh poor everyone! Sounds like quite a day. Our dogs act as though we’re killing them when we bathe them; I can only imagine the goats are sad! Looks like everyone came through. Enjoy the show.

    • One of our dogs is the same way. She always gives us the look like we’re torturing her. I actually was a little surprised how well the goats tolerated their bath. I don’t think it’s their favorite thing to do, but they seem no worse for the wear 😉

  11. Lotus and Minnie sure have had some adventures lately. They are adorable and are so tolerant. Good luck at the shows!
    The Sage Butterfly´s last post…The Seven Faces of My Garden – GBBD May

    • They’ve put up with a lot the last couple of weeks. We’re starting them out young though, so hopefully show prep will just become part of their ‘normal’.

  12. Clare what a clever and cute post…lots of work and now to the show…good luck everyone…
    [email protected] Eye View´s last post…Carrots Love Tomatoes on Bloom Day

    • Thanks Donna 🙂 I’m not sure we’ll get many photos at the show, but if we do, we’ll post an after-show update. Little do Lotus and Minnie know that their great adventures are only just beginning! 🙂

  13. Sounds like Lotus and Minnie are in for some fun times ahead with the shows!
    Dave´s last post…May Garden Tour Part 2

    • We might be too! I’m not sure how they’ll react to all the hubbub, so it will interesting to see! 😉

  14. Love this post. Good luck at the shows.
    [email protected] Native´s last post…In The Vegetable Garden

    • Thanks Mary 🙂

  15. I can imagine how confused they were – I was a little confused at first, too! Good luck with the shows. They are both adorable. I predict they will be stars!
    Holleygarden´s last post…The Blues in May

    • They’ll always be stars to us. We’re not expecting any great achievements for any of us at this show. We’ve never shown goats before, so we’re considering this a practice run. We’re all new at this 😛 I’ll just be happy if I don’t trip over my own feet (or the goat) in the show ring!

  16. Bless…what a cute post and a cute pair of goats 🙂 It’s a shame they were so traumatised by the Farmers but hopefully their goaty little minds will forget all about it. Especially after they’ve had a few more treats!

    • It’s amazing the power treats have, that and an extra nap on a lap, or two 😉

  17. Poor goats, I’m with them. You were doing some very strange things. I bet the show will be fun though.
    Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens´s last post…Woody Plants for Shade Part 5

    • I think I found some of this as strange as the goats did! I’ve never been a ‘show person’, so this has all been a novel learning experience for me too!

  18. Always great to hear more goat adventures. Poor things look pretty funny without their lovely coats. Great shot of the mid-air jump.
    Marguerite´s last post…Triumphs and Tragedies

    • They did look a little strange with their coat clipped so short, but I’m amazed how fast it’s growing back! 😯

  19. Loved the post – made me laugh out loud. I think the green ears look cute. I think Lotus is a very good writer, verry eloquent at getting her point of view across to the reader!
    easygardener´s last post…Seedlings, the greenhouse and a book

    • I’m pleased to report that 95% of the green wore off before the show 😛 Now we have all the tattoo equipment, with any future goats, we won’t cut it quite so close to show time!

  20. This one had me laughing! And I was beginning to agree that the farmers had lost it when I saw the green ears! Now I know there are goat shows! I am thinking your life might make a good reality show! You and your chickens and turkeys and goats and who knows what else could be famous!
    debsgarden´s last post…Add Some Spice With Plectranthus

    • Well, as a reality show, I’m sure it make for a comedy of errors at the least 😉 You really should see the greenhouse this spring. My tomatoes are almost 2 feet tall, and STILL not planted out!!! I’ve been weeks behind on spring ever since we built the goat barn, and I still haven’t caught up. I really need to clone myself!

  21. thank you Lotus and Minne and the farm wife- that was outright fun. Curbstone comedy hour is something I always look forward to – such a lot of critters with a sense of humour.
    p.s. you should see what they do to Frodo
    [email protected]´s last post…Wych Elm: worth the wait in gold

    • Yep, comedy hour pretty much sums up life here on the farm. On the upside, there’s never EVER a dull moment. Which is a good thing, as we both get bored easily 😉

  22. Clare, I’m so happy to see that you are back online; I’m afraid there is a big gap in my participation of late… too much to do and it seems the days get shorter. Apparently you got your posts back after that frightful encounter. I am so happy to see that.

    The goats are adorable as is your clever post. I must now take some time and read some of the others to get caught up.

    We have had so much rain the last week and today, in between raindrops, we have been mulching, an attempt at getting some semblance of order here. There is still a great deal of cleanup following the March storm we had, but it will happen in due time. Hope your week has been a good one.
    Diana´s last post…2012 Super Moon