Monday, April 25, 2011

Keep Manhattan, Just Give Me That Countryside!

Each Tuesday Misi at Gable House Musings issues a challenge to her readers...for this week's Tuesday Display Chain she left it up to each of us to pay tribute to any subject we choose.

I chose the theme, Farm Livin'. Now, I haven't always lived in the a girl I lived on Main Street, just one block from the bustling metropolis that was Lowell, Indiana...population 2,270. It was as a young bride that I moved to the a hundred year old farmstead, complete with a dilapidated barn and a chicken coop. Those first few years, out of fear that someone would call me a city girl, I learned to glaze windows, butcher chickens, grow a garden, can tomatoes and make jelly. I embraced country living with gusto...and still do.

Many years and quarts of  tomatoes later, we built a new house and moved from our little farmstead. We didn't go far, only a few miles up the road. And even though the new house has ample closet space and electric outlets in every room...I  sometimes miss my old yard with the apple trees and the chicken coop.

Just when Mr. Kattywhompus & I were beginning to think how nice it would be to have animals again, and that we should think about building a barn and putting up fence, something unexpected happened to remind us that animals, although wonderful, are hard work.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and we had company after church. We had just finished eating lunch and were enjoying tea on the back deck with our "city friends", Barb & Amy. Mr K. & I were sitting with our backs to the driveway when suddenly Amy's eyes grew huge and Barb mouthed the word, "Goats". When I turned to see what all the excitement was about, I saw this...

A veritable goat stampede...about two dozen in all...turning in at the drive, heading up the hill, and coming straight for us-fast! Just as we sprang out of our comfy chairs and got the door closed behind us, the goats began to congregate on the deck. It was soon apparent that our deck could not accommodate such a large number of goats. No problem, one by one they jumped over the railing and found their way to the side yard. At this time, I should point out that we don't have goats... and our closest neighbor is over a mile away.

After we gathered our wits about us, we realized that no one seemed to be looking for these goats...and that it was up to us to herd them back to whence they came. Mr. Kattywhompus found a length of rope in the garage to use as a lead. He explained to us that where one goat goes, the others will follow. How he knew this, I'm not sure...but it turns out he was right.

By this time, city girl Amy, has been bewitched by the lost goats and begs us to allow her to "walk" the  lead goat. What can we do, but allow it? After all, Amy is our guest. She is handed the rope and off she teeters in her high heels and church clothes, behind "her" goat. Four adults, three children and two dozen goats start down the road, hopefully heading for home.

All is going well until two young girls from the neighboring farm ride up on bicycles, shouting, arms waving...each with a tiny chihuahua dog tucked under her arm. The girls are from migrant families and neither of them speak English. We have no idea what the girls are saying, but the WAY they are saying it makes the goats run faster. I gotta hand it to city girl Amy, she never lets go of the rope. The girls with chihuahuas lead the way and we scramble to keep up with Amy. At this point we must look like some deranged version of The Bremen Town Musicians.

When we get the goats back to the neighboring farm, we find no one at home. Between hand gestures and my eighth grade Spanish, we surmise that the girls have accidentally let the goats out of their pen. The girls showed us where the goats belong...but we would no sooner get one goat in the pen, than another would jump over the fence. We finally realized that we were putting the goats in the horse pen. My Spanish was rustier than I thought.

Let's just say that through a series of unfortunate events, the horse got out...and while we were corralling the horse, a few pigs got loose, and then some sheep wandered. Eventually we (Mr. Kattywhompus) got all the animals inside the various pens.

Farmer Bailey had a nice day at the county fair...but was confused when he came home that evening to find his livestock rearranged. 
Mr. Kattywhompus is rethinking that barn. 

And city girls Amy & Barb sent us the nicest thank you note...said it was the best time they'd had in a long while. They can't wait to be invited back.

  Farm livin' is the life for me.

Until next time...

Many thanks to Julie King, for graciously allowing me to use photos from her blog. It was she who captured the comical images of the goats that you see here. You can visit Julie and her beautiful art here and here.


  1. Rhonda,

    I LOVED your story and have not had such a good laugh in a long time!! It sounded like something from an old movie with Red Skelton or Lucy!! Those goats are so adorable, but I can imagine how shocking that must have been to see a herd of goats coming straight for you!! Thank you for sharing!! I am still chuckling!!

    Blessings and Hugs~~

  2. What a fantastic story. You sure know how to create an atmosphere with your tales. Great photos too. You made me laugh and laugh. Penny

  3. oh rhonda this is a delightful tale and i enjoyed every word of it. i understand now why you wanted to use the goat photos i took. they worked perfectly. thanks for the links and i look forward to reading more of your blog. ((hugs))

  4. What a great funny story! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Ronda... Love the Feature, the Story, & the pictures from Julie...

    I had goats as a kid and also a couple of years ago, they can be a menace but also so funny

    Blessings, Traci

  6. What a great story - although it was probably not funny at the time it was happening. I enjoyed it and it made me think twice about getting anything more than chickens at our new house in the country!

  7. Hey, City Girl~( had to say that!LOL)
    Love the story~ love the pics!!! Love the farm life~
    there is many days like that in farming~LOL

  8. You crack me up!! I want to come visit you soon!! I keep telling my hubby I want to move someplace else where we have more land and the neighbor's aren't as close. I am tired of trying to get our neighbor's (we call The Bumpus', from A Christmas Story) dogs back in his yard, but I would have zero clues on how to get a neighbor's goats back. TY for sharing!!

  9. RHONDA,
    That was a fun read, you should put that in the magazine. Very entertaining and well written.
    Is there a picture here someplace of your old house and your new house in the country?
    Very late spring here, but guess thats true most places, I think I had flowers out by this time last year.
    Looking forward to the next magazine, did you write something for the upcoming issue?
    Nancy Jo

  10. I just love the goat story, and the big round up at the end of all sorts of animals, Thanks for the smile this morning. Vicky

  11. What a hilarious story! And your writing style makes me feel like I'm wandering right along side you with those goats. TFS!

  12. THE BEST STORY!!! SO FUNNY!!! I have goats, so I know how funny they can be! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! What a great memory for you and your family!!! Enjoy your day ~Kimberly

  13. It seems that no one can have just one goat. They must multiply like bunnies.
    Great story!

  14. You sure gave me the giggles today.Loved the adventure! Warm Blessings!~Amy

  15. oh my goodness what a hoot! crack me up, but I would have loved to have been in on this one.......what a memory, thanks for sharing....I needed a chuckle....blessings~Denise

  16. Oh my HECK Rhonda! That is one of the funniest things I read in a long time!! Almost had tears running down my leg! Thanks for the smiles! Hugs ~ Robin

  17. Rhonda, OMG!! Whata great funny feature story, something this city girl would never see??? Love it and the photo's...hubby looking over my shoulder as I was reading, he's says why are goats such a goofy looking animal? OLM

  18. Goats make for some of the funniest stories... and this story was great! :)

  19. Oh my! LOL! I am sure that was an adventure!
    Imagine seeing all those goats coming toward you! LOL! Thanks for sharing with us! I enjoyed it.

  20. Rhonda, what a wonderful story and delightfully told! Makes me want to come visit and enjoy the fun. TFS!


  21. Oh goodness Rhonda, what a story! You had me laughing almost to the point of tears then I was on the edge of my seat with an "Oh no!". Amy in her high heels never letting go of the rope really cracked me up. So glad you all saved the animals even if they ended up in the wrong place, lol. What a sight this must have been! Thanks for the chuckle, enjoyed it!