Of Goats and Farmers

Join me in welcoming Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. This story about Steve and the goat really resonated with me. When I first moved to my little “ranch” in East Texas, I wanted a goat. Despite what folks said about not getting a billy, I bought the cutest little kid, that soon grew into a raucous adult goat.

I learned my lesson. That goat went to a breeder, and I got a nanny, who was much calmer. Lucy was actually a very nice goat, and I enjoyed having her out in my back pasture for years.

Now, here’s Slim.

Steve was out in the Mule Barn truck stop parking lot the other day, tightening something with his wrenches under the hood of his pickup truck. The rest of us stood around looking wise.

“You sure it ain’t the solenoid?” said Bert.

“I don’t think they make them anymore,” said Doc.

“It’s usually the solenoid,” Bert said, with finality.

Out of self defense, Steve emerged from his cavern of wires and metal long enough to say, “Didn’t I see you have a goat now, Bert?”

Bert nodded. “That’s why I hate allergies.”

We waited. We stared.

“Well you see, Maizie’s allergic to cow’s milk, so we bought Ernestine for her.”

“And Ernestine is ….?”

“The goat … right. So what happens is somehow I have to milk Ernestine. Twice a day. We wanted to go overnight to the city last week. Ever try to find someone who will babysit and milk a goat?”

“I won’t do it,” said Dud.

“Neither will anyone else,” said Bert, sadly. “So either we stay home, or take the goat with us. Ever try to find a motel that takes goats?”

“Not recently,” Doc said.

“So we stayed home. Oh, it wouldn’t be so bad if she liked me…”


“Ernestine. See, she waits until I have her almost milked out, then she’ll stick her foot in the bucket and kick it all over me. The other day, I was standing in her pen and talking with Mrs. Gonzales next door, and Ernestine came running up behind me and ran right between my legs.”

“Did you fall?”

“Of course. And Mrs. Gonzales tried not to laugh, but it didn’t work.”

“Bert,” said Doc, “why don’t you just buy goat’s milk at the store?”

“Maizie says she needs it fresh, because it’s better. You guys ever notice how a goat has horns and cloven hooves?”

We nodded.

Then Bert said, “I don’t think I need to add anything to that.”

Brought to you by Ol’ Jimmy Dollar, Slim’s children’s book about a happy hound-dog man and his “kids.” See it at riograndebooks.com.

In addition to hosting a radio show, Slim Randles writes the nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” that is featured in 380 newspapers across the country. He is also the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here on the blog, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It features some of the best of the columns he has shared with us, as well as the 4 million readers of the newspapers where his columns appear.

I hope you enjoyed this offering from Slim. Please do let me know in a comment.

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