I wanted to make that perfectly clear about the barn clothes. We all know the statue of The Thinker as a big naked guy sitting on a rock, with elbow on his knee, hand supporting his head, deep in thought. Most think that he is trying to remember where he put his clothes, because how comfortable could that be sitting on a rock buck naked, thinking philosophical thoughts?
As a goat farmer, I find myself quite often, sitting on a bucket or anything handy, thinking deep thoughts, such as, ďFinally, a chance to restĒ, while goats play around me. It is now summer and 90 degrees in the house and since I have young goats in different fields that I like to keep an eye on to make sure they are doing all right, lately I find myself sitting outside with them.
Find a tall bucket or an empty cattle molasses tub, turn it upside down in the shade of the field and sit and enjoy the coolness and the scenery of goats grazing or playing. Life just doesnít get much better. I take turns sitting with the goats. Maybe the yearlings in the new field beside the road or the weanlings in their new field further back. Both young herds are a trifle nervous about their new situation. So, my being there gives them a bit of courage and someone to pick on that wonít hurt them, just hug them.
The neighbors have grown accustomed to seeing me sitting in the field by the road. Thereís some lovely trees by the creek offering plenty of shade from the afternoon heat and as they drive by, everyone waves. Now they daily expect to see me sitting there on my molasses tub enjoying the breeze.
While sitting there, I try to think deep philosophical thoughts, but I really donít know what one would be. Personally, Iím just thinking of lists of things to do, noting any goat that needs some work done to them, also wondering why city people insist on such a loud 4-wheeler to ride on the road scaring my babies. Who in turn always run to me for protection, almost knocking me off my molasses tub.
I suppose a philosophical thought would be, why am I here and who am I. Well, I am a goat farmer and I am here to goat farm. Seems pretty simple and straight forward to me. So much for philosophical thinking. So, I go on thinking on my chore list and if a yearling walks up and wants to be petted for a while, I accommodate. Sometimes, if I am too deep in thought on my chore list, one of the yearling girls will grab my shirt and give it a good shake to get my attention on what is really important, petting them.
Now, my weanling girls are a bit different. They think if I am sitting out in the field with them, itís for one purpose, to be played with. Once again, since the weanlings are the ones to always do this, I was innocently sitting there and one of my little girls climbed up on the tub behind me and reared up and plopped down on top of my head, with her front legs dangling on either side of my ears.
I remember wishing someone had been there with a camera. What a great shot that would have been. How many people wear a baby goat for a hat? Reluctantly, I helped her down and a few others tried to figure out how to climb up and do the same. They thought it had looked really cool, too.
And, now the weanling girls are getting too big to climb up into my lap, so itís not unusual to see me setting there with one girl standing to the side with her front end over one of my knees and pretending she is in my lap and another on the other knee doing the same. After a while the knees start aching and I have to gently shove them off.
One thing I wish I could do is take a book or a paper and pencil with me while I am acting like The Thinker in Barn Clothes. But, thatís impossible with my girls in either field, including the older does. They have discovered that with a book, you can grab a page and rip it out, making a wonderful tearing sound. Then they quickly drop that page and dive in for another page. They have learned to do it fast, because for some reason Iím there trying to defend my book. So, forget the book idea.
Try to take paper and pencil to write my chore list on is almost as bad. Hold a piece of paper around them and they love to stand there innocently and then quick as lightning, snake that head up, snatch that paper and run off with it. What fun! And, if you are holding tightly to your paper, they rip it. Which they think is even more wonderful. Almost as good as a book.
And, if you lay your pencil or pen down or you are just loosely holding onto it, the new ones at snatching writing instruments, will gently try to mouth it and then try to carry it off. The more experienced kids just quickly snatch it and run off.
In conclusion, it is not easy being The Thinker with Barn Clothes on, sitting in a field trying to cool off from the summer heat with a bunch of goats around you. I know, I know, if I was truly The Thinker, Iíd be much cooler not having barn clothes on sitting out in the field by the road with a bunch of goat. But, then Iíd be hauled off to jail and then who would do all the chores Iíve made a list of in my head?