Sometimes I wonder what the neighbors think. I donít often wonder what people think. But, the neighbors that see me day in day out working on the farm, with the goats, with the hay, well, you just wonder if they understand what is exactly going on. Because if they did, Iíd go ask them whatís going on, because I half donít understand it myself and Iím the one doing the goat farming!
Anyway, I do wonder what the neighbors think. After all, they donít usually get sound with what they watch. Itís like watching a colorized version of a silent movie when they watch me and Lee work the farm. I use to think I was a little bit egotistical in thinking the neighbors watched what we did on the farm, but kept getting confirmation that they knew exactly what we were doing every day, but not necessarily understanding why we did it.
How I know they were keeping up on everything was their openness about asking me what on earth Iím doing. Many times Iíve headed to the mail box and got stopped by the neighbors who had done a mad rush on their 4-wheelers or trucks to just ask me what on earth I had been doing earlier. And, Iíd get phone calls wanting to know what was going on or to tell me if they thought the livestock guard dog had treed something on our place or ask what a certain goat was doing.
Take the other morning, I was walking out through the deep grass in the field opening up gates to let the goats go to pasture. As I was happily walking along, sloshing through the thick dewy grass, I stepped on the end of something and it rose up out of the tall grass about two foot from my leg.
We have a lot of snakes in the area, two types of which are poisonous, but they might as well all be poisonous as afraid as I am of snakes. When that long thin shape rose up out of the grass, my heart leaped to my ears and started pounding. Most people say their hearts leap to their throats, mine has always been athletic and would jump a little higher.
I stopped in my tracks and slowly turned my head to the right to see what was facing my leg now. Sleek and shiny from the dew, the stick just stayed up in the air while I was standing on the end of it. Part of my brain had recognized that it was just a stick, the rest of me had turned into a flurry of action. I was half way up the valley before that part of my brain that recognized I had stepped on a stick could slow the rest of my body down.
Now think what the neighbors saw. They saw me jauntily walking up the valley, opening gates, singing (or talking to myself, they werenít sure which since they donít get sound), looking happy and pleased with life. Then they see me stop dead in my tracks. I stay there a few seconds and then they see me slowly turning my head to the right to look down at something sticking up out of the grass. They see the stick. Then they see me suddenly go into warp drive and Iím half way up the valley before I stop. And, they wonder, just what was wrong with that stick? Was there a little mouse in the deep grass waving it around, threatening my life? Why on earth did Connie streak up the valley like a bear was after her? What was wrong with that stick and should they be careful of sticks in the future? Evidently there was something about them they hadnít realized before.
Then I really wonder what the neighbors are thinking when the very next morning, while walking the same route, I step on the same stick, and do it all over again. Iím half way up the valley before I can stop. I know that I have stepped on the same stick, I know that it is a stick, yet I canít stop my gut reaction of getting out of there. This probably just confirms the fact to the neighbors that sticks are indeed dangerous or that I am wackier then a June bug and need to be closely watched, which they do.
We have a run-in shed near the road that the neighbors can easily see if they ride their 4-wheelers or trucks back and forth. In this run-in shed area are two young does with their 5 kids. Iím out there daily feeding, checking over the moms and kids. Okay, Okay. Mainly Iím playing with the kids. I was just trying to sound more professional about checking on them.
I sit down and usually have two or three kids at one time crawling all over me, wanting attention, using me like a trampoline. This one particular kid, Autumn Sugar, is fascinated by my hair. She likes to crawl up into my lap and then reach up and chew on my hair. And, if she could, she would purr like a kitten while I pet her and tell her what a grand kid she is. This is one of the many perks to goat farming, hugging kids.
So, what the neighbors usually see, unless they are on their 4-wheelers on the road looking directly into the shed, is me going into the run-in shed with my normal farm hair style (known as forgetting to comb your hair that morning) and coming out with my hair kinked up with some type of gooey stuff (known as kid slobbers) because Autumn Sugar has been chewing on my hair again. They probably wonder what on earth is going on that my hair style is one way going into the run-in shed and another coming out. They probably consider it an improvement, but Iím sure they wonder how I do it.
So, you see I canít help but wonder about what the neighbors think. But, Iím sure it works both ways. They are definitely wondering about me.