Do any of you remember that old country comedy show "Hee Haw"? It was on for ages every Saturday night. It had plenty of good country tunes and country comedy. One regular segment was where a group of grubby guys in bibs and jeans lounged around on the porch telling their woes to each other and having a good cry. Their beginning and ending song was, "Woe, Despair, Agony on end. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it werenít for bad luck Iíd have no luck at all. Woe, Despair, Agony on end." Really quite a catchy tune.
And, I canít help but think, these guys were not goat farmers. Have you ever noticed that goat farmers have an odd sense of humor? They donít sing woe and despair songs. Thereís a quirk to their nature where they are actually proud to be goat farmers. They want the whole world to know how wonderful it is. When basically the whole world is going, "Good grief! A goat farmer?!"
Iíll have to admit the grubbiness of the above mentioned fellows may fit the goat farmer. I have yet to come into the house clean after having been outside working with goats. Grubbiness is my middle name. I may start out clean that morning but by evening I look like a disaster area. Itís something about being run over, or having tripped over, or working in the hay field, or cleaning the barn, or a number of other farm chores that just does not condone cleanliness.
But, the attitude of gloom, despair, agony on end is not there in goat farmers. With our quirky dispositions, we do things like trip, fall over the hill, slowly stand up at the bottom and say, "Whew! For a moment I thought I was going to lose my new barn boots."
Or, we try to catch a goat, miss, fall and slide through mud, and look up hoping to see that our spouse or children have caught the slippery goat. I bet you all remember this one. How about when you are giving CD/T shots to the goats and one leaps out of the way and you give it to yourself. What do we say? "OH NO, IíM GOING TO DIE!" No way, weíd simply say, "Well, thatís taken care of this year. Wonít have to worry about it."
How many times have you wormed a goat and accidentally wormed yourself, with the help of the goat, of course. I know a lady that knows the flavor of every wormer on the market, because somehow or another the goats have wormed her back. And, I can bet that most goat farmers are indeed worm free. See, we goat farmers know how to count our blessings.
Those fellows lounging around on the porch, there is no way a goat farmer is ever lounging around. There is too much to do. We donít have time to wonder if we are miserable or not, there is no time to wonder! Thereís not one stray minute on a goat farm, there is always something that has to be done, or should have been done, or needs to be done. You donít have time to fret if you are miserable or not, you are too busy. I remember once, when I actually had a second to myself, that I thought Iíd like to be bored for ten minutes, thatís all I ask, 10 minutes to be bored. It ainít going to happen if you are a goat farmer. These goats will think of something to keep your mind and body active.
When you are on a goat farm and you think you canít get any busier, watch out. You will get busier. I had one lady call up and complain that there was always something going wrong on her farm. She was a new goat farmer. I asked what was wrong. She said she had a goat get diarrhea yesterday and just last week she had to trim a hoof. There was simply always something going wrong, she wailed. She thought there was a lot of static on the line from all my sputtering. Trust me, she ainít seen nothing yet.
You get so busy with goat farming that as soon as one blow knocks you down, you simply stand up to take another punch, and you roll with it, and continue on. And, you donít see anything as wrong, itís just something else you have to deal with, and move on. Itís like that old saying, "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition." Or, with a goat farmerís quirky disposition, "Good thing I landed in that diarrhea pile or it would have hurt!"
So there is no "Woe, Despair," in goat farming, who has time to think? Those men on Hee Haw definitely werenít goat farmers. What goat farmer has time to lounge around and feel sorry for themselves? Though I do sort of envy the lounging part.