Wednesday, April 05, 2006

City Mouse*

So when I was around 10, my grandparents took me on a road trip across half the country in their banana yellow Oldsmobile. They had done something similiar with my older sister, and would also do it with my younger cousin. Sort of a clan initiation rite, I suppose.

One of our destinations was my great-uncle's farm in Colorado. He had a spread of a couple acres, upon which he attempted to grow fruit trees. I say attempted, because gentleman farming was not what my unlce loved, it was singing. So the farm limped along while he tried to finance his recording career.

From what I can remember, being a Los Angeles native, it was the first time I had ever been on a farm for longer than perhaps ten minutes. I was taken on a grand tour my second day there. It had a pretty stream flowing through it on the eastern side. A few acres is considered nothing in the farming world, but to my eyes, it looked huge.

On the western side, the property abutting my great-uncle's was a goat farm. This was the first time that I got to experience goats outside of a petting zoo. There were lots and lots of goats, and the smell was what I immediately noticed. No surprise there. But I did like them, and I got to pet some of them, despite their attempts to eat my shorts through the fence. Apparently, these were not just any old goats, but prize-winning goats. I was proudly informed that they produced excellent cheeses and milk.

News to me that goats could make milk.

Hey, I was only 10, give me a break.

They wanted me to try some, and I refused for whatever weird reason that was floating in my young head. I probably thought the milk tasted as bad as the goats smelled.

A couple mornings later, my great aunt cooked up a big country breakfast. I don't think there was anything she left out. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, not a food group was spared.

I had just finished my drink when my grandfather, with a completely deadpan face, asked me if I liked the milk I had just drunk.

You see where this is going, right?

Oh yes, I said, it was some of the best milk I had ever tasted. Uproarious laughter ensued, and I was confused. I sat patiently for a bit, and then it dawned on me. I shrieked, finally realizing the joke that had been played on me. It was the prize-winning goat's milk, and they had plotted this whole breakfast to distract me. Just to teach me a lesson.

You may now cease wondering where I get my sense of humor.

Definitely from my father's side of the family.

But ever since then, I have had a difficult time trusting goats.

Does this partial title ring a bell with anyone?


Granny said...

The goat wasn't the one with the sense of humor, it was your granddad.

Neat story. I loved my uncle's farm while I was growing up but I don't think I'd want to make it a career. Lots of chickens, a few cows, one horse (out to pasture), growing things, and 40 acres of Christmas trees. Great place for kids.

oshee said...

With the title are you referring to one of Aesop's fables? The City Mouse and the Country Mouse?

My father grew up on a farm. THen he went to school and became a dentist and we all grew up in the city. My brothers as teenagers all had to spend a couple of summer working at Grandpa's farm. My dad was determined to teach his boys to work. What did I do? I have worked in dentistry on and off for the past 16 years. So I guess I learned too.

Mega Mom said...

You've gotta love a good (and creative) sense of humor!

I was thinking City and Country Mouse too.

Heather said...

Well, I'm the country mouse, 'cause I remember the opposite kind of stories... what a big deal it was to visit the big city and RIDE ON ESCALATORS!

Liz said...

That's pretty funny.

We have 2 male goats, and every time my dad visits, he asks us if we milk them!

Piece of Work said...

Ha ha ha ha! So, do you drink goat's milk today? They sell it at Ralph's, you know.

Tracy said...

When I lived in Spain, they served goat cheese all the time. It's called "Cabrales". If someone's feet were stinky, they'd say that their feet smelled like cabrales! HA! I loved that! *Sniff, sniff* Man! Your feet smell like goat cheese!

Bobita said...

Great story!

I remember that after I had my first baby...having had difficulty keeping up with breastfeeding...a wise crone suggested that I combine goat's milk and carrot juice in a bottle because "its practically the exact same thing as breastmilk!"

Consequently, my oldest son frequently scrambles to the highest point around, tilts his head toward the sky and proclaims..."baaaaa-aaaa!"


PS: And whomever is responsible for your sense of humor...I love them! You are very funny!