By Terri Smith –
Amadeus and I are moving to Quesnel (see my “Confessions of a Farmer” article in this issue for details). We’ll still be farming, but our days as market gardener and mascot appear to be behind us. Looking out the window at him dozing in the sun on the hill with the rest of the herd, I wonder how he will adjust to our new home. But then I think of all his public appearances, and how comfortable he is wherever we go, and my worries abate.
Amadeus has been accompanying me to town, to market, and to photo shoots for almost four years now since his birth in April 2012. Saving his life has been one of the most rewarding and most ridiculous things I have ever done. He didn’t even learn to drink water on his own for six months! That alone seems to be a pretty good sign that he was not a creature who was really meant to live. But since surviving his rocky first year, he has thrived. He has brought joy to so many, and still fills me with joy every time I see him lower his head to his bucket of water to drink. It’s amazing how the simplest things can bring such joy, but after so long trying to teach him to drink (usually with no small measure of disbelief that I actually needed to teach an animal to drink!), it still seems like a small miracle every time I see him take a sip of water.
Whatever the future holds for me at my new farm, you can bet that Amadeus will have a large part to play. We will still be growing food together, or rather, I will still be growing it and he will still be eating it. And whatever my new vegetable (ad)venture becomes, Amadeus is still going to be my trusty sidekick and mascot. Though I’m not sure an unsteady goat actually makes for a so-called “trusty” sidekick. Most sidekicks seem to be around mostly for comic relief anyhow and maybe to make the hero look good. And he does do that. Walking next to Amadeus I feel as dainty and sure-footed as, well, as a mountain goat. He trips while walking on flat ground. Lying down is still something that takes him a great deal of concentration and is only executed without a nose-plant maybe a third of the time. He bumbles happily through life and his greatest concerns seem to be trying to avoid being brushed and wondering when the next handful of sunflower seeds might appear.
Moving is stressful. Tying up loose ends, packing, saying goodbyes, and making new plans is tiring. But every day when I go outside and dig my fingers into Amadeus’ thick winter coat and he pushes his soft little nose into my face for a kiss that he hopes will prompt me to feed him, I feel the day’s stress just wash away. He helps me to live in the moment. And wherever I am, for the rest of his life, Amadeus will be there, too.
Terri Smith is a non-certified organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo. She is passionate about writing, art, goats, and feeding good food to good people. She believes in following your heart, living your dreams, and taking care of the planet.