By Terri Smith –
I love goats, and I love hats, so really, what could be better than a goat in a hat?
For Amadeus’ fourth birthday at the end of April we decided to throw him a Mad Hatter-esque Tea Party Picnic. We wanted to do something fun before our wonderful farm helper, Svenja, went back to Germany. Setting up a farm is a lot of work so it’s good to take time out for absurdity. Svenja, Mark, Amadeus, and I dressed up in fancy hats, packed some treats and cold tea, and headed up the trail through the forest to the meadows above the house. At my old place, the other goats never blinked an eye when I would take Amadeus away from the herd. But they are a smaller herd now, as the couple that rented my old place kept half the goats, and in this new, unfamiliar territory they don’t want to let him out of their sight. As we walked away the other two goats made such a fuss I decided that they were probably better off crashing our picnic than being left behind, so I opened their gate and they happily followed us through the trees and out onto the meadow. We were an odd entourage: three humans and a goat in fancy hats, two dogs and two more goats bringing up the rear.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and as we stepped out of the trees and onto the meadow, yellow with dandelions, I adjusted my pirate hat, reached down to pet Amadeus, and knew that I have truly found home.
We spread our picnic blankets on the grass and set them with silver goblets and mismatched porcelain teacups. The dogs sat lazily nearby while the two goats who had not been invited grazed on the hillside. Amadeus had his own teacup filled with sunflower seeds and he quite happily stayed at our picnic in his sailor’s cap. After awhile he lay down beside me and watched his goat family do goat things as he ate and drank with the humans. The sun moved slowly towards the horizon as we ate tiny cinnamon buns, talked and laughed, and took pictures of each other and the animals.
You know what is even better than a goat in a hat? The fact that I have come to a place where dressing up in fancy hats to take goats on a picnic is a perfectly normal activity for a Sunday afternoon.
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.