By Terri Smith –
Like most celebrities, Amadeus has other things he would rather be doing than signing autographs. He does love his public, but only as long as the sunflower seeds hold out. As I trimmed his hooves and brushed him in preparation for his Christmas appearance during the Winter Lights Festival, I realized it was going to take more sunflower seeds than he could safely eat to have him personally autograph his Christmas cards. He only really appreciates his personal groomer if said groomer gives him copious amounts of sunflower seeds. I decided that like most busy, famous people he would probably have to have someone sign his cards for him. So while I trimmed his hooves I used a stamp pad and pieces of cardstock and took prints of all his hooves. Only one print really worked so I transferred the image onto a block of lino and carved out a stamp of his hoof. So, if you bought an Amadeus card in December, I have a confession to make: the cards Amadeus “autographed” are representative of his actual hoof print, but he himself did not actually, personally stamp every one.
It has been a little known fact about Amadeus: he’s a bit of a brat, actually. He is your typical, spoiled celebrity. Sure, he loves children and during his public appearances he usually behaves beautifully with them. But at home he’s a bit of a diva.
He is demanding and unappreciative, and those “kisses” he gives that are so very cute are really just his way of demanding food. He will even head-butt me, his surrogate mother and personal slave, if he suspects me of withholding sunflower seeds.
Yet, dress him up in a smart hat and fancy collar and load him into the front of the truck (never the back) and suddenly he shines. This year in particular he was amazing during his public appearance. He did take a few bites from more than one Christmas wreath, and also pulled over one Christmas tree that was for sale outside the Co-op as he tried to eat it, but that all happened “behind the scenes.” Thanks to Laureen Caruthers’ magic with photography, Amadeus’ Christmas pictures with children were the best they’ve ever been. He has never “kissed” so many children. The pictures are gorgeous.
He really does like other kids. I think he sees them as being completely non-threatening and a great food source. Adults are another story. He did head-butt two adults, but only because he wanted more food. Children don’t bother him though. They are smaller and generally sweeter, and they are usually unafraid. It sounds silly, but Amadeus can sense fear.
Other people’s fear makes him nervous and how does a goat deal with feeling nervous? With his head, obviously. Something feeling uncomfortable? Just hit it with your head. That doesn’t work? Keep hitting it until something makes you stop or you feel better. If only human stress were so easy to alleviate. Or maybe not…
Terri Smith is an organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo with Road’s End Vegetable Company. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and a diploma in Art.