Even goat farming has gone to the dogs

Last week was the district annual fall fair down in Emu and just about everyone from the across Drizzle Creek District was there.
Most were having a great time sitting around gossiping, but there were a few very long faces. They belonged to those who couldn’t find the beer gardens.
Whether this lack of wobbly pop refreshment added to, or took away from, the overall enjoyment of the event will be a debate for some time. But it certainly did not detract from some of the colourful outfits and tall tales.
Even more exciting than the tall tales were the true ones.
Seems there have been some strange happenings across the district over the last years. Perhaps this is the result of access of the mountain of information available over the Internet.
For instance, there are all sorts of exotic livestock showing up on district farms as local producers, ever interested in producing something that will put an extra buck in their pocket, explore economic opportunities.
Puddin’ Pie’s cousin, Cactus Jack from north of Hooterville, tried a couple of ventures. The first was herding dogs (you know, those beautiful Border collies that can so skillfully round up a herd of sheep or fetch the cows).
Cactus, however, didn’t have any sheep for it to practice on since the local coyote population had proved the phrase, “Eat District Lamb—10,000 coyotes can’t be wrong.”
So rather than providing more welfare snacks for Wile E. and his family, Cactus tried another tact: miniature fainting goats.
These little goats inherit a genetic mutation that makes them “freeze” when they are startled and then fall over and twitch for a few seconds before regaining their equilibrium.
Apparently they suffer no ill effects, but this strange behaviour so freaks out any coyote that they immediately will vacate the area.
No word if it has the same effect on politicians.
These new practice subjects for Cactus Jack’s prize dog worked for a little while even though Old Lad appeared a little confused when occasionally the goats would “freeze up” and then topple over. Then Old Lad discovered if he were to sneak up on the herd, suddenly jump over the fence with a “woof,” they would freeze up every time.
As well, Old Lad, who had long been without female canine companionship, suddenly found a tempting surrogate in the form of the “frozen” goats.
It was the start of an ugly addiction.
In due course, Old Lad either had to be kept on a chain, or the goats tightly penned in the enclosed barn, because on the loose, Old Lad—his hormones raging—either was engaged in another sneak attack or scratching and whining at the barn door trying to get at the goats.
“Made me feel just like a jailer, restraining Old Lad all the time,” moaned Cactus over a cold milkshake while we sat under a shade on the fairgrounds.
“You know, Old Lad finally just up and died on me. Might have been of a broken heart,” he added soulfully as he sucked up the last of the milkshake and looked wistfully in the direction of the long gone—but not forgotten—beer gardens.
Addiction: a terrible thing. Maybe that’s why the fair board “deep-sixed” the beer gardens.
Now if I can just get some results on my own addictions to double-cheeseburgers, ice cream, French fries, and pie, it would be safe to go to the fair more than one day a year—though not nearly as delicious.

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