Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Conversing in goat

This is a short story about a fence. A very crooked, wobbly at the bottom fence. It didn't start out that way-it began its life straight, tight and functioning as all fences do-to keep things in, and things out.

But there is another main character in this story. It is a goat. To converse in goat is really pretty fun, although aggravating to the fence keeper.

"Iris, you are looking mighty today, all white and clean!" I yelled to her.

"Thank you! I do feel very well and good!" the goat yelled back.

"But Iris, you are on the wrong side of the fence!" I yelled out.

"No, no! There are two sides of the fence!" she yelled back.

"I realize that, and you are to be on the other side, with the donkeys and Stella! We have been through this!" I yelled back.

"Yes, yes, I know, you keep telling me this. Over and over. It must drain you!" she says.

"So get on over to the other side!" I yelled.

"You mean now?" she asked.

"Yes!" I said.

She stopped, ate more of the weeds at her feet. Looked about. Ate more. This is where you must think like a goat before proceeding. It took me time to figure this out. You tell the goat your desire, in this case to go back to the other side of the fence "now". But for the goat, each second is 'now". They actually think they are doing what you want each second they aren't doing what you want. It is just as simple as that.

After waiting approximately 30 seconds, I scream,

"NOW!" followed by a smack on my leg with my hat to make a scary noise. It's just that she has heard the noise her entire 9 and a half years here.

"Oh, NOW?" she asks.

"Yes, NOW!" I scream.

"Fine, fine, I will go," and she does go, but in order to prepare her body for the under the fence acrobatics, she massages herself against the fence. Then she contorts down, and voila, she is there-over there, on her side of the fence. And the fence is a tish wobblier than when our story began.

"Thank you, " I said to the goat. I always thanks my animals even if I've lost my patience with them.

Walking off to the barn, I hear chomping.

"Hello, I'm here again, now, with you, hello," says Iris.

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