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Bush goat meets bush hog

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at 9:02 PM

Patsy, the house goat, checks out her owner's new King Kutter bush hog, as the other goats watch from behind the fence, unaware that their jobs are being eliminated by mechanization.
First off, let me say that I rarely, if ever, go to auctions, even though a great many inhabitants of Southeast Missouri seem to think these events are the highlight of the social season.

So, when the City of Advance announced they were having a surplus equipment sale, I had no idea what to expect - but I persuaded my son Matthew to venture out with me on a cold, windy Saturday morning to attend my first city auction, held in the fire department garage.

The maintenance superintendent sat at an old desk, which (I gather) constituted the "office," and he was in charge of holding up the smaller items to get the sale started. There was coffee for anyone who wanted it.

The sale had attracted about fifteen people, most of whom seemed to have no intentions of bidding on anything, so I can only conclude that they had nothing better to do. Idle curiosity seemed to be the order of the day.

The bidding started with two answering machines.

"Do they work?" I asked.

"This one don't. That one might," was the answer.

Nobody bid.

After some sort of knife was put on top of the pile, a bidder got the lot for fifty cents. He threw away the answering machines and kept the knife.

The auction was well on its way.

The next item was a box of laptop computers, conviscated property, which someone had stolen from the school a couple of years ago. They were retrieved from a ditch full of water. I sat in wonder that someone would go to the trouble to steal from the school and then dump the items in a ditch. Sounded like real winners...

No one was much interested in these items, and I don't know what happened to them.

No one bid on a broken umbrella, so we went outside to see if anyone wanted the outlandish plastic lion water fountain and the hippopotamus head trash can topper. I'm not kidding, folks. I saw them with my own eyes. No one wanted the water fountain, which we suspected didn't work, but the hippo went off in the back of a pickup for, I think, a dollar.

The city was really rakin' in the dough...

A 1985 van went for $500, after my son laughed at me for suggesting I get it as a shelter for my goats. I've been envious of my brother, who has an old school bus that he lets his goats sleep in, and I thought the van would look real good out in the goat pasture. True, it wouldn't be as classy as a bus, but just how often do we see those up for auction at a goathouse price??

Then came the part of the auction which, for reasons known only to them, everyone was interested in. There were only two bidders in this little game, and I was one of them, funneling my wishes through my super-logical son, who was undoubtedly sure that I would embarrass him before the morning was out.

Luckily, I had a figure in my head, which represented the maximum I could spend without totally depleting my bank account.

As it turned out, the other bidder had the same figure in his head - less $100, so I got the tractor and the bush hog.

After a 7-mile drive through an icy rain, my son and I and two wonderful friends got the tractor home to the remote hills of Tillman.

I learned that tractors work much better when they don't have water in the gasoline, and never underestimate the determination of men. It took about two hours to make the trip.

I am now the owner of a genuine vehicle for mowing the tarnation out of my pastures! Unfortunately for goatdom on the DeJournett farm, the purchase of this piece of equipment renders them largely UNNECESSARY!

Patsy, Tinker Bell, and Hot Shot (he of the fancy headdress) shall remain. All others shall depart.

Thus ends my first venture out into the world of the auction. Shall I ever go to one again? I suspect that this form of barter is addictive, and I think maybe I just missed getting hooked.

Better not press my luck!

From the newly-mown hills of Tillman, this is your rural goat farmer journalist, signing off on a cold, soggy December evening..

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

So you've decided to come into the 20th Century by trading a goat-powered brush removal service for a gas-powered one? Congratulations.

Are those the "others" in the background? I can only assume that the talented one surfing on the bush hog is one that will remain. How could you bear to part with a bush hog surfing goat?

Keep us posted on the progress.

-- Posted by Ducky on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 12:39 PM

I'm surprised that the goat isn't on top of the tractor! They will jump on top of ANYTHING!

That van would have made an absolutely divine goat house; in fact, they might have figured out how to drive it around the pasture!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 7:34 AM

Oh my Gosh, MD, what have you unleashed on the world with this tractor!! You have to check out Hot Shots latest transmission, http://forejustice.org/md/hotshot2.html

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 4:29 PM

Holy Jumpin' Jupiter!! It looks as if the Earth's goat population is getting ready to take over the Universe!

If they can drive a 1985 van, they could conceivably operate a space ship!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 10:07 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Zounds! I can't believe that my sweet little herd of goats could be plotting to destroy mankind! (Well, maybe MANkind, but never WOMANkind!)

My little innocent red goat loves me; he could never be in league with the forces of evil, bent on destroying the human race!

Just look into his little rectangular eyes! Completely devoid of all evil purposes!

Maddie, I still think you should write a book about your goats and all the other creatures that live in the hills of Tillman, maybe even a pLAY or a TV SERIES, i am sure it would be better than most of the programs that are on the TV today.I just love your blog.

-- Posted by rusty nail on Sat, Dec 15, 2007, at 10:39 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Thanks, Rusty. However, I don't believe our sophisticated, urban society is ready for my goatherder humor...even if it is a BIT less corny than "Beverly Hillbillies" or "Green Acres."

Come to think of it, they didn't show enough pigs or goats on either of those programs, to suit me. And I didn't even have livestock back then...

Still, I'm sure tired of my two-channel choice of nightly viewing, when I'm expected to decide between a guts 'n gore mystery like "Criminal Minds" or a reality show like "Cooking with the Stars..." (Yes, I made that up, because I can't remember the real name of that silly program..)

MD, what makes you think that the Goats want to harm humanity? Maybe they only want to impart their wisdom and help protect humanity from itself? Think about it: When was the last time Goats started a war or invaded another country? So they could help create a condition of peace on Earth. Goats could also impart the secret of why they have a much lower incidence of cancer than humans, and the secret of how they totally avoid cigarette addiction. After all, when was the last time you saw a Goat lighting up, or for that matter getting plastered and driving dangerously? And they could also help humans eliminate such scourges as obesity and murder. Yes, Goats assuming a posture of moral authority could be a very good thing for humankind.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Dec 16, 2007, at 7:19 PM

Goats of the world, UNITE. Save humanity from itself.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Dec 17, 2007, at 1:08 PM

Oh, come now, FJGuy! ALL aliens want to take over the Earth! Whoever heard of an alien (except E.T.) who didn't yearn for domination of the Universe?

It's in all the textbooks... They're never satisfied with their own planets. Why bother to send out signals, if all you're gonna do is be nice?

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Dec 17, 2007, at 8:56 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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