Two naughty goats get away with garden mutiny

July 16, 2012

Gather ’round children, for this is the parable of the two naughty goats, and there are many lessons within the story that will guide you through life.

The two naughty goats lived in a beautiful mountain setting with two kind, benevolent owners. They had an idyllic existence, in a wondrous green fairyland, where all the swords had been beaten into ploughshares and all the branch banks had been converted into Dunkin’ Donuts.

The two kind, benevolent owners always made sure the two naughty goats had plenty to eat. Every morning and every evening, the owners supplied the two naughty goats with armfuls of golden hay, free from chemicals, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup.

The kind, benevolent owners smiled graciously as they did this, singing a merry tune all the while, and ignoring the perfectly understandable impulse to wrap their hands around the little varmints’ throats for eating them out of house and home.

In addition, the kind, benevolent owners would spend hours in the hot sun, putting up new fence in fair meadow and fragrant wood, opening up many the yon leafy dell for the culinary enjoyment of the two naughty goats.

The kind, benevolent owners did this with happy heart and without complaint. Well, one of them did anyway. The other one was, if the truth were known, pretty fed up with the entire situation, but he kept his mouth shut, not wanting to be on the receiving end of ye merry olde staff over the melon.

Of course, tending goats was not the only pursuit of the kind, benevolent owners. They also tended fine gardens of silver bells and cockleshells and tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, onions, beets, etc.

They loved sharing their goodly produce with all comers, who would gratefully express their thanks for the tomatoes, onions and beans, although they would usually say, “don’t worry quite so much about the cockleshells next time around.”

With all the bounty of the land, you would assume that man and beast alike would be content with their lot and while away the hours strumming on the lute, or hay rack or what have you. You would assume so, but no.

Rather, the two naughty goats bided their time until they discerned a short in ye olde electric fence, at which point they made a break for it, and this would be at 9:30 at night, so the scum had the cover of dark in their favor.

Now it came to pass that the bounty of the owners’ gardens in the wondrous fairyland had been overstated by just a skosh. The ripe, sun-warmed produce was but a figment of the imagination at this point, and although there were high hopes that something might come of the garden one day, about October by the looks of it, the green plants were at this point quite young and tender and susceptible to any kind of setback.

It also needs to be stated for the record that the aforementioned, neatly tended leafy glen more resembled a Burmese jungle, so it wasn’t like there wasn’t plenty of other foliage for a goat to choose from even if he had really been hungry, which the facts have demonstrated was clearly not the case.

Nay, the two naughty goats headed straight for the happy gardens and ate all the forbidden plants that they liked. And those they didn’t like, they took a bite and spit out, much to the outrage of one of the owners, but not the other.

And the moral of the story is this: If ye want to get away with murder at my house, it helps to be a goat.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at

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