Saturday, December 22, 2012

One Goat Open Sleigh

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh….

Although I’ve never ridden in a one-horse open sleigh, I take their word for it about the fun. At Christmastime, I decorate with miniature sleighs, jingle bells, and pictures and plates depicting the nostalgic horsey pastime. I daydream about driving Sugar around the place with a sleigh full of smiling kids, but even if I had a sleigh and knew how to train her to pull it safely, we seldom have enough snow. I wonder if they make a sleigh with a drop-down axle-and-wheel option.

Times have certainly changed from those on the Currier and Ives scenes of yore when horses pulled sleighs, ice sleds, and hay wagons nearly every winter’s day. In spring, summer, and fall, horses did what cars, trucks, and tractors do now. Not only do modern-day horses have much more leisure time, they’ve managed it so that people are often conveying them. It’s not uncommon to see horses riding around in pickup-trailer outfits that cost more than a small house.

Goats, on the other hand, get a lot less respect. Meels and Blueberry, for example, are transported in a dog kennel in the back of the pickup, which is even less glamorous than what average ranch horses and cattle are hauled in, a gooseneck stock trailer. When I’m seen driving the latter, I get a lot of lifted hands and nods (a standard Wyoming greeting from one rancher to another), but when I’m driving the goatmobile, there’s no such regard.

I don’t mind. If folks knew how feed-efficient, sweet, and comical goats are, and how easy they are to load (no training or cowboying required—if they don’t want to get in, one simply lifts them), then goats would be elevated to a higher rung on the ladder of livestock society. People would not only make eye-contact with us goat chauffeurs, they might even tip their cowboy hats!
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on
 those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” –PSALM 33:18



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