Goats make news Glen Ellen
Goats made the New Year's news in Glen Ellen in a number of ways this season. All good. And why not? The Christmas goat, or Joulupukki, was well known in my Finnish childhood home. Forget fierce Thor and his goatly minions. The benevolent Joulupukki (pronounced like a gambler's agent from Yolo County, i.e., Yolo Bookie) encouraged children to be good with the perennial Christmas Eve query: "Are there any well-behaved children here?"
Well, of course, there were in my childhood home and around and about Glen Ellen always. Hence, the kindly old fellow distributed gifts and bounty to all.
So ... a few of the goats in the news? I'm sure most of you read The Index-Tribune story about Marty LaPlante's goat, Gabby. Travelling for emergency care from Glen Ellen to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis, Gabby the goat received expert, life-saving and unique experimental care from Dr. Steven Epstein and Dr. Rosie Busch, along with their team of specialists. The folks at Davis performed a Christmas miracle: Gabby survived and has happily returned home to Glen Ellen.
Meanwhile, Shannon Lee sent good news from their Two Moon Family Farm, where the human occupants, including Steven, Annette, Amelia and Linnea, shepherded by Shannon, raise goats.
Shannon writes, "On New Year's Eve our sweet old momma goat gave birth to a doeling (girl) whom we named Eve and a buckling (boy) whose coloration looks like the ice cream and so bears the name Neopolitan (Neo for short).
Shannon says the family is now "interested in reaching out to FFA'ers, 4-H'ers, the Sonoma High School ag department, or any local families interested in starting a dairy goat herd of their own." Or maybe you're simply interested in learning about keeping goats. If so, Shannon suggests you "contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go on our Facebook page to see photos and read more about us."
As for the Christmas goat's gifts to the not-so-farm-oriented Crawford family? While some folks think the Finnish goat is a mighty scary character, for us children the scariest of all was the Italian La Befana, a frightening old crone who proffered presents to the good Catholic kiddos, Finns not included. I found her offensive (being excluded from the gift giving) and truly scary (as she cackled and careened around the old Italian Hall in Arcata).
So what of the goat-loving Finns and others of today? Of course we indulged in the bounty of Cypress Grove. Gathered in the warm glow of my childhood family home (which my little bro, Robert Ayers, has nearly remodeled to perfection) our New Year's Eve feast, among far-flung family now gathered, included Humboldt Fog and Truffle Tremor, chevre rich enough to provide sweet dreams. Traditionally one must have Finnish riisipuuro for bounty in the New Year, but we figure the Christmas goat's offering will bring all the good wealth we can handle in 2012. And, of course, the Christmas goat's real gift was the Gathering of the Tribes.
Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 707 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me @Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least two weeks before the run date.