Country Living | Raising Amadeus

By Terri Smith –

Dear Reader,

I hope you have even just one small corner of your own to retreat to when the world becomes overwhelming or life is wearing you down, or just because you would like a quiet moment to relax. I suppose, technically, the space I think of as my quiet corner is supposed to be both Amadeus’ and his sister-dog, Kasha’s quiet space, but they are nice enough to share.

You’ve got to admit, anxieties are high and things are tough all over just now. It seems the world is becoming more difficult by the day: wars, poverty, climate change, food security, property tax increases, a giant toddler running the country next door, etc., etc. Maybe it really is ‘business as usual,’ but it’s everywhere you look now, thanks to the miracles of technology and social media. Maybe that’s why my quiet space is a goat shed. There isn’t even cell reception out here.
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A Goat Shed of One’s Own. Photo: Mark Rupp

I come out here with my coffee in the morning or a cup of tea and my headlamp at night. I dress warm, and bring a book or my journal. I bring treats for my animal companions and try to let any tensions drain away. Some days it works, other days it turns into a slap-stick routine, but either way, I’m grateful for the little things, like a dog and goat who make me laugh and a shed made of old pallets.

I’m in a hurry; we’re on our way to town. I grab the water bucket and pet Amadeus on the nose as I head back to the house to refill it. He nuzzles at my hand but miscalculates his trajectory and his head moves too far forward for his body. He looks at the ground, trying to remember what he should do next.

Half a second too late he realizes he should step forward. His leg moves, but he’s already going down and all he manages to accomplish is to bump his nose on his knee as he topples. He’s accustomed to falling, though, so it doesn’t bother him. I hurry back to the house, scoop up a cup of oats, refill the water bucket, and grab my shopping bags to throw into the truck. I pick up my travel mug by its lid and struggle out the door. My hands are too full though and just as I get the truck door open my coffee cup slips out of my hand and spills coffee all over the seats. In my panic to upright it I dump the entire cup of oats over the steaming puddles of coffee. I look up as Mark comes out the door and almost trips over Amadeus. Apparently, I didn’t manage to close the gate and Amadeus has wobbled his way over to the entryway. Mark yells theatrically and flaps his arms at Amadeus. He doesn’t like him in the porch area as he says he always poops at least twice every time he visits. I have to laugh as Amadeus backs up, looking very affronted at not being welcomed into the house, and poops as he backs up, then turns around very awkwardly, poops again, and totters towards the yard. I leave the mess I’m ineffectively trying to clean, still laughing at Mark’s pretended anger at the goat, and herd Amadeus back to the shed.

I don’t have much time this morning, but I feed the two animals, then I sit down on my willow chair, take a drink of what’s left of my coffee, upright the tilting goat, pet Kasha so she doesn’t get jealous, close my eyes and sigh in contentment. This spot is cozy, my animals are happy, and all is right in my world.

Terri Smith is a non-certified organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo. She is passionate about writing, art, goats, and feeding good food to good people. She believes in following your heart, living your dreams and taking care of the planet.

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