Raising Amadeus

By Terri Smith –

Amadeus is very excited about the coming spring and the disappearance of all this snow.

Tumble averted, good thing this snow bank was here! Photo: Terri Smith

Amadeus doesn’t get around very well in the snow. When it snows he just stays in his house until I shovel a path out to him. Even with shoveled paths, he would probably end up with atrophied limbs if left to his own devices since he seems to think hibernating till spring would be a fine thing to do. But his weakness for sunflower seeds keeps him going. Every day we go for a walk. Some days he doesn’t want to leave his house – which I completely sympathize with – but if I wave a handful of sunflower seeds in front of his nose, suddenly he can’t wait to get his daily exercise.

While he doesn’t voluntarily go for walks on his own, he is excited to follow me wherever I want to go (I pretend it’s love, but it’s probably just sunflower seeds). Right now, as I write in mid-March, with such deep snow, we can only walk up and down the driveway, but it’s a lovely little walk all the same. The paths I’ve shovelled to his house are only just wide enough for him. The banks of these paths are as tall as he is, and, actually, this is one of the benefits of winter for Amadeus. As I think I may have mentioned, repeatedly (probably in every article, in fact), Amadeus does not walk very well. He’s a bit bumbling, and it seems like he just doesn’t pay attention and so ends up tripping or leaning too far to one side and falling over. With these narrow paths and high snow banks, however, he may wobble and lean, but he just bounces off the sides of the path and keeps going. Spring and the lack of snow banks may end up being a bit of a nasty shock to him as he has become used to being caught when he starts to fall.

Once we get out onto the driveway, he does have problems at times. He tends to be a bit of a sideways walker, and he’ll amble along behind me at a 45-degree angle until, inevitably, he’ll start to trip on the unplowed snow at the side of the road and then face plant into the bank. He doesn’t like getting snow on his face, but I brush him off and offer him a handful of sunflower seeds and suddenly all is right in his world again. We have a fairly large hill we walk up every day, and, while he trudges up it rather grudgingly, on the way home he likes to run. Watching Amadeus run is always one of the silliest, happiest moments of my day. He’s terrible at it! But he doesn’t fall. There is such a gleeful abandon to his run. His legs fly out in every direction, his head bobs around all over the place, and he sticks out his row of bottom teeth in a goofy goat smile. His gait is bouncy and flailing and full of joy, and I laugh happily every time I watch this glorious and ridiculous creature come bounding after me beneath the snowy trees. Simple pleasures do make life worth living!

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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