• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Critters explain their names to would be homsteaders

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 566
Location: Longbranch, WA
26
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Discussing this mentally with the animals from my past 75 years while putting up the berry canes for next year's harvest, we came to the conclusion that humans that are not familiar with farm animals would learn something about them if they thought about how their names are used in colloquial speech. I decided we should start the interviews with two that are likely familiar to would be homesteaders and build from there.

Cat: "You humans should realise that cat is the abbreviation of catastrophe. If you socialise us to close human contact we will assume that all your activity is done in our behalf. If you mix up some nice fluffy soil we will assume you made a new toilet for us. If you put that tray of fluffy soil up where it is high and warm we assume you made a new bed for us. If you stand still putting that fluffy soil in small pots [which is ridiculous, it is not good either potty or bedding] we assume you are bored so we will rub on your legs to remind you we are available for petting. We will be very upset with you when you trip over or step on us when go to get some more pots."

Dog: "Forget the cats! We are the real champions of the homestead. You humans use to dog or doggedly to indicate not giving up on a quest. We will therefore be persistent in using our natural instincts for the benefit of the homestead. We want to please so we are willing to modify our instincts to your needs but once modified we will be doggedly insistent to keep doing it the same way. We will bark at any stranger that threatens the home den but if you keep punishing us for barking at people we wont bark at that scary guy with the gun either. We appreciate it when you reward us with a thank you for doing our job then we can save energy by going and taking a nap while we know you are on the watch. We love to help you run down and catch any runaway animal and that includes chickens and young children. It can be quite startling to a sheepdog that has never had experience with children to have this running animal suddenly at masters command say 'I am not an animal I'm a human.' I understand chicken has something to say about this but don't believe everything a chicken has to say."

Chicken: "I'v heard the way you humans have referred to people as 'chicken' and I don't think it is appropriate. When we are running away from something in our imagination it is real to us or at least there must have been something really scary that started the other chicken running. Some of you may have been told that chickens are stupid then complement us, when they get toe know us just a little bit, that we seem to be very smart. But you have confused intelligence with wisdom. We may run from imaginary danger but we will walk right into situations that mean instant death. If we were really wise we could have told you that our running away from imaginary danger could trigger the dog's reflex to chase down anything that is running away."

Duck: Hey! We don't run we waddle. I have heard you humans refer to sitting ducks. Well, when we are being attacked from the air, our best defence is to camouflage yourself in the vegetation, and on land if we can't get to water it is still the best option and hope it is the other duck that gets eaten."

Goose: "You don't need to worry about us. We will make enough noise that even it if doesn't drive the intruder away at least you will come to see what is wrong and unlike the dog we won't quiet down until we are satisfied. I have heard references to people being 'goosed' and I am proud of that ability to hit that vital tender area it drives threatening animals away faster than all that noise we like to make."

Rabbit: " It should not be 'sitting duck' It should be 'crouching rabbit.' But we have a better strategy than ducks. We dig holes in the ground and have babies so fast they cant eat all of us. Then if our camouflage doesn't work before we die we let out a scream that will make a human that doesn't know how to dispatch us humainly never want to do it again."

Sheep: " That brings up sheep to the slaughter. We are to humble to brag but really we do it all; fiber for your clothing, meat for your winter, even milk if you want to go to the trouble. All we ask for is grass and water and maybe hay if the ground is covered with frozen snow. I have even been harnessed up and pulled a wagon or a cultivator if I have been trained to leed. I see my opposition coming watch out she will 'get your goat'."

Goat: "We are not called capricious for nothing. We make life a lot more fun. If the sheep get out they will go to the neighbors and ask how to get home. We will head straight for the best stuff you have been keeping away from mobile tongues and when we are finished will either stand on your porch and ask for more ore find our way home. We make a lot more milk than a sheep and some of us make fiber that is a lot more silky that sheep. I have been harnessed up and pulled wagons and cultivators also."

Cow: "Hold on there we are the milk producers. We can make so much milk you wont know what to do with it all. Now I have heard humans refer to having a cow when they complain loudly; we are normally quiet but if one of us gets separated from our calf or the rest of the herd we can call back and forth loud enough to put the gees to shame."

Horse: "What is this talk about other critters pulling things That is our job. When you speak of someone as a 'horse' you are referring to his strength. Then of course there is 'horsing around' sometimes we will try to out do the goats when it comes to having fun."

Pig: All this talk woke me up. You got anything to eat? I will eat most anything that is digestible. I know you humans don't like to be called a pig but you are taking advantage of our survival instincts and then giving it a bad connotation. We would rather eat what you eat which will become quite evident when we accidently root our way under the fence. We would rather keep ourselves quite clean if you give us a chance. We try to have a separate place for our toilet. We prefer some pasture so that we can have some salad to go with our root vegetables. If you give us a large enough body of water we won't mess it much more than the ducks. Other than that we are smart enough to do everything the rest of the critters can do. True we don't have enough hair to make clothing but we can provide bristles for your brush."

I hope these interviews will help you in selecting your homestead critters. There are others that I have met a t fairs but have not had time to interview so you are welcome to add ones you know well enough to know their voce.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My sheep seem to have taken lessons from your goats!
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 566
Location: Longbranch, WA
26
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tyler Ludens wrote: My sheep seem to have taken lessons from your goats!

Quite possible that it is breed dependent. Our Suffolks were much smarter. The big difference was the sheep would tend to push under the fence like the pig whereas the goats would stand on the fence until they bent it down so they could get over it.

My first post was quite generalized but it might be helpful if we make observations more specific including breed, age, size of herd or flock, how much we interact with them and what they seem to be saying to us by their actions.

For example: Do you have a weather forecaster among your critters?
I would regularly take the goats up the driveway and across the paved road where thy could browse the brush. One day I opened the gate and immediately the large black French Alpine that recently ascended to herd leader started up the driveway and I was scrambling to catch up to act as crossing guard at the road. When I looked back the old Saanen doe was still standing in the door of the barn and the herd was strung out down the hill with some looking back at the old Saanen doe fore guidance. Suddenly the black cloud overhead, that the rest of us had not noticed because the nice warm sun was shining at an angle under it, let loose a deluge. We all headed back to the barn in various stages of wetness depending on to which leader we payed attention.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My sheep are Jacobs, a "primitive, goat-like breed" supposedly. They are very smart and destructive.

P1020145.jpg
[Thumbnail for P1020145.jpg]
Jacobs
 
please buy this thing and then I get a fat cut of the action:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic