How Tom Robbins Inspired My Goat Nerdiness

How Tom Robbins Inspired My Goat Nerdiness

Western Wisconsin was the land of black and white dairy cows when I was a youngster in the 80's and 90's. My neighbors across the road had a rare diverse farm that showcased huge draft horses, a pond full of ducks, a colorful variety of chickens and completely exotic guinea fowl! 

One of my favorite shows at the time called "All Creatures Great And Small" was a window into the diversity that farming had once offered. The show even touched on how the draft horses were slowly disappearing during that WW2 era. The diversity of farm animals intrigued me.

I became slightly interested in small ruminants, particularly sheep and goats in my early teens. My parents didn't like the idea of having these animals. Frankly I probably would have not followed through on taking care of them when I was a young teenager.

During my later rebellious teenage years I was introduced to the author Tom Robbins. "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" was the first book I read written by him. And yeah, most of the philosophy flew over my 17 year old head, though some pieces stuck with me. I have re-read this book and many other titles by Tom Robbins over the years and understood more ideas with each reading. 

One piece stuck with me in a small plot running through the book 'Even Cowgirls Get The Blues". The story is that a group of women took over a ranch. They bought a bunch of goats and transformed it into an all cowgirl goat ranch. The notion that this could be a reality was a small revelation to me. Even though this is a fictional book, some of the ideas such as working together to follow through with a plan inspired me. 


It was the perfect marriage when I got my first group of heritage breed San Clemente Island goats and becoming more involved in my small community in 2013. The SCI goats forced me to REALLY think outside of the box, to learn how to be better when communicating with people, to create and achieve goals, and to have fun and soak in the joy and beauty of daily life experiences. Over the years I have become a real GOAT NERD with a morbid sense of humor. 

Did I just spend 10 minutes running around outside slapping an old pair of pink underwear onto the rumps of my goats. You betcha. Do the underwear say "less howdy more doody." Yup. 

Do I have an immense work load, am financially stressed, and am overwhelmed by the general state of "things". Yes. But, I can still slap some pink underwear on my goats for a laugh. I will find time to sit on my porch and enjoy the summer evenings. I take time to step back and think about all the things I have done and relish in my life and experiences. 

All a person can do in this life is gather about him his integrity, his imagination, and his individuality – and with these ever with him, out front and in sharp focus, leap into the dance of experience.

-Tom Robbins

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