There’s no way to sugar-coat it, the Homestead is currently a very noisy place.
This has got nothing to do with the human inhabitants; we continue to move through the days with no noticeable increase in volume. Oh, except for the days we forget to shut the deck doors before undertaking the track and field challenge on X Box (the hurdles can be hard on the floorboards), and even then our lovely neighbours swear they heard nothing.
Both Dave and Mel (who has bounced back with a vengeance from her dental surgery) take their moonlit property surveillance very seriously and Dave, in particular, has a very piercing, high pitched war cry. That coupled with the chickens and ducks, who are taking turns being broody in the most vocal manner, and the goat’s hungry bellows (even when they’re in the act of eating) make for a sound-scape to rival Old McDonald’s.
The Goat Herd and Milk Maid feel the burden of this increase in decibels very keenly; who would relish the possibility of upsetting the world’s best neighbours? Not us! So the moment Leia, our main offender in the goat paddock, throws back her head and draws breath we feel ourselves tensing. Down the path we jog-trot at the double to shush her. Generally she just wants to know where we are, or maybe her babies are not that keen to do what she thinks they should, or Geraldine has decided to goose-guard the hay feeder again. Either way, she’s not going to say no to a handful of something tasty as hush money and we hastily dole it out in the interest of neighbourly harmony and silence being golden. Of course, this simply greases the axle of the vicious cycle of goat yell, Homesteader stress increase, goat gets fed – and it’s never long before the siren sounds again.
“I don’t have a problem with it,” was Mrs Ezekiel Tigerlily’s response to our shamefaced apologies.
“Haven’t heard a thing,” Jude Nextdoor assured us.
“We love the sound of the farm,” laughed our local royal couple, and
“I’ll take her singing over boom-boom music any day,” was Margaret Backfence’s viewpoint.
Mozart was happy to pose in his Christmas finery, but less impressed by The Goat Herd’s soundtrack.
Which made The Goat Herd’s words, served up with croissants with blue cheese and ham, worth taking to heart.