Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scarborough Fair

Did you hear that big sigh of relief, yesterday? It was me as I was loading up Sugaree with the goat supplies and feed boxes and hay boxes left from the fair. Yes, the county fair has come and gone, leaving me covered in dust.

In my ever changing moods, I don't really understand the attraction of the county fair past the animal barns. This is where my fair experience begins and ends. I have no desire to travel past the show arena to venture onto the midway filled with rides, loads of people and fried foods. I don't think anyone would ever crown me fair queen. In fact, according to the cheerleader, I am a fair failure.

Each April, the cheerleader and her pal go out to a goat farm and each pick a goat for a 4H livestock project. They like to wait until all of the goat sales are over and people have come and paid big bucks for a prize winning goat. The cheerleader and pal go when all that are left are the goats that were passed up or the little runt goats or the goats who had to be bottle fed due to whatever complication may have happened with the mother goat. I am sure there is a farm name for the mother goat but I just like to call them whatever I like to call them.

So, they pick the unwanted goats and raise them, feed them, love them, train them for four months. They name them and treat them like a family pet. The goats are quite happy and the girls fall in love with them.

Then, August hits and in this town where Maggie's Farm is, people set their watches and their lives by the first Friday of August. That is always the kick off to our county fair. So, we spend the week before, on pen decorating, setting up the supply pen and then moving the goats in. I like to arrive after all of the hard work of unloading the goats is over. In the goat barn, our goats and I stick out like a sore thumb. First, our pen is always highly and colorfully decorated. We match feed buckets and water buckets and tack boxes, hay boxes, feed boxes all to our decorations. We have big, white wooden goat name hangings for the pen. We like to display all of our ribbons on the pen. The girls coordinate the color of their muck boots to the pen decor.

The other goats are all with very serious livestock groups. These groups thrive on all things goats. They are ruthless. They bring hair dryers, special top secret feed, one group has been known for their training on treadmills, they all set up some serious goat pens. They are the people who bought the high dollar goats. They snub our little goats that were looked over.

I arrive, each day, to check on things and make sure that the cheerleader has fed and watered them. When I arrive, the other goaters sort of just look down their noses at me. I come in with snappy outfits, a great handbag, a cloud of Chanel perfume and cute flipflops. See...the anti-fair girl.

On show days, we use simple Ivory soap on our goats to keep them all cute and white. The serious goaters get out their lotions and potions and go to town. They look at us in line, at the sad little forgotten goats and their overly fashioned owners and laugh.

Until showtime hits. I don't want to brag but our little goats have taken championship ribbons and trophies from the serious goats. The first year, our goats took County Born and Raised champ and we took Division champ. This year, our goats came in first and second in County Born and Raised and placed 4th in their divisions of 4H. We hang our ribbons and get mean looks and then I pack up my handbag and glide out of the barn for the day after kissing the goats on the heads.

So, today, fair is officially history for another year. This means there is goat stuff to wash, loads of laundry that the cheerleader will bring home from camper living at the fair and we bid goodbye to the goats. The lights, the scents, the people of the fair are all gone. I always feel such relief at this point in August.

The fair is great for the community but this anti-fair girl is ready to dust herself off and continue with life outside of the goat barn.


Anonymous said...

Do you have one more year of goat showing or was this it for the cheerleader?


Pamela said...

She is actually going to show one more year...and then that is all she wrote...:)