Sunday, November 19, 2017

A belated introduction of Mrs. Edwina Cleverbrain, Mrs. Davina Cleverbrain and Ms. Jemsina Cleverbrain

From left to right: Snow, Lady David, Edward, and Lady Edward
This summer we spent the equivalent of $80 on goats. Mihai purchased them at my request from the village of Tormac. Their family had gone to work in Italy and was dismantling their farm. So, In June 2017, Snow White (the Lady James or Jemsina Cleverbrain), Snow White Five Years later (the mother of Snow White; also known the Fairest of them all or as the Lady David, Mrs. Devina Cleverbrain), and the genius goat (the Lady Edward or Ms. Edwina Cleverbrain) have joined our family.

Lady Edward and Lady David are like most mothers: friendly, highly intelligent and provide the best milk I have ever tasted. David milks them twice (and sometimes three times) a day. They are too amazing for words -- when one considers my writing ability. They are, however, described in almost every sentence Edward writes for his homework. 

My phone's collage of Edward (at a petting zoo & this summer)
Andy is not too happy with our naming scheme or with my latest acquisition. He said that he will leave me and never return if I buy a cow. This summer he spent his time helping the children milk the goats -- during and in-between gravitational wave detections -- AND claiming not to remember which one is Lady Edward and which one is Lady David. He also does not know whether LIGO is seeing black holes or boson stars; nobody knows that yet for sure. His job is to hold the goats still, but the challenge is to catch them. He does that by outrunning them, which, dear reader, can be more difficult than you imagine. I accomplish the same task by bribing them with food, but always let the man in my life exhibit his talents. Before running to catch them Andy always asks us to tell him the colour of the goat he was after and NOT their name. Their colours are really very plain. One is white and the other is grey. In his school writing Edward  refers to his goat as 'Edwina'.  He mostly has to write in German and told me 'Frau Edward' would sound too strange for school, and I solemnly agreed.

The Genius Goat can open knots with her mouth and use a fork. She was observed to steal David's cup with left-over rice pudding, which had extra sugar and cacao in it. She put it gently on a a box, and started to take stuff out of the cup with David's fork. The door did not close well and to prevent the goats from coming inside and eating the grain (or sitting on my bed) we tied it with a knot. After I closed the gate as I was driving out with the children, we saw Lady Edward climb on her hind legs and gently open the knot with her mouth. Lady David is bigger, and very strong. She mostly pushes stuff with her head. Snow White climbs everywhere -- it's because she is the lightest. She can even climb on the car.

Edward turned seven this summer. David is ten, and little James just turned one. I stopped writing dedicated birthday posts. The children and our animals take so much care that I have not had the energy to write much before today, but tonight I could not sleep.  So, today after re-lighting the fire, I felt the need to write and not for useful, precise, science writing. I should, however, try to get some sleep to have the strength to wake up soon enough to take on the new day with school, animals and a one-year old AND people coming to install central heating (this time it's gas based). I promise to write more later ... after I do some work on boson stars and take some better pictures of David and his goat/the goats. I will first re-check the fire.

PS1: Edward said his goat seemed so familiar when he first saw her at the farm because he had known  her from a previous life. She was his sister then and they immediately recognized each other. In the previous weeks he had thought he was a tortoise who lived very long and was too heavy to be taken and eaten by humans, but he is now certain he was a goat.

PS2:The goats have two names so that they can have a passport one day and perhaps be enrolled in school. The former Lady Edward is now Mrs. Edwina Cleverbrain, the former Lady David is Mrs. Davina Cleverbrain, and the former Lady James is Ms. Jemsina Cleverbrain. I asked what grade they would be in, and he said they cannot be confined in a grade and they ought to be free to roam the whole school area. I can talk to the principal about enrolling them, but then I'd have to be responsible for taking more beings to school and it would get even harder to get everyone ready in the morning.

PS3: Those of you who find the naming scheme confusing  I am sure understand Andy --- and perhaps prefer to seeing the ladies unglamorously referred to as 'the grey goat' and 'the white goat'.

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