Wisdom from Bob's Barn

Jul 2007
Black Goats are Mean
Posted in Older Work by Bob W at 6:36 am | Comments Off on Black Goats are Mean


Many years ago I worked for an older Greek Gentleman.  He was a carny, an old style carnival businessman.  For those of you who where born after 1970 this generally means he was a crook, a liar, a con man and just a bit of a rouge.  This fellow hired me to do yard work on his home, back then the pay, $1.75 an hour was great.  But the real value received from my employer was worth many times that paltry amount.  This old fellow was rather fond of his wine and after a few (or more) glasses he would call me over to “teach me”.   He would share stories from the days of old when he was still able to work the tour and since he was still paying me I listened. 

“Black goats are mean”, he told me one day.  OK, not real sure where he was going with this I figured I better listen up really close. He went on to tell me about this fellow he knew once a long time ago who raised goats, seems this fellow told him that in all of his years of raising goats he had determined that all black goats were mean.  My boss shared this bit of information with me so I could be wise like he was and stay away from black goats.  Being the smart lad that I was I had to ask him “the question”, “have you ever owned a black goat”, I asked.  Of course not, for as he told the tale “All Black Goats Are Mean.”

As I grew up and started traveling a bit in my life I found a lot more Black Goats in my life, stories of absolute fact shared by wise “older” persons.
“White Horses all have cancer.”  “Cats slept with will steal your breath.”
And on and on and on some more.  Black Goats are mean don’t you know.

I started raising Pacific parrotlets by accident.  On January 6th some years back a “friend” of mine asked me if I could take care of her birds for a while due to her illness.  (she never came back)  Being the person I am I took on sixty budgies, cockatiels, lovebirds and one lonely little Pacific Parrotlet hen, named Cricket of course.  This bird tolerated me, loved my wife and stole my heart.  Cricket would ride upon my wife’s hair bun all over the farm, out in the garden or in the sewing room, it did not matter.  As I did all the grooming, feeding and cleaning (they are your birds after all), Cricket came to accept me a bit more.

At a bird Expo I found my first pair, yes I wanted to be a “BREEDER”, I was not aware that that word was considered nasty in some circles.  I was unaware that all breeders were greedy money hungry monsters.  I did not learn these facts until I found the Internet and more Black Goats.

Squirt was our male, rowdy and a strong defender of turf, Little One our hen was as sweet as candy, she would snuggle my ear and chirp all night long if I would allow her to.  They gave us two clutches a year for several years before we lost Squirt.  Many of the Parrotlet folks up here in the Pacific Northwest have their chicks.  Little One is still with us, she has a new mate, but she still enjoys Dad tickles and bounds to the door of her flight to chatter and visit. (Squirt is gone now, but well remembered)

See, we did not know that Pacific hens are not good pets.  We did not know that they are territorial, we were unaware that the males were the best pets, we only knew that we like each other.

To often we as breeders or as pet owners get wrapped up in the “Black Goats are Mean” mentality.  We forget that each bird, each animal is an individual, each baby we raise, sell, buy or love is just that, a baby to be molded and loved just as they are.  We have a “few” more pairs of Parrotlets these days.
We have baby birds, not Black Goats.

Bob Wheeler
Bob’s Bird Barn
(By the way, we did indeed have a black goat, she was nice.)

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