life on the funny farm

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Head Honcho

I was out at the barn feeding my critters the other day. I probably should have taken notes, because my horse Jasper could teach me a thing or two about quiet authority. While he was eating his grain undisturbed, a whole mess of goats was fighting over another bucket several yards away. Fur was flying and horns were being smashed into rather delicate areas as chaos ruled. I remember thinking how their behavior reminded me of my kids. Didn't matter that there was grain distributed all around, with plenty for all, they each felt like the bit right in front of them was rightfully theirs. Not one of them could see that the situation would be improved if they could share. Meanwhile, as they fought over the bucket, Jasper finished what was in front of him and decided to see what else was around to munch on. He simply walked over to the goats' bucket and they all scattered as he settled down to dine. They looked mighty forlorn, I can tell you. Because of all the fighting, they had each only gotten a bite or two and now Jasper was eating the rest. Though there was a lesson there for them, they didn't learn it. They're goats. But I'm hoping I'm just a hair smarter than them and can learn from Jasper how to exert my authority over my kids. None of the goats questioned him, and he didn't need any loud obnoxious displays to get what he was after. So if I can tap into his mastery of authority, perhaps I can stroll into a room and quietly tell my kids what I need them to do, and they will immediately step into action without question. Jasper didn't need to ask them nicely three times to move over. He didn't need to yell. He didn't even threaten to remove barn privileges if they didn't listen. What was his secret? I did notice he pinned his ears as he walked over. If I try real hard, maybe I can wiggle mine a bit, but I don't think I can pin them flat like he did in that menacing manner. Of course, he also weighs about a thousand pounds. Maybe that's the trick. Alright, if that's what it takes.

So if any of you see me putting on a considerable amount of weight, you don't need to inquire about my health. I'm just trying to get my kids to listen better.

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