Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cemetery Dairy

I've wanted goats for almost as long as I can remember. It all started with a picture of Lancelot, the first unicorn captured on film - a billy goat with a birth defect that caused his two horns to grow as one.

One of the issues facing cemeteries in Kansas is maintenance, specifically lawn maintenance. It costs a lot to mow a cemetery, and if it has large memorial headstones, you risk damaging them with weed eaters.

Enter my love of goats. Goats won't nick tombstones in their quest for grass, and they carry the added benefit of free fertilizer and goat milk. Add some pretty harnesses with jingle bells, and you got yourself a fun treat for the kiddos when they come to visit great-grandma's grave. Section the cemetery into grazing times, and post signs that flowers will be eaten after seven days.

Why stop there? A couple of sheep for the places the goats won't touch, and voila! Wool. Looms and weaving classes on the weekend. Some chickens, ducks and guinea hens, and you've not only solved the bug problem, you've added lawn aeration.

Native fruit-bearing bushes around the perimeter will benefit from the improved soil. Come to the cemetery with flowers, leave with gooseberries, chokecherries and thornless blackberries. Better yet, pick your own flowers from the flower and herb garden adjacent to the reflection pool. Wild garlic attracts bees and flavors goat butter.

The sad part is, I'm not joking. I want this cemetery. I can see my Kansas-adapted Earthship watching over its flock of wild and domesticated animals, protecting and preserving not only the memories of those who've gone before, but the ground in which they rest. On the crest of the hill stands the caretaker, wrapped in her hand knitted shawl, and smiling through the ageless beauty only hard, clean living provides.

Expect this scenario to appear in my book of short stories. I now know exactly where Miss Am lives.

Happy Thursday, dear readers. May all your good dreams come true, and your nightmares be forgotten in the light of day.


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