Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our tasty Christmas tree

This year we decided to forego the commercial Christmas tree lots and farms, and instead drove over to our friend Jeff’s 19th-century family home near Waverly, Alabama, so that he could help us harvest a cedar on some land he’s planning to clear anyway. We petted a couple goats, then headed down the hill for our tree. Jeff remembers cutting down Christmas trees as a boy on the land that’s belonged to his family for six generations.

There was more tree than we needed so the boys chose a couple branches, which will become “trees” for their bedroom or our dining room. Jeff told us the goats would enjoy eating the base of the tree we were leaving behind.

“They like cedar,” he said.

As if to prove his point, by the time Rob got to the top of the hill, three of Jeff’s goats were following behind, grazing on the tree as they chased it. As Rob hoisted the tree atop the car, one of the goats jumped up on our car, hooves on a side window, mouth seeking tasty tree branches -- until Jeff redirected him. Turns out these goats are agile enough to climb to the roofs of cars and trucks when the mood strikes them.

Will, who’d already developed an attachment to our new Christmas tree, decided to stand guard near our car in case one of the goats tried to pull some more funny stuff. The goats had moved on by that point, but it all made for a memorable Christmas tree hunting adventure.

Our tree, pre-harvest.

Jeff told Will to haul his "tree" up the hill like a mule.

Three-tree parade

Feeding frenzy

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