We had a few fun times on that farm but the incidents that stick in my mind involve cows and those pesky pain in the rear (so to speak) goats.
The farm had quite a few cows but the main man on campus, the big daddy of the Bulls was a huge muscular Bull that we nicknamed “Steroids” his neck was the size of Volkswagen and he looked like he had been engineered by a mad scientist bent on a quest for revenge against Ronald McDonald and his fellow burger merchants.
He was a scary Bull and we made it a point to avoid him at all costs.
Not all the cows were that petrifying though, we made a small light brown calf our unofficial pet and we would feed him lemons from our lemon tree almost every day, we named him, Cornelius , only God knows why we chose that name.
We had trouble with the animals breaking into our garden and eating all our plants and usually one of the farm workers would come in and herd all the cows out of our garden and back to the fields where they were meant to be but on one sunny day , the cows broke into the garden and were demolishing all the plants and flowers but the farm workers weren’t coming. I watched from our “stoep” as the cows went along merrily chewing up our garden and I kept peering around the corner to see if any of the farm workers were coming to the rescue, they just were not coming.Eventually I had had enough so I called my brother Matt and said “c’mon we’re going to get these cows out of our garden” and we both marched out our front door to confront these bothersome bovines.Our feet stepped onto the grass with all the determination in the world , it was like a scene from those old western movies , the two cowboys standing akimbo , chests out , eyes set fast on their enemies. We meant business and these future t-bones had better do as we say or else they were in for a world of hurt.We both stepped forward in unison, these walking burger patties were intimidated by this show of manliness we thought but just as that macho cerebration was reaching a crescendo everything suddenly went askew.
As we had stepped forward, the cows all turned to us and seemingly began chewing a little faster and with their big eyes fixed on our, now nervous, little eyes and also stepped forward. Well, I would love to tell you that we were unmoved and confronted those malicious milk makers with the steely grit of a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood but I am afraid I can’t, you see as soon as those cows took that step forward , Matt and me turned to each other, eyes as big as saucers and without ever having to communicate verbally , we both turned and ran , like those old cartoons we took off…..our legs moving so fast I am sure there was a cloud of dust bellowing behind our heels. We ran so fast even Barry Allen would have come a distant third on that day; we dived over the 4 foot high wall surrounding our “stoep” without a second thought, our bodies crashing onto the hard concrete floor. We sat against that wall composing ourselves expecting those crazed cattle to be bearing down on us in any second.After a few seconds we gathered our courage and peered over the wall with great trepidation, what we saw next made my stomach drop and question my manliness, the cows hadn’t even budged , while we were running like headless chickens and diving head first over walls those cows had just carried on eating and no doubt chuckling amongst themselves.I looked at Matt , he looked at me and again without having to communicate verbally we agreed to never talk of this day again.
Cows however were not the only animal that broke into our garden, there was one set of beasts that I despised and that was, The Goats. There’s a reason that the Goat is often used to symbolise Satan, they are, in so many ways, hell. The little buggers would break into the garden and wreak havoc, I was not a fan of the walking disposal bins, so one day we saw an entire army of the little buggers in the vegetable batch and we decided to scare them off. So arming ourselves with a few of the lemons from the lemon tree we began doing a few warming up exercise like the cricketers do before going on to the field for a Test match.We lobbed a few lemons into the bunch of bastards and that scared off the majority but a few still lingered , holding out to get a few more bites, so we aimed a little more precisely and began bombing the areas right next to the guzzling goats , this scared the daylights out of them and they bolted. After all the dust settled and the sounds of bleating subsided , we came to the startling realisation that there was still one goat eating his heart out as if he was at all you can eat buffet.
I looked at Matt, shook my head and slowly pulled my arm back grasping the last lemon tightly in my hand. Now what happened next has gone down in folklore amongst us smith kids, I took aim and like Zeus throwing down a lightning bolt, I thundered that lemon towards that goat.
We watched the lemon, as if in slow motion, spiral through the air hurtling towards the clueless beast, it pitched about 8 inches behind the goats hind legs and bounced with great velocity and much to our absolute shock , lodged itself straight in the goats bum. I could not have made this up if I tried, we watched as that goat sprinted out of that garden like a bat out of hell, the lemon stayed lodged in there for a good 50 metres.
Matt and I, of course found this to be the funniest thing of all time , that story always pops into my mind when I see any goats I happen to see , I always imagine they look at me and then the one goat will whisper to his buddy “hey, that’s the guy uncle Billy was telling us about” , the second Goat will bleat back, “who??” and I imagine the goat saying back “ you know…that dude who sodomised Uncle Billy with a lemon”
We lived in many different houses, flats, garages and places through out my childhood but one of the most memorable was a farm just outside of ‘Maritzburg.Like most farms it was teeming with all sorts of animals but mainly cows and, my arch nemesis, GOATS.The ride to our house at the end of the farm was an adventure in itself , you had to drive on a very uneven gravel road under a lush covering of tree’s , it was like a scene from Indiana Jones but without the Nazi’s and the giant rolling ball, I remember you had to drive up a big hill and then through the farm itself to get to our small house at the back end of the farm.