Goat Zen in the Goat Pen

After compiling my part of the World Nutella Day round up and finishing some work assignments early in the week, I decided to enjoy the sunshine this afternoon and spend some time with my girls (of the caprine persuasion).

I never would have imagined how calming and reassuring just being in the presence of these goats can be. It’s really hard to be worried or stressed about anything when these sweet faces are looking back at you.


Right now I’m reading Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler (recommended by a reader and native of Calabria, just down the road from me; grazie mille Anthony!).

Kessler describes the connection with nature, history, and yourself that raising goats provides, noting that throughout time, goats have been the subjects of many legends and stories, always “helping humans or leading them to unexpected places.”

“If you follow living beings assiduously in the field, or through the lens of a microscope,” writes Kessler, “they lead you to an understanding of their lives, and all life. They usher you into a kind of Eden.”


Margherita and Carmelina usually don’t care *too* much if I’m in there with them–they often come to say hello and then just go back to eating, unless they’re not hungry, in which case they’ll stay for petties for a few minutes.

But my Pasqualina, who you might remember, I bottlefed, rarely leaves my side when I’m in the pen, even when I’m clearly disturbing her nap time.

There’s just nothing like goat zen in the goat pen.

29 Beans of Wisdom to “Goat Zen in the Goat Pen”
  1. 02.10.2010

    Ohhh… LOVE that picture of you two together. Feeling the love all the way from there to here… πŸ™‚


    Thanks Kate. Goat cuddles are the best!

    .-= shibori girl´s last blog .."Destashing" My Studio =-.

  2. 02.10.2010

    the last picture is definitely a love Thursday picture, how sweet!!!!!! xo

    Haha, I may have to recycle sometime πŸ˜‰

  3. Aw, your girls are gorgeous! Great photo of the two of you too!

    Thanks Alison πŸ™‚

    .-= Alison Cornford-Matheson´s last blog ..Organic Vegetables Delivered to Your Door – Reason2.be =-.

  4. 02.10.2010

    sweet. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for coming by Nino!

  5. 02.10.2010


    Obrigada Adri!!!!

    .-= Adri´s last blog ..Nutella tem gosto de quΓͺ? #Nutella Day =-.

  6. Linda

    Brad Kessler’s “Birds in Fall” is equally as wonderful! I’ve just read both books. My grandparent’s always had goats and the book brought back many childhood memories.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Linda! Glad you enjoyed the book as well πŸ™‚

  7. They really are *too* cute, Michelle. Can’t believe I’ve never met them!

    You can always come after kidding πŸ™‚

    .-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog ..Travel Tip Tuesday: Five Budget-Saving Tips for Your Next Trip to Italy =-.

  8. 02.10.2010

    Cute overload my dear! Especially the last photo. I have always wanted to have goats, especially the smallest kind. I keep trying to convince my hubby that we need them. πŸ™‚ Maybe someday, but at least I have iGoat thanks to you talking about it. LOL.

    P wants to find a pygmy or two just for fun…LOVE!!!

    .-= Aimee´s last blog ..Kitchen, life, and other things. =-.

  9. My uncle’s goats were nowhere near as cute or charming!!

    You are a lucky woman. πŸ™‚

    Don’t I know it?! These goats are truly special πŸ˜€

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..GLEE Italian Style! =-.

  10. 02.10.2010

    I love that last shot of you snuggling the goat. We have a twisty-horned goat that lives near our house and I think I’m in love!

    They’re *so* good at finding places in our hearts πŸ˜‰

    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Rays of Sunshine =-.

  11. 02.10.2010

    So cute! My niece has this dream of owning a goat, she would be so envious of your cuddles πŸ™‚ enjoy.

    Haha, keep the dream alive! They’re great friends to have πŸ™‚

    .-= Vee´s last blog ..The Rock Stars! =-.

  12. That pic is hilarious!!!! HAHAHA I love it.

    Glad you enjoyed Sara πŸ™‚

    .-= Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy´s last blog ..World Nutella Day 2010 Round-up, Part 1 =-.

  13. 02.10.2010

    Michelle, Pasqualina is so sweet and reassuring! It’s a beautiful “warm” picture. I can’t believe it’s sunny in Calabria when in Puglia has been raining for soooo long! I need a warm goat!

    We’ve been getting peeks…I enjoy them while they last!

  14. 02.11.2010

    I’ve got you and Margherita ready to go tomorrow as the feature post on All Things Goat.com. She’s such a sweetie.

    Hope this finds you really, really well!

    Thanks Martha Ann, things are wonderful here…waiting anxiously for kids! πŸ™‚

    .-= Martha Ann´s last blog ..Tony Bynum’s Glacier Park Goats =-.

  15. Gil

    Four cute kids! I just love the last picture.

    Thanks Gil πŸ™‚

  16. 02.11.2010

    I have always been a huge fan of goats, but I never knew I could have uncomplicated my life so much by having them. Just think, all those broken hearts and depressing endings to affairs could have been avoided! I tried chickens, they didn’t work, although I like them very much.

    Chickens kind of make me nervous, all that pecking and whatnot….

  17. 02.11.2010


    That last picture is so cute that it hurts.

    Last week at Olivia’s farm I could not believe how sweet the goats were. They were competing for petties. Talk about putting things in perspective – I was “goated” into it! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    It’s an interesting life, isn’t it?

    Always, Diana! I’ve always loved goats from whenever I went to a petting zoo…never could have imagined this though πŸ˜‰

  18. 02.11.2010

    I fell is love with these kids from the beginning. Love them and the photos.

    Thanks Michele!

  19. 02.11.2010

    When I lived on a small island off the coast of Spain for a summer, there were goats everywhere. I fell in love with them and even did a painting of one. They do have a very unique, kind gaze. Thank you for posting these wonderful pictures and your obvious passion for these beautiful creatures.

    I bet your painting was lovely, Nancy! Glad you also appreciate the kiddies πŸ™‚

    .-= Nancy Gail Ring´s last blog ..How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day – Day 1 =-.

  20. 02.11.2010

    I love reading about you and your goats! They are cute and I don’t really think most goats are cute. Maybe it’s because they are Italian goats! hehe

    Haha, I know I’m biased, but I do think they’re pretty darn cute πŸ™‚

    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Ravioli making =-.

  21. 02.11.2010

    Way too cute!!!

    Thank you!

    .-= The Food Hunter´s last blog ..World Nutella Day =-.

  22. v. cute!!! Love the last photo!

    Thanks Karen!

  23. 02.12.2010

    You are doing an excellent job as a goat carer πŸ™‚ (Goat Keeper) Well done. they are really cute..not that I know many!!
    I did vote for Pasqualina in the competition. Did she win πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my blog today.. does mean a lot when people take notice.. ?

    Have a great weekend, hope it stays sunny for you!

    Thanks Anne! I think the competition is still open…it seems to be going crazy right now with all kinds of different photos in the top 10. Oh well…always #1 (tied with her sisters) to me πŸ˜€

    .-= anne´s last blog ..New Year – New Friends ………………….. =-.

  24. 02.12.2010

    Wonderful! I came via the Friday Ark, and love your photos – and your adventure. I love goats, ever since I got to know the two kids that friends were raising many years ago. So sweet, smart & curious. They followed people around like dogs, and wanted to come into the house. Since then, I’ve made the acquaintance of many lovely and humorous goats, and am quite taken with them. I also love their yogurt & cheese!

    They really are *so* lovable; I definitely never knew what little personalities they have…and yes, yogurt and cheese, yum! I didn’t know about the Friday Ark; how cool! Thanks so much for coming by!

  25. 02.14.2010

    OMG that goat at the top really DOES have a sweet face. It is really charming!!!!! I can see why you get such a lot out of them. Actually I was very surprised walking down the main road the other day and past the local secondary school to see a dear little goat face peering out through the railings. to my amazement there were 2 beautiful goats in a little enclosure carved out of part of the school grounds.

    Interesting thing is, this was a school where 10 years ago kids were chasing each other around with machetes. It has the rep of being totally turned around now and the beautifully cared and very friendly goats were a symbol of this.

    I thought to myself that just as some of those kids must be putting a lot of time and effort in to making sure the goats are happy, so I bet the goats give them a lot back too, with their company.

    Oh that’s such a lovely story, Jenny! Doesn’t surprise me at all…I think a lot of schools could benefit from such programs, whether it be with goats or similarly sweet, smart animals πŸ™‚

  26. Love your goats! Do you make your own ricotta cheese? Thanks for your recent blog comment. Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

    We don’t make cheese yet as our girls are only pregnant for the first time now (no milk before then); we’ll see how it goes in the spring…fingers crossed!

  27. 02.15.2010

    This is TOO adorable! I love it! Way to get your “Goat Zen” on, girl!

    Thank you! And thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  1. [...] and reassuring just being in the presence of these goats can be,” she says on her blog Bleeding Es... allthingsgoat.com/2010/02/goat-zen
  2. [...] in Calabria, Michelle of Bleeding Espresso has been talking about Zen in the Pen and one of her kids, Pa... my-bellavita.com/2010/02/12/love-in-italy
Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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