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9:10 AM Fri, Oct. 19th

Marvin's Window: Even the meek can be pushed too far

When I looked out my window this weekend, I could see those ponies and goats that once lived next door.

I shared my experiences in an earlier column.

I watched some miniature ponies kick the "dickens" out of those gullible goats every single day for two years.

They resided just across the driveway in a pasture divided in the center with the ponies on one side and the goats on the other side.

The ponies would stand at the fence and "nicker" at the goats in friendly tones for hours at a time.

Eventually, one of the goats would respond to the friendliness and move close to the fence.

The nearest pony would switch ends in an instant and plant two hooves in the ribs of the stupid goat.

The pony would turn back facing the fence and start the process over.

This went on for the two years I lived in that house.

Never a day went by without more than one goat taking another kick in the ribs or behind.

Those goats just never did learn!

I had a chance to talk to one of the goats this weekend.

I have always wanted to know why the goats were so stupid and why the ponies were so mean.

I asked the goat what he and his friends did to irritate those ponies and what steps had been taken to stop the terrifying attacks on him and his fellow goats.

He said that he thought the ponies were irritated because the grass was greener on the goat's side of the fence.

The goats spread their fertilizer more evenly across the pasture and grazed the grass so individual plants had a chance to grow and replenish the food supply for the goats.

The ponies spent so much time at the fence trying to entice a goat to come close that they could only eat the grass close to the fence.

They piled their fertilizer along the fence and killed some grass.

They left the other grass alone until it had grown high and turned to seed and were no longer edible.

'But," the goat leader said, "The ponies were angry that we had the green grass and they would not change their ways to keep their grass green.

That would take time away from their primary goal of kicking us!"

It seemed to me, as I watched the ponies and goats interact, that the ponies just wanted the goats to get out of the area and leave all the pasture to the ponies.

I wondered if the ponies would destroy the green grass with neglect if the goats left.

The ponies had never taken care of what they had.

I asked the goat leader if they had tried to settle the grass and pasture issue with the ponies?

He said they had lived together before the fence was built to separate the pastures.

The goats made all the pasture green and abundant.

The ponies spent so much time harassing and kicking the goats that the center fence was built to separate them.

The goats expected to live in the area in peace, but the ponies kept attacking.

There always seemed to be some goat getting too close to the fence and taking another kick.

The goat told me that after I left, they had built a second fence across the pasture to establish a neutral zone between the ponies and goats.

The ponies kicked holes in the fence on their side so they could get into the neutral zone and close enough to kick the goats.

"We tried changing our foreign policy," the head goat told me.

"We built a screen so the ponies could not see the green grass on our side and be tempted.

We offered to manage the grass growing on their side of the fence.

We hired some of them to work in our pasture, but they would kick of us when they got full of grass!"

I asked the head goat if the problem had a solution and he assured me that the goats had found one.

He said the ponies kicked two young kids in the same day so hard that the kids died.

At that point the goats rediscovered why they had horns.

The goats formed a wedge just like a football team receiving a kickoff.

That wedge of horns went through the fences and headed for the nearest pony.

That pony turned and fled at a gallop, never trying to kick any of the advancing horned goats.

The other ponies followed and made a big hole in the other fence.

When last seen by the goats, the ponies were almost out of sight on the way to cross the nearest river.

The ponies disappeared, never to return to bother the goats again.

"We are a peaceful group and try to live in peace with our neighbors," the head goat said.

"When the neighbors insist on meanness and refuse any reasonable solution, we do have our limits."

When evil persists, even a peaceful and seemingly stupid group of goats will take action.

Pushed to the limit, even stupid goats will pull together and use their horns as offensive weapons.

I never asked the head goat if he felt guilty!