The Unusual Fruit Tree

This is no ordinary willow tree.

We’ve ridden past this tree every single day without incident.  But I know now that was because it’s fruit take a loooong time to ripen. A year maybe.

The Goat Tree

The horrific sound of ripe fruit falling to the ground is enough to scare the boldest horse into an early grave.

The reason we have the tilty, blurry photo of the sinister tree: I was taking the picture while Hudson was in the first phase of a cow horse one-foot spin and bolt. Or, if we prefer in dressage lingo, a pirouette at the hand-gallop.

Hudson warns of tree danger

Jane. Something is Wrong with that tree. I’m SO outta here. You are taking a PICTURE?!? HANG ON.

Something WAS wrong. The tree looked like one half was attacking the other half.  There were a lot of branches bending, bobbing, whipping up, wildly thrashing…this was one heck of a freaked out tree.

I got off Hudson and we walked cautiously back. The tree stopped moving.

Uh, trees do not stop thrashing around when they hear hooves. I suddenly realized no breeze had made it thrash around in the first place. The air was utterly still.  

Cue spooky music. Forget Hudson. I was ready to jump out of my skin.

I get back on, we tiptoe past the tree, which remains perfectly still. Hudson’s ears swivel back questioningly: What the heck was that all about? 

I pat him on the shoulder: Don’t know.  You sure were good though, thanks.

I can feel his mental shrug, and we go to work in the arena.  Once he’s done for the day, and settled back into his paddock with The Worlds Largest Happy Meal, I walk back to the access road. I want to see if I was part of a mass hallucination, or the tree is perfectly ordinary.

It’s not. The willow is wildly attacking itself.  Is there a gap in the time/space continuum here? Did we fall through a worm hole?  Other than tree noises, there are no sounds.  No children are playing in the greenery.

Suddenly, a large roundish white thing falls out of the tree with a loud thud. Bizarre fruit? Branches tremble above where it landed. The tall grass rustles and I hear the unmistakable sound of tiny hooves scrambling as a small white goat launches itself back into the branches.  A second later, a gray round thing falls out, scrambles, and leaps back into the tree to continue play fighting.

An hour later, I see a herd of little goats quietly grazing in the tall grass near the tree. The willow was able to completely camouflage 15  tumbling, rambunctious goats.

A Goat Tree. I love my life.

I told Hudson goats grow on trees.  And that our Goat Tree had fruit just about ripe enough to start falling to the ground, and goats being goats, they thrash.

He gave me a dubious look.

“Could be worse?”, I say. “They could have planted llamas.”

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19 thoughts on “The Unusual Fruit Tree

  1. Marissa Q.

    I am not even going to tell Tucker that Goat Trees are a thing. He’ll probably never leave the barn if he knows. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find this post. Are you coming back to blogging? I just re-started, and I miss you!

    Reply
  2. Teresa

    I am torn between being sad that you don’t have either whomping willor or an Ent and jealous that you have an honest to goodness goat tree. Can you send me a seed?

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The Real Life Questions Jane Absolutely Positively WILL NOT ANSWER, NUH-UNH | The Literary Horse

  4. Sandy

    Goat trees are a new one for me. We do have wild turkey trees… Hudson probably could smell them first.

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Hudson loves him some Turkey Trees (Bushes, paddocks, flocks) He veiws them as inferior steers, and daydreams ways to ambush any turkey flock dumb enough to wander through his paddock. What he is really afraid of? Braying. As in donkeys and mules…unclear if I would live through that spook. They scare the bejesus out of him.

      Reply
  5. eventer79

    Well, dang, someone beat me to the Whomping willow! Can I trade you a Tick Tree for a Goat Tree? I really WOULD rather have goats landing on my head!!!

    Reply
        1. theliteraryhorse Post author

          LOl, my joy is overwhelming! CHIGGERS. I have plans for a cute little Chigger circus (think flea circus). Oh, they’ll do the trapeeze all right. I’ll have a can of RAID standing ominously near…

          Reply
  6. Liz Goldsmith

    I am so glad we don’t have Goat trees here in Massachusetts. It’s bad enough that we have wild turkey bushes! The turkeys are the only things we’ve encountered on the trails that send Freedom flying!

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I’m glad you don’t have Goat Trees too. We have wild turkey herds that wander the property, flap out of bushes, and occasionall fall out of trees while attempting to roost. Hudson loves the turkeys. He gets to chase them. Different though, because he LIVES with them annoying him, not simply popping out on the trail to scare the bejesus out of him. Poor Freedom!

      Reply
  7. Dreaming

    OMG! This is too funny! Now wonder he wanted to protect you/himself! And, you deserve a prize for multitasking. Camera – reins – horse turning swiftly under you…. amazing!

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I wish I could take credit, but I was so caught up getting a pic of the tree, I didn’t catch the minor detail that we were about to have a major melt down. Good thing Hudson rides off one’s seat! I was able to grab him by tightening my thighs so we could slow down enough for me to pick up the reins. Not the brightest bulb in that moment!

      Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Theoretically, goats that belong to the neighbors stay at the neighbors…but you are so right, we can’t count on the theory of Neighbor Containment. Not with goats. Upper level spooking… I think we need to add that to our dressage tests? Now there is a test I could ride… 😉

      Reply

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