‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


Farm Notes

Hello from the farm and happy December! This year has not been easy and so much yet lies ahead of all of us. On our farm, and on farms all around the Mohawk Valley, we will continue to grow food to feed our communities. For if a global pandemic has taught me anything, it is that we truly need one another. So, to celebrate what will undoubtedly be a very strange holiday season, my husband and I wrote the following ode to the famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore. We hope you enjoy and that we all find a better year in 2021!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, out here on the farm

Not a single goat was stirring; all quiet in the barn.

The sheep were all snuggled and munching their hay,

Remembering the warmth of a bright summer day.

The chickens were roosted, feathers fluffed to keep warm,

Tucked tight in their coop, safe from wild winter storms.

While Peter and I in the cheese plant, with matching hairnet

Had just poured milk into the vat for an overnight set.

When out in the barn yard, there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my cheese duties to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a sprite,

Tore open the barn doors and turned on the light.

The moon on the round bale all surrounded by sheep,

Gave an odor fermented—an aroma quite sweet.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a miniature kid goat with HUGE floppy ears!

With sparkling dark eyes and a dainty pink nose,

I knew in a moment we must name her Rose!

More adorable than puppies, newborn or other,

And she sniffled, and rooted, and called to her Mother:

“Oh Maaa! Oh, Maaa! *Snort*, Ma, maaa!”

“Oh, Maa, oh Maaa, Maaaa maaaaa!”

To the top of the salt lick, o’er the water trough too

The young lambs ran in circles, for they hadn’t a clue.

As roosters that before the dawn lights the sky

When they wake with a start, filling the air with their cry.

So up rose the sheep, and the sleepy goats too

Startling all the animals to their feet, for the chaos to ensue!

And whoah, in a twinkle, I heard under foot

The thunderous sound, of many a tiny hoof.

As I gathered my wits and was turning around,

Down the barn ran the entire herd with a bound!

They were covered all in fur from their heads to their hooves

Leaping and bouncing, the most astounding moves!

I stepped out the way, not wanting to slow them down

And I tripped and tumbled, falling to the ground.

Their eyes—how they twinkled! Their tails—how waggy!

The mother’s udders swollen with milk and baggy!

They tossed their heads, as the tumult continued to grow,

And the little beards on their chins were as white as the snow.

The group gathered together, some stomped their little feet

Approaching me slowly, encircling me like a wreath.

Little Rose stepped forward, dainty but with full belly

That shook when she jumped, like a bowl full of jelly.

She was chubby and plump, a right jolly young goat;

And I laughed when I saw her, a great sound from my throat.

A wink of her eye, and a twist of her head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work

And butted all the yearlings; then turned with a jerk.

And tilting her head, and tossing her nose,

And giving a nod, up the haymow she rose!

She sprang to her mother, to her friends gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard her bleat, ere they scampered out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”