Over at the The New Yorker, Susan Orlean took notice of the story out of Los Angeles about a heard of goats that had been put to work by the city to keep hillside weeds under control. Orlean is evidently envious of their industriousness, since she's had less luck with her own animals. She acquired several to help her with household chores. Apparently, they're not very good at it.

My guinea fowl were purchased to eat the ticks on our property, but since I’ve had Lyme disease three times in the past three years, I would say their effectiveness has been sub-par. The cats were acquired to deal with the mice in the basement, but they don’t like being in the basement because, well, I don’t know why. Maybe because there are mice down there.

Orlean ruled out getting a goat to manage her poison ivy patch on the grounds that it had a tendency toward biting people. Now that she's moving to Los Angeles, maybe she should consider adopting that capybara that's haunting the town of Paso Robles a few hours north. That thing looks like it could make short work of some ticks.