“The Goat Escape”
GRANDVIEW, WA -- The goats got out again. The consensus on the farm seems to be that I’m at fault. Reason being, the goats like to distance themselves from me. I apparently emit some bad goat juju.
I guess it stems from a couple of years back when Kay and I first visited the Washington farm. My nephew Curt thought we should try our hands at goat milking. Since that was a place I had never actually put my hands, I reluctantly acquiesced. Agreed is what I did.
Kay first. That girl was born to milk. She took hold of those two hangy down things, and the old goat just patiently stood there smiling and swaying with the rhythm. (By the way, unlike cows, goats only have a pair of udders. It’s the only sensible thing about them.)
My turn. I shut my eyes and cautiously felt around on the underside of the goat for something to grab. Having managed to locate the appropriate hold-on parts, I started squeezing one at a time, because two at a time felt weird.
After a few seconds I couldn’t help notice there were no splattering sounds emanating from the milk bucket. I reluctantly opened my eyes and discovered that I had perfect hearing. Maintaining my hold on the goat’s, uh, things, I glanced forward to see what the holdup was.
I thought cats gave a good stink eye. Cats have nothing on a goat. Everything in her expression said, “If you ever touch me down there again, you’ll be looking for a non-gendered restroom for the rest of your unnatural life.”
Let’s move forward two years. I’m now back on the farm, and have learned that a goat has an exceptionally good memory. Word must have spread, because all four of ‘em looked at me like I was Vlad the Empty Pailer. Those creatures wouldn’t come near me if I was clothed in a clover skirt.
So what has all this got to do with the great goat escape? Pretend you asked. I had just finished making a tossed salad and decided to toss the bowl of cuttings over the fence for the goats, because that’s the kind of guy I am. I don’t hold a grudge. I’d walk around the block to avoid an altercation.
The goats have a multi-acre pasture that’s near our borrowed home. They are rich in edible weeds. They’re only purpose is to give milk. They weren’t raised to be eaten, so they have nothing to fear, and no real responsibility. As goats go, they’re lucky ducks.
So, I stepped outside with my greenery to find that the goats had escaped the confines of their pen. When I approached them, they lit out like I was carrying a bucket of boiling lead.
I ran back to the house, stepped inside and yelled to Kay, “The goats are out again!” I didn’t really need to yell, ‘cause she was standing in the kitchen by the door. “What’d you do to ‘em this time?” she said. This time? What’d I ever do to those goats? I felt like that guy in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” who couldn’t persuade people that aliens were turning everyone into pods. – “It’s not me! It’s the goats! They want you to believe it’s my fault they’re behaving badly!”
Kay said she’d go corral the livestock if I would find out how they made their escape. Kay walked over to where the goats could see her and yelled, “Hey, goats!” Then she turned and walked over to the milking pen and opened the gate. Those stupid goats came off the hill and walked right through the gate. It wasn’t time for a milking, either. They just saw Kay and decided to come home. If I had walked over and yelled, “Hey, goats!” they’d be swimming across the Rio Grande by now.
I did manage to see where they had breached the barbed wire. A fence post had given way and was laying flat across tumbleweed. I tried to make the post stay upright, but it would not cooperate. After about five minutes, I gave up. I talked to myself all the way back to the house. – “I didn’t sign up for this. I’m just living on the farm while our house is being built. Goats? They can escape every day and night. I don’t give a bucket of boiled eel slime.”
By the way, Curt got his post-hole digger and reset the post. He’s obviously a bit more responsible than I. Oh, and the goats think he’s swell.