Saturday, March 3, 2012

Led By A Goat, Excerpt

It has come to my attention that I haven't posted any story excerpts in awhile! So I thought I might do that today... If you are new here and haven't read the other parts of the story, you can do so by clicking HERE.

  If Heidi was a ticking time bomb, her moment of explosion came at the end of that first January… It was a dim and damp afternoon, as most ones are in Oregon during winter. I was throwing fresh hay into the manger for the animals and stuck around for a few extra moments to watch all my girls; caprine and bovine alike. Capri and Ivy looked gorgeous as always, with their glossy coats and beautiful, expressive faces. Poppy the Jersey calf was growing steadily in her own awkward, cow-like way. Her eyes were liquid pools of brown that never failed to win me over, and her baby coat was as soft as velvet. She was three months old now, and still rather small, but I loved that little calf… Heidi was looking – better. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but she was noticeably better. I could see her stomach rounding out where a kid (or maybe two?!) lay within. She was due sometime in the next month to give birth, and I was nervous that she might have problems due to her malnourished state.

With hay being thrown, Heidi pulled her usual stunt of aggressively hogging the entire manger to herself. Capri and Ivy were smart enough to back off and stay put, but Poppy trotted right back up to where the food was and started nibbling. Heidi glared at her, but the dim-witted calf paid no heed. You could practically see the anger building up in that goat as she fumed over the calf who wouldn’t get out of her space. Like a sledgehammer, she swung her head viciously in Poppy’s direction; warning her to get out or suffer the consequences. Brilliant bovine that she was, Poppy blissfully ignored everything. Heidi tried her tactic again, getting dangerously close to hitting the small calf. Something in that white goat snapped, at that moment. Her eyes were alive with fury, and she laid her tiny ears flat against her skull. I realized too late what was about to happen as I watched in horror as Heidi torpedoed herself into Poppy’s side. Using brute strength, Heidi propelled herself and the calf against the southern barn wall where she began violently ramming and stomping my bawling calf. “Heidi! Knock it off!” I yelled, as I hurriedly moved to get inside the pen. I could easily see this as being the death of Poppy if I didn’t get in there quickly. The blows continued to rain down; hooves striking flesh and head being used as a battering ram. The calf stopped moving and making noise.

  By the time I reached Heidi, I was mad -- no, furious with her! My temper welled up at that moment and without thinking my left foot shot out and I kicked her in the stomach. HARD. I knocked the breath out of her with my forceful blow, and it caused Heidi to turn and cease her savagery on Poppy. “I don’t care if that hurt you! I don’t care if that causes you to abort!” I angrily screamed at Heidi, “Don’t you EVER touch my calf again!!” Heidi reared up on her hind legs, ready to do battle with me. A large goat to begin with, when she stood on her hind legs she was just over six feet tall. That’s a creature to contend with! She twisted her body into an arc and plunged down; her head only inches from me.

 At that moment, the smoke of my anger cleared. I realized what I had done, and wondered if it was all over now. Had I completely broken all chances of taming her now? I stood there, trembling from head to toe, staring at Heidi who stared back at me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Poppy getting up, and soon she trotted past the two of us. Heading for a safer area. What could I do now? My burst of wrath had most likely unwound my work. “I’m sorry.” I whispered softly. “I’m so sorry….” And with that I left the barn. Ashamed that I had let a goat rile me…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, well done.