Saturday, April 7, 2012

Possessed Goats

Today I had the strong desire to throttle my goats.

The weather has turned beautiful lately; blue skies, green grass, drying mud, happy animals... It's spring. Seeing that we were having a balmy day today I made the decision to put the goats out to new pasture, just like we've been doing for the past few days. It was all old routine. The girls knew exactly what to do, and where to go. Heidi and Ivy were leashed, while Summer and Poppet followed closely behind. Now, to get to new pasture, we have to go out of the barn, near a busy road, through the backyard, and through another gate before getting to pasture. It's a long way around that's been made topsy turvy due to Bob's bachelor pad.

Everything was going swimmingly, until Poppet got it into her pea brain that today she would like to go the opposite direction. I stood still for a fraction of a moment as I watched her trot off. To go running after her would cause Ivy, Heidi, and Summer to bolt and then I would lose control. The only thing to do was to sprint and put the girls into the backyard, and then go after Poppet. I thought for sure I latched that gate as I let go of the leashes...

 I ran after Poppet, calling her name, yelling her call song, willing my legs to move faster towards the little white fluff ball who was already well over 100 feet away. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that I had three new competitors running along side of me: The girls. Apparently I hadn't latched the backyard gate well enough... Oh boy.

 My Carhartt coat suddenly seemed very heavy as I ran, and I feverishly tried to figure out what to do before the other goats hit the road, which was where Poppet now was. Smart creature that she is, she was running in left lane towards traffic, and in the short distance I could hear a car fast approaching...

Great, I thought, A car's coming, my goat is going to be squashed, the other three goats are running pell mell, and I'm supposed to be some sort of cool, collected farmer who runs a well-oiled farm in which nothing goes wrong. The newspaper will love this! The car came in sight and I wondered how on earth they couldn't see the white goat that was running straight at them. Poppet was no longer listening to anything. She had tasted freedom, and was headed to the hills. I barked out a milking call to Heidi and Ivy, and in a split second they turned and dashed into the barn; thinking it was milking time. Summer stayed on my heels as I continued this crazy race.

 The car was now 30 feet away from my goat when it slammed on the brakes. It was a little old lady inside, and without rolling her window down she motioned the question of wondering if I needed help. Help? Me? Do I look like I need help? Shucks, I need a psychiatrist! Actually, when she stopped, my humor caught up with me and I slowed down to a leisurely stroll. Her head swiveled between the straying Poppet, the goats who had just run into the barn, me, and Summer who was still at my heels. I looked at her, shrugged my shoulders, grinned, and continued walking. This was altogether too hilarious for me to not smile at. 

 The lady slowly commenced to driving away, and with my hands on my hips I knew I needed a different tactic. Poppet was becoming a blur in the distance, and was still running. Heidi and Ivy had come back out and were thinking about joining the little Dwarf. There was only one trick left in my bag: It was time to kuln my heart out.

 Taking a deep breath, I sang their call song: A long, loud note that sounds something akin to, Seeeeekoooow-hey!! It sounds weird, but it gets their attention every time. With that, I started running towards the barn. I ran with all the strength I had left while kulning the goats back. I don't even remember what I sang... The lady in the car slammed her brakes on again and she heard me "scream" and saw me begin running. I guess she thought I was completely loco as I now ran in the opposite direction that she had seen me coming.  She drove away with her foot on the pedal. There goes my reputation...

 I got to the barn and looked back. In the distance I saw a white blur speeding down the hill towards me. Poppet got the message and was headed back. She twirled and caprioled down the warm asphalt, looking like a little ballerina practicing for a recital. 

 I herded the goats back into the barn and Heidi and Summer went back into their pen on their own accord. I groaned though as Ivy and Poppet split and went behind the stack of hay. I hate, hate, hate it when they do that!! What follows is always a merry-go-round of chasing. I go around the stack, and they go to the other side. We just go in circles until someone finally gives up. The logical side of me said to simply put some grain in a bucket and shake it; they would come immediately and I would have no troubles. The not-so-logical side of me said, "No, that's a reward, and the last thing they need right now is a reward!" So the ridiculous chase continued while I darkly told Ivy, "When I get my hands on you....!" 

 I finally gave up. Heidi was nosing the gate open and I knew that if I didn't do something fast I would be right back where I started. I filled a bucket with some grain and voila! I had instantly had four loyal fans. It worked so well that I almost wished that it hadn't... Harrumph. 

So the goats do not get new pasture today. Poppet will get her own collar and leash before I attempt that again. And hey, if I find that I'm in the newspaper this week for my little scene, I'll let y'all know... ;)


DebH said... do a video of the Call sound cuzz I sure darn well could use it! I laughed hard on this post...its a weekly event somedays here on the range! Course then, I'm not laughing...

nancy said...

OMG, what a way to et a workout!!!

Goat Song said...

Hehe, it's never funny right at the moment but it's funny to recall now... That poor lady! If I ever see her driving past again, I'll have to waver her down and do some explaining... LOL.