So as you have probably gathered from recent blog posts, we bought a few goats in the beginning of June. As the more discerning of you may have noticed, both from my saying that there was a funny story, and the comment asking for the story, something happened when we bought those goats that I'll always remember and laugh at.
I should preface this story by saying that the breeder dam raises all his kids and they are not handled much until they are entered into the milking string. They are curious and friendly and most can be stroked, but grab ahold of one or try to restrain it in anyway, and the game is on, buddy!
I'll jump right in. The following picture was taken right before the storm came. You can see Serrano on the left looking relaxed and eating a piece of straw. Clare looks slightly bug eyed, and Robbie just isn't quite sure what to think. "So", says I to my mother, "I will go in and put a leash on this guy(indicating Serrano who wasn't yet named) because if he get loose we'll never catch him. Someone can carry the other (Robbie) and we'll come back for Clare."
Murphey's Law-all that can go wrong will go wrong.
I crawled inside the hot, stinky canopy, slinked up to Serrano, and reached for him with the leash. As I entered, his eyes grew wide, the straw dropped from his mouth, and as I got closer, he stiffened, his chin lowering and drawing towards his neck. As the slip knotted leash settled over his head, he blew up. And I mean BLEW UP!! Yelling and screaming, thrashing, bouncing, crashing, giving me a leash burn on my palms, (mind you I'm not letting go unless I die) and finally running out of air and stopping stiff to cry chokingly until I loosened the leash.
At the same instant that he made his first lunge, Clare was gone. Just like that. Gone. Shot like a missile for the tailgate where Mom was, crashed into the half opened canopy door, sailed over the tailgate, Mom ducking down to save her head, and ran around the corner of the barn.
I got Serrano halfways subdued, Mom grabbed Robbie and we put them both in an empty pen, then went to look for Clare. She was halfway to the pond already, and still going. I headed towards her, thinking she had just had a scare and would be calm now, knowing that she wasn't actually scared of humans, because she'd been fine since the time I'd first seen her. Well, I guess she was still scared because I couldn't get within 40 feet of her and the missile would find some more fuel and reignite. So, I gave myself an "away to me" command and made a wide outrun to the south and got her started back in the general direction of the goat barn. She started heading that way and looked like she'd turn by the shop and head east to the barn, but changed her mind and headed up the driveway. She was moving too fast and I was too far behind to get around in front, so I just stopped by the grill area and watched her trot out the driveway and across the road before disappearing from sight altogether.
I went back down to the barn and told Mom that we might as well go in and eat supper while we figure out what to do, because she wasn't gonna be caught anytime soon. So, we took the rotisserie chicken that we'd picked up and the way home and headed in. The recurring thought of the sight of Mom's new investment of hundreds of dollars waltzing out the driveway was just too much. We traded covert smiles and chuckles all through supper, and I busted up laughing when Brittany asked something about the new goats. She couldn't figure out what was so funny, and I couldn't stop laughing.
Eventually, I figured I'd better suck it up and ask for help. I addressed Dad, Luke, Mark, and Jeff by saying, "This is going to make us the laughingstock of the house for sometime, but we need your help. Our new goat is across the road and we can't catch her!" After a bit of explaining as to what had happened, Luke, Jeff, Brittany and I went out to fetch her. Jeff figured he'd lasso her, though I didn't think that'd work because, as he can't lasso, he'd have to get close enough to drop it over her head. Eventually, Mark took the 4-wheeler, Jeff hopped on the back, and they scouted out the territory, trying to find her. After searching the whole property across the road, and finally deciding she wasn't up there, they spotted her, taking a snooze, in the far, southeast corner. They alerted Brittany and I, and we started closing in on her, as a streak of tigers closing in upon a water buffalo.
She took one look at us and did exactly what a water buffalo being stalked by tigers would do-and what I was very fearful that she would do. She went through the barbed wire fence and onto the road. Once through, she began burning keratin, heading east, away from our driveway. Mark quickly took the 4-wheeler back onto the road and sped up, and got in front of her before she'd made it too far, and got her turned back the other way. Jeff again got off the 4-wheeler and started helping to herd her home, heading her off when she tried to turn around in the ditch and make a break past the 4-wheeler. At one point, she tried going through the barbed wire fence again, hit it square with her chest and neck and bounced off. I could soon see the blood spurting from where she'd run her jugular into a barb. A big trail of blood was following her down the road as she moved my way... As she got closer, I realized that my imagination had gotten the better of me again-she was not bleeding at all.
We'd made it about halfway back when Clare suddenly tired of all the trouble she'd given us and the fun she'd had. After a bit of deliberation, she waltzed up to Jeff with the air of a Princess returning from a party, (howbeit very exhausted and panting) and let him drop his rope of her neck. She wasn't leash trained and threw another fit when he tried leading her, choking off her already precious and limited oxygen, so I ended up "wheelbarrowing" her most of the way home and back into her pen. At one point, somebody brought her some dirty dog water bucket,(anyone who has goats knows how picky they are about water) the contents of which she gladly drank, she was that thirsty. The rest I dumped on her back. The cloud of steam which arose obliterated the trail we were following, and we had to stop and wait for it to dissipate before continuing.
We eventually made it back to the barn where she was supposed to be, and threw her in the pen. Once in the pen, she was as docile as any of our goats. We could pet her, etc. and I even milked her shortly afterward with no trouble at all. (The fact that she was so exhausted she could barely move may have had an impact on that.)
Now she's safe and sound in her pen, and has been introduced to the other does and integrated with no issues whatsoever. She's a nice doe, but I hope she never gets loose again!
P.S. The marks the barbed wire left on her? Zip, zilch, nada! I never found any. This girl must have the skin of a rhino!