Posted by: kathandroger | June 25, 2017

The Goat Incident.

Polly the puppy wakes early in the mornings. Whereas an infant can be left screaming for a while without consequence, a little dog is liable to leave reminders on the floor that necessitate immediate rising. She is actually very good now, and as long as she is let out into the yard, all is well. But the last weeks’ weather has been so hot that the early morning is the only time a walk can be taken in any comfort, so we made our way up the hill behind the house at about 6.30 am. I saw the sheep grazing contentedly in our field, and was marveling at the peace and tranquility of the gentle morning air when a sudden and very loud bleat came from our land. It seemed to come from the border between our plot and the sunflowers in the farmers’ field next to ours. The goat, Moins Dix, had been prevented from jumping into the young crop by my new fencing, and it was obvious that he had been trying to find another route for his delinquent foraging. Usually his bleat is very soft and calm, but this cry was one of pain and distress, and he must have seen his potential saviour  walking up the hill. I could not see him, but we climbed along the fence line to find an animal hanging  by a hind leg, trapped securely and unable to move in any direction. There was no easy way to release him. Polly thought it was all great fun, and her habit of sniffing assorted animal genitalia was enjoyed without interruption from the stationary beast. I am not sure what she made of a castrated male goat perineum, but it adds to her education. The only way to release the poor animal was to cut the fence, and that meant a trip back to the house to fetch the wire cutters. A problem on early morning walks for this walker at least, is that our diet of multiple vegetables results in rather precipitous calls to evacuation, and such was the case that morning. Should the animal be left in pain so that the rescuer could be more comfortable, or should the dash for relief be for wire cutters alone? Putting animal welfare before personal comfort, the tool was retrieved and the trapped goat released both from the wire fence and the dogs’ nose. Personal relief was attained in the bushes. The problem was then how to get the limping goat back into our property. Moins Dix is not an especially big animal, but there was no way I could lift him over the fence. A dash for his favourite sheep feed enabled us to enticeIMG_3782 him to walk to the road along the boundary fence, but there he stopped, unmoving even for food. The ditch he had to climb down is very steep and deep, and as he was a bit sore he just didn’t fancy the effort. I didn’t fancy the effort of climbing up to get him either, but I could not leave a rescue incomplete. My mountain climbing days are long gone, so it was with unaccustomed effort that I grappled inelegantly with various shrubs and grasses and ascended the steep ditch to grab one of Moins Dixs’ horns. The descent down the slope was facilitated by a goat who did not want to descend, and luckily my weight was just enough to overcome his resistance and we both made it unscathed to the road. He then scamperd off through the gate to our field and back to his sheep playmates. I hope he has learned his lesson and will never try to escape again. Fat chance of that!

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