Flashlight Farmers
Dances with Goats
It's been a standing joke that it was going be pretty hard for me to find a guy when he discovers my favorite pets are goats. One whiff of goat poop on my person and visions of happily ever after seem to screech to a halt as the date in question runs so fast he almost becomes airborne.
I think I may have solved that little problem. You see, I joined a dating site a couple months back with a profile involving 100% honesty. I called myself goatmom, said that I have been known to bring sick goats into my dining room, and anyone who thinks that's crazy might not want to get to know me.
Within 12 hours I had an e-mail waiting. It was from an accountant who goes home every night to………his herd of sixty goats! Now is this a match made in heaven, or what?
So Goat Bob and I (my friends call him Baaaaab) split our weekends between my place and his, making sure all the little critters are cared for and fed. This weekend half his herd needed worming. He owns a whole lot of goats. Sally the goat killing devil dog is even intimidated by these babies. We opened the gate to the barn and the herd came thundering in, while Sally Dog cowered behind my legs.
Goat worming doesn't sound like a difficult task and I guess it wouldn't be - except goat wormer tastes really yucky and the goaties already know it. They do NOT want to suck down that nasty stuff. So they have to be caught.
I learned a whole lot of ways to catch a goat today. The best way is if you can sidle up next to them, whistling and looking completely innocent….and then snatch them by the horns before they realize what's going on. That rarely works. They're suspicious little varmints. Sometimes you have to make a lunge to grab their back legs as they gallop past. You should be very careful that you don't end up skidding on your face after a near miss. Once you have hold of the rear legs it's pretty hard for them to continue running with only two front feet, but more than once I found myself being dragged along at a furious pace like a participant in some crazy wheelbarrow race.
The clothesline technique worked best for me, leaving just enough space between myself and the fence that they think they have a chance at slipping past. Then, when they think they're almost home free, you shoot out an arm to stop them in their tracks with a headlock.
You also have to watch out for watering troughs and other obstacles while you're making your catch. I was so intent on keeping an eye on my target that I barked my shin on a trough and barely saved myself from the indignity of falling in. I limped along gamely after my prey, though. The limp turned into a gimpy hobble a few goats later when one of them stepped on that spot while I rolled around on the ground with him.
Number 123 was almost the end of me today. For a half grown billy, that little booger was strong. He didn't fall for the innocent passerby gambit. He escaped from the wheelbarrow technique. I escalated to the clothesline trick and had him firmly trapped in a headlock, but he dragged me along like toilet paper stuck on a shoe. So I had to get serious. Summoning up my immense knowledge of karate techniques, I wrestled him to the ground, used both arms to immobilize his head, and wrapped my legs around him so he couldn't move an inch.
So that's how it came to be that Bob found me flat on my back with a panting billy goat enfolded in my embrace. I think he made a joke out of it but I don't remember for sure. I was too busy trying to get my breath back to listen.
Damn. Every muscle hurts tonight, my left shin is sporting a purple goose egg and there's a knot on my skull where one of those critters bonked me with the tip of a horn. I don't remember ever getting my butt kicked so thoroughly at the karate school.

October, 2007

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