Well, we are now the owners of three goats, ticking off another species on our bucket list of livestock. Frankly, I was worried. The reputation of goats preceded their arrival on our farm as I scrambled to repair and erect a barrier that would be “goat-tight.” I’m quite pleased with my efforts since it took six long days for a goat to escape my enclosure. That shows you how far I’ve progressed as a farmer. Years ago, when we first got pigs, it took one pig about 60 seconds to escape and become an infamous ham on the lam, bounding into and out of briar thickets with such haste that even rabbits were impressed. All I can say is, rule number one of pig chasing is “Never follow a pig into a briar thicket.”
Also, rule number two is “Never follow a pig into a graveyard.” A graveyard is a bigger trap than a briar thicket. Yep, after luring a farmer into a graveyard, a pig always plays a seemingly innocent game of peekaboo behind headstones (which is why modern graveyards use flush grave markers—to limit defensive cover for escaped livestock). Eventually, after many rounds of chasing a pig around a headstone, a pursuing farmer will grow impatient and attempt to hurdle a headstone, which leaves the farmer writhing on the ground clutching a body part. Depending on the severity of the injury, some farmers may request burial on the spot.
Needless to say, I won’t bore you with the details of that pig’s recapture–it certainly didn’t involve a very long chase through a graveyard. To be honest, the account of the pig’s recapture is mostly quite boring and hardly worth telling. In fact, it just nonchalantly wandered back into my fence and surrendered itself after several days of terrorizing the countryside.
But I digress. The point of this post is to detail my experiences hitherto with Capra hircus, that is, the domesticated goat. I’ve learned that goats say “maah” instead of “baah”–who knew? Also, their poop looks a lot like chocolate candy to a toddler, which I suppose, in hindsight, is why most other parents don’t feed their toddlers Milk Duds. That’s about all I’ve learned about goats so far in one week of ownership, but, rest assured, I’ll keep you posted if I make anymore astute observations.