The goats are up to something

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LOOK AT ‘EM! Standing there pretending to eat! PLOTTING! That’s what they’re doing! Plotting!

My goats are up to something. I know they are. I just KNOW it. For more than a week now they have been super well behaved.

Last week an old friend dropped by, and I showed him my goats. I let them out to graze, thinking we could sit and chat while the goats had some grass.

That didn’t work out so good. One of the chairs out back was wet, and the other had a GIANT pile of chicken poop in it. I offered to sit in the wet one, but my buddy declined for some reason. I told him we couldn’t go anyplace else to chat, because they goats would be expecting to graze for an hour or so.

After about 15 minutes of standing there watching the goats eat, I could tell my old buddy was getting bored, so I said,

“Well I’ve got these goats pretty well trained by now. I can get them into the pen with NO problem at all! Then we can sit out front”

See, my Buddy Bob doesn’t read my blog. I told him, in a loud voice so the goats could hear, “All I have to do is shake this grain bag, and my goats will happily come running!”

I picked up the grain bag and gave it a little shake, as I walked toward the open gate of the goat pen. Not only did my goats come trotting up to the gate in a single file line with big smiles on their faces, they all hopped into their pen, one by one, and stood patiently waiting while I put a handful of grain into each of their dishes! Bob was impressed…So was I!

As we walked away, I heard Kramer say. “You owe us one…FATBOY!”

Since then, I have let them out at least once a day. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and sometimes in the evening. But lately, its always the same. They go down in the area formerly known as the back lawn, and munch away happily. Kramer has a taste for the grassy stuff, while Smeck goes from grass, to burdocks, and back to grass. Billy seems to be the goatiest of the trio. He stands out in the thick stuff, and munches on young trees, raspberry bushes, and poison ivy.

When they have filled their rumens, they make their way up the little hill towards their pen. Typically it is Kramer who finishes first. I’ll send him back down a couple times, knowing Billy has to work harder to get full with his choice of browse, than the grazers do. But eventually he will follow Kramer up, and I will know that they are ready to herd into the pen.

That is where the fun typically begins. Sometimes, I’ll get one goat into the pen, and the other two will make a run on the grain. Other times, they will all three make like they are heading into the pen, and suddenly turn as one, mowing down whoever is standing there to make their move on the grain. Mostly, they just run up out of the grazing area, full speed ahead, and go straight to the grain bin, and attempt to get the top off so they can gorge themselves to death.

But not recently! They come up out of the back yard, and hop into their pen, and wait for their grain. Sometimes I give them some, and sometimes I don’t. On the times that I don’t, as I am walking away, I hear their little voices muttering their disapproval. Things like:

“Fat jerk! Probably saving the grain for himself!”

“Thinks he’s so big with that “HEP” stick of his? If I still had my horns, I’d “HEP” him all right…I’d “HEP” him GOOD!”

“I can’t believe I gave half my grain ration to that rooster, and Fatboy didn’t even sit in the poop!”

What scares me the most, is the other day, my beagle Kipper was sitting in the pen with the goats…

So here’s the deal there. When we first got the goats, they shared the same pen as the dogs. Smeck and Kipper tormented each other to no end. Any time Kip got near him, Smeck would head-but him in the ribs. Any time Kip caught Smeck off guard, he would run at him, and that would send all three goats into a panic, as Kipper chased them, nipping at their heels.

Once I added the 10′ X 30′ addition to the pen, the dogs stayed in the old section, and the goats stayed in the new. See the dogs still think the section leading into the goat addition still has an electrified wire stretched across it.  On days I don’t get the goats out to graze early enough, the goats wander back in with the dogs, and sneak in some grazing time while the dogs are snoozing.

But the other day, there was Kipper, sitting in the goat pen, while the goats stood facing him in a semi circle! They were discussing something, but before I could make out what it was they were saying, the rooster, who was perched on top of the fence let out a long drawn out crow.  Then Smeck shouted in an overly dramatic sing song voice,

“Oh my! It’s the dog! He is in our pen! Run for your lives! FLEE! FLEE!” and they all scattered.

The rooster hopped down off his post, and pecked up a few pieces of goat grain. That’s what has me so worried…I hadn’t given the goats any grain at all in more than three days!

I’m telling you! Those goats are up to something!

 

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.