My cousin has evidently gained (or will be gaining) possession of a goat. This led me to meander down memory lane to when we were temporarily harboring goats. Some friends of ours were in the process of finding a new farm and for a while their horses and goats occupied our farm. So two Nubian goats – Annette and Suzette – moved into IronVine farms. At first, I will admit, I was rather smitten. Nubian goats are very people oriented and friendly. I had lovely fantasies about using this useful little pair to eat some of the sumac and brush around the steep side of the driveway and all sorts of cool goat things. I have no background in “goat” and this was obvious.
Part of the problem was that these two ladies were very bonded with humans. If you weren’t standing in the brush with them, neither were they. I tried using the type of cables you tie a dog out with to keep them where I wanted them to eat. Seriously, they wear dog collars, so this seemed like the perfect solution. Both goats would start straining and bleating as soon as the human walked away. This would not have been so bad except they carried on like they were being tortured and I could not figure out how to explain this to the police in a less-than-humiliating fashion. So we attempted to go back to a free range system. Unfortunately the goats decided that they were perfectly happy to chew on our newly transplanted oak trees in the back yard. I can now state that I have tackled a goat. The goat would eventually have its revenge. Actually, I don’t remember for certain which goat is which, but I tackled the black one for eating my oak tree, it was the red one that would seek vengeance.
“Back in the day”, (which may be quoting Toby Keith) I could hold my own in a physical altercation with most. Don’t get too excited, most of this took place in a predominantly boy populated neighborhood that we moved out of when I was eleven, but regardless, I generally believe I can handle myself pretty well. (Wrong).
I was in the middle of munching down a pb&j sandwich before starting my own barn chores. I went in to the addition to chat with my friend (and the owner of the goats) who was cleaning her stalls. The red goat (Annette..maybe) came up and started begging for the last bite of sandwich. I have owned Labradors my whole life and one Corgi – I can resist a beggar. For the record, Annette likes to “start” with people and was well known for coming up to someone and pressing her forehead into your thigh in a “wanna go” challenge. She had been doing that prior to begging for the sandwich and I should have put two and two together (so much for the three digit IQ).
As soon as I popped the last bite of pb&j into my mouth, the red goat got her vengeance. She reared back and head butted me in the stomach as soon as I swallowed the remnants of the sandwich. The timing was perfect and I ended up with the wind knocked out of me and choking at the same time. Doubled over, I feebly was swatting at the goat. If you need an image, imagine a male comedian mocking a girl slapping match – that was the best I could come up with as a defense. The goat had no such issues and just keep repeatedly head butting me. There is an old saying that no one wins in a head butt – nope – the goat certainly wins.
My friend who grew up in an Irish Boston neighborhood with two older brothers had stood by and watched about as much as she could take (said friend would totally be on my fantasy bar fighting team). She threw her manure fork down in the stall, shouted “oh! that is it!” and leapt out of the stall taking the goat down to the ground and pinned the goat to the ground in a tackle that could have brought home a Super Bowl title for the Bills. My dignity was not so easily saved.