|Betsy the Goat|
I really need a goat. The underbrush in my woods is so thick I fear it will soon climb in my windows and choke me in my sleep, as in a B-horror movie.
My next-door-neighbor died recently, and her daughter didn’t know what to do with her mom’s aged horse, donkey and goat. I offered to adopt the goat.
Betsy is a gentle soul who loves to be petted. She followed me into the small corral at my neighbor’s barn. I closed the gate, placed grain in her bucket, and approached Betsy with a llama halter. I had no idea goats were so fleet-footed. After chasing her around the corral a few times, I managed to hold her long enough to wriggle the halter over her ears. But the game had just begun.
The distance from barn-to-barn was only a few hundred feet, yet it took an hour to get Betsy to her new home. I would rattle the feed bucket and tug on the lead rope, Betsy would take a couple of steps, then she’d stop. Then we’d repeat the process. Over and over again we repeated the process. By the time I got her through my gate, I was sweating like a woman in labor, and Betsy and I were exhausted.
Betsy’s udders were so enlarged that they bounced against her back legs when she walked. While I was taking her to the vet, my handyman attached wire fencing to the gates in the llama compound so Betsy couldn’t slip through.
The vet said her condition wasn’t unusual in milking goats. Trouble is, Betsy hadn’t been milked in two years! He inserted a small tube in each udder so they would drain. If they filled up again, we might have to resort to surgery.
With visions of a double mastectomy in my head, I paid the bill ($72.) By the time I got Betsy home, her udders were back to normal and my horse trailer smelled like a cheese factory. So I screwed the caps onto Betsy’s tubes, unloaded her, and paid my handyman (coincidentally, $72). After hosing down the trailer, I said good-bye to Betsy.
Next morning, there was no sign of Betsy. Suspecting what had happened, I hurried over to her home place. Yep, there she was, commiserating with her buddies about being dragged through the woods by a crazy woman and having tubes shoved into her teats.
Wisely, I had left the halter on her, so it didn’t take long to get a leash on her this time. I tried to get donkey to accompany us. He wouldn’t budge. Again, I wrestled Betsy up the hill, a few steps at a time. This trip took only half an hour. I put my smallest pony, Nibbles, in with her, hoping the two would bond.
But next day, guess what? No Betsy. Like the Great Houdini, she had managed to escape again. I had spent $144, and still didn’t have a goat.
I wonder how much a cow would cost?