Tuesday, May 13, 2014

There's no place like home, even for a goat

It looks like Betsy is here to stay.

Betsy is the goat that used to belong to my next-door-neighbor, Cathy. My neighbor died last summer, and when winter came and there was no more grass in her pasture, I took in Betsy, J.J. the donkey, and Molly the aged horse. The deal was that I would look after them until Cathy’s daughter, Misty, could get a bigger place to live. Then I would send donkey and horse to Misty and keep Betsy.
J.J., Betsy and Molly 

An attempt at adopting Betsy last November failed because she wouldn’t stay here without Molly. She kept jumping the fence and going home. So for several months I kept the gates open between my pasture and Cathy’s, and all of her animals and mine roamed freely between the two. All six of them were at my barn every morning at feeding time, of course. 

It was with great relief that I took Molly and J.J. to their new home over the weekend. Misty and her husband, Phillip, have a lovely house on top of a hill about a quarter of a mile from my place. They have 30 acres that are fenced and cross-fenced. They’re working on a lean-to shelter for the animals.

When I unloaded the pair, they didn’t waste any time before sampling the lush grass in their pasture. Every now and then, though, Molly would look out over the fence and whinny. I suspect she was calling for Betsy. Donkey acted liked he had always lived on that hill.

A friend feeds for me on Sunday mornings, but after lunch Sunday I made a beeline for the barn. What a relief to find Betsy there. She has been there every day since then. I guess she considers this home now. She seems to be at loose ends, though, as if she can’t decide which horse to attach herself to. I’m sure she’ll figure it out soon enough.

Late that afternoon I got the sweetest text message from Misty. After thanking me for taking care of the animals until her family got settled in their new home, she added: “It warms my heart this first Mother’s Day without momma knowing I have her horse here, and I bet she’s smiling about it, too!”

I don’t know about Cathy, but I’m grinning from ear to ear.

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