So we've had our goats for almost a month now and despite what we have heard about how goats are escape artists who love to drive a person crazy, our goats have either been perfect angels, or we have been exceedingly cautious/lucky. We have yet to have an escaped goat, though we did have a couple of them with their heads stuck in a fence.
Until yesterday that is, when we had our first goat rodeo....
This melodrama has a sizable cast of characters who I figure is probably best to introduce, and so -
The Rube - Well meaning but unsuspecting numb nut who gets his just deserts in the unfolding fray. (Played by me, John).
The Anti-Hero - Blue, a lithe, wild, budding escape artist and hot footed wanna be leader.
The Protagonists - The goat herd en toto, who provide just the right impetus for the disaster.
The Hero - J-Lo, portly Nigerian Dwarf Goat.
The Sidekick - Oreo, slightly less portly, half Nigerian Dwarf/half Fainting Goat.
The Villain - Eddie the Dog, appropriately dressed all in black.
Comic Relief - Snooks the Dog, in all her semi trained glory.
Trusty Steed - Kubby the Kubota, an All-Terrain Vehicle
Our story begins as I visit the goats for my evening check in...
"Hey, goaty McGoat goats!" says The Rube, as he pulls up next to the goat pen. "You guys are looking a little hungry!"
The goats hurry up to the fence, throating emphatic bleats, indicating that the Rube had indeed been remiss in providing the preferred amount of excellent forage which their delicate biomes require to induce satisfaction. (Yes, unfortunately goats do speak like that in every instance, save when they are swearing eloquently and elaborately about some imagined slight).
Taking in their disapproval, The Rube sets about cutting down some succulent invasive honeysuckle bushes, a treat the goats appreciate. The next twenty or so minutes (captured in a 30 second montage) go by in general quietude, with The Rube cutting and goats consuming, J-Lo and Oreo push the younger goats out of the way to get the best access to leafy branches.
'They seem pretty preoccupied,' The Rube says out loud, for no other reason than for the audience to hear his thoughts. 'I bet I could take this fence down and move it onto fresh pasture without them even noticing.'
The scene then cuts away to a long shot in which The Rube, whistling to himself the whole time, takes down the pen's walls. He manages to get the first half of the fence moved and starts on the second half. Off center shot, we see the Anti-Hero, Blue, the explorer goat, decide she is done with the honeysuckle and turn to view the Rube appraisingly. The Rube remains unaware as the Anti-Hero (Blue) walks out through the open gap in the fence and tentatively on into the whole wide world.
The moment is tense, balanced on a fine blade. The Rube, realizing his mistake, moves into the escape route blocking the Anti-Hero in an effort to avert disaster. But alas, it is too late. The other goats have hurried over to lend Blue support as she contemplates making a run for it. Everyone stares at everyone else; everything is quiet. A goose honks as it flies over, a spider drifts in the breeze, nothing else moves. A drop of sweat drips from a tense audience members brow and suddenly things begin to happen.
Seeking his own backup, The Rube whistles for Snooks, hoping she may save the day with her untrained but palpable border collie instinct. Goats mill about nervously, their eyes still on Blue, as the Rube waves energetically for Snooks. Snooks appears and begins to herd the goats into a tighter group, backing them into their pen. Blue gives ground. The balance of power begins to shift in the Rube's favor.
Suddenly, doom appears on the horizon in the shape of a tall slim dog clad
all in black, our Villain, Eddie. Sensing this momentous opportunity, Eddie immediately springs into action, racing toward the goats at top speed, the Villain runs headlong into the group of goats, scattering them in every directions but toward the pen, swiftly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The goats quickly coalesce and set off at a dead run, through the hay field, up and over the hill, harried by Eddie, as Snooks works feverishly, keeping the goats in a neat group but stopping no one, running round and round them barking as they go.
By the time the Rube reaches the Trusty Steed, the Kubota, to give chase, the entire group of animals has disappeared over the hill, well on their way to the next county.
Enter J-Lo, our Hero and lead goat, also known as Boss Lady. Fat and extremely out of shape, J-Lo quickly decides that not only that running is not for her, but that she has had enough of this bullshit and comes to a grinding halt. She may be short on legs, but not on chutzpah.
The Rube catches up with J-Lo and puts a leash on her, then the two gallants walk to the top of the hill, where they can see that Blue's tenuous leadership of the tiny goat herd has fallen apart and they have taken a desperate last stand against the Villain. J-Lo boldly walks into the middle of the scene and snorts, threatening Eddie and Snooks with a thrashing. Then she turns her back on them in disgust, reclaiming her lead from the dejected Blue, who has led the others so far astray. Oreo, the faithful sidekick immediately joins J-Lo, and the rest of the goats fall in line as the whole circus walks back over the hill, across the hay field and into the pen.
Once back in the relative safety of their pen, J-Lo and Oreo lay down and ignore the rest of the crowd, including the Rube. The other goats seemed properly chastened, Snooks looks at the Rube, as if to say "Did you see how I kept them all together?"
Eddie slinks off to contemplate his next evil deed.
The Rube touches his head, realizing that in it all, he lost his favorite hat. But he gained a lesson in goat rodeos and humility.