Those who have read many of my posts are well aware that my trophy bride, Miss Sugar, has a very soft heart, much softer than mine. She is a good influence on me and often makes me behave better than I otherwise would.
So today we were driving home, where I intended to watch the Broncos’ game against the Raiders, scheduled to commence at 2:00 p. m. Mountain Time, and it was 1:55 p.m., but I knew we could make it if we stayed the course. We did not stay the course.
Instead, I spent some time in my church clothes wrestling a goat in distress. Why would I do that? The answer is simple. Miss Sugar has a soft heart.
A few minutes before I was in the goat pen of a stranger, my trophy wife and I were driving past a ranch about five miles from our place. These ranchers have cattle mostly, but they also have a herd of goats. It is a fairly big operation. There are many pens, like a feedlot, loading chutes, and many buildings, including a large equipment shed, barns, other outbuildings, and three houses. I don’t know if they are occupied by family members only or if hired help reside there as well. There were many vehicles parked by the houses, probably six or seven, not including the camper, horse trailers, stock trailers, and the semi-tractor. In other words, it is not an abandoned ghost town. It is an active livestock operation.
It is, however, not active nor observant enough of a livestock operation to suit Miss Sugar. She noticed a goat as we drove by that appeared to her to have his head caught in a wire fence. She commented on her observation. I drove on. We could make it home in time for the football game, you understand. Right? You understand that the goat is not my goat and it lives where many caretakers are very near. Neither is it Miss Sugar’s goat. And the game and all should be considered. And, I was all dressed up.
So I drove about two miles past the goat to an intersection. Then and there, I asked Miss Sugar, “Do you want me to turn around?” Actually, it was not a question. It was a statement of recognition. “You want me to turn around.”
Yes, she did want me to go back to the goat because we should never ignore animals suffering when we can help. (Apparently, the people who live on the ranch rely on Miss Sugar to tell them when their animals need help.)
So we went back to the goat and, indeed, Miss Sugar was correct, it did have its head stuck in the fence. It was now laying down. Other goats around it were licking it, for comfort she supposed. I am not recognized as an expert in goat emotions and the manners in which they are displayed, but I did not argue with her.
So we drove up the lane, past the many vehicles, and parked by the newest house. Miss Sugar went up to the door and knocked. The game was on the radio so I stayed in the car, listening, but I would have noticed if Miss Sugar had been abducted or otherwise in harm’s way. She rang the bell and knocked, but no one came to the door. She walked to the second house. No one was home. (Or they were watching the game.) I drove the car to the third house. Again, there was no response. Well, there was a response, just not by the occupants. The response was by me.
I got out of the car, walked fifty yards to the goat fence, and up to the subject goat. who scrambled to its feet, while leaving its head on the opposite side of the fence from where it kept its feet. I suppose it was glad to see me, but, like I said, I am no expert on goats. Someone even less aware of subtleties of goat communication might think the goat did not fully appreciate my efforts.
I analyzed the problem. The wire fence was one with rectangles (designed for safety, no doubt). The distressed goat had somehow gotten its entire head into one rectangle in a manner not recommended by the manufacturer of the fence, nor by the manufacturer of the goat. Because the goat’s horns extend from its head at a widening angle, it was easier for it to get its head and horns into the rectangle than out. In fact, the horns were curved past the top wire of the troublesome rectangle and back into the rectangle above, preventing the head from getting out.
That’s where I came in. I skillfully got one horn back into the same rectangle as the rest of the goat head and the panicky goat somehow got the other horn out and scampered away.
I watched the critter run back to its friends, fully expecting expressions of gratitude from all. Unfortunately, like I said, I am not an expert at interpreting goat emotions, so I suppose I missed those expressions of goat gratitude. I would like to say that I could see it in those goat eyes, but I could not.
“C’mon, Miss Sugar, let’s get out of here before someone shoots us.”
We missed most of the first quarter of the game, but it is still on as I write this. I’m glad I rescued that goat for Miss Sugar because whatever pleases her tickles me plumb to death.”