The summer before I got married, I took a lot of gigs “house sitting”.
Basically, I’d hang out at a friend’s house while they were on vacation. Feed the cat. Water the plants. Make sure the cable still worked.
It was a pretty cool job.
My friend Chris asked me to house sit for her family. I figured it would be fine.
“Well,” Chris said over the phone. “We’ve got a lot of animals. A cat, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats.”
“Goats?” I asked.
“So, do you want to come over so we can show you how to take care of everything?” Chris asked.
“Nah. I should be good.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll leave a list of how to do everything.”
Goats. She had to be kidding. Right? Nobody keeps goats for pets. That Chris. Always messing with me.
The next day, I drove out to their house. Used the key to let myself in. Found the note on the kitchen counter.
Cat food under the counter. Guinea pig food in the basement. Rabbits in the hutch. Goats out back.
Shoot. She was serious about the goats. Well, I figured, I could handle them. I’d been to enough petting zoos. Couldn’t be too hard.
After a few minutes of snooping around the house (seriously, Chris told me to), I headed out to see the goats. Surely they were pygmy goats. Some cat sized creatures. I could handle that.
As soon as they saw me, they screamed at me.
“Bah. BAH. BAAAAAAAH!”
I grabbed a bucket of food and walked to the pen.
The goats were huge. Like small horses. Wide as cows. One of the, the white one, looked me in the eyes.
Okay. This is where I tell you that I am a city girl. To the core. I grew up in a place where squirrels were wildlife. Just so you fully understand the idiocy of the situation.
I took a few steps toward the gate of their pen.
Reached for the latch.
Opened the gate.
Took one more step.
The biggest one jabbed me in the stomach with his rock hard head, knocking me on the ground.
“Run for it!” he yelled.
Well, at least that’s what it seemed. Because then the other two took off.
Who knew? Goats can run.
Now, this is a family friendly blog (kind of). So, I can’t share the word that came out of my mouth.
It wasn’t “bah”.
The goats tramped around the yard. Every time I got close to one, it ran away. They had no intention of letting me catch them.
They did, however, intend to eat the green off everything in sight.
The rose bushes.
“What the hee haw am I going to do?” I asked. Out loud. Perhaps VERY loudly. To no one. Because the only living creatures around were…well…goats.
“I HATE GOATS!” I yelled.
That’s kind of how it went for about three hours. I cursed them to eternal torture. They responded with, “bah”.
In circles around the yard.
But then I remembered. The extra goat food was stored in the garage.
I got a bucket full of food. Did the Hansel and Gretel food trail. They fell for it.
Ate their way into the garage.
“Aha!” I yelled in triumph as I slammed the door shut. “I got ya! I win!”
Then I got scared. Stuck in a garage with three large creatures.
“Goats eat anything,” I whispered. “What if they try to eat me?”
As if they discussed it, all three turned to the bin of tin cans.
I had three goats trapped in a garage. Chris and her family wouldn’t return for another week.
What was I going to do?
Then, in a moment of absolute clarity, I noticed a few very important details.
Each goat wore a dog collar. A leash hung on the wall of the garage.
I would lead them, like dogs, to the pen.
Well. Except that goats are a bit more stubborn than dogs.
I still got them to the pen. But only after many minutes of tugging. And begging. And praying that the stupid animals would go back inside their pen.
By then, the sun was down. My muscles sore. My hatred for goats deepened.
I did win, though.
And that’s all that matters.