Above is my buddy Dozer. The trespasser could have been his brother.
One of the things about having the farm pretty well completed and operational, has been this desire to have things calm down. After all, as John Prine sang: “Blow up your TV, Throw away your papers, Move to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, learn to find Jesus…. on your own.” That’s the goal. All was heading in that direction UNTIL!!!! – New idiot neighbors.
The house to our north sold a few months back. The house is nice but the property was a typical rural mess; completely strewn with several generations of farm equipment and general junk. So, as to not be a nuisance, we stayed way. One day, some horses showed up, we could occasionally hear some ducks, and whomever was clearing the property of junk had an affinity for some VERY loud Mariachi music.
Last Sunday, we finally met the neighbors. She is a very nice lady and is there now with her two sons. The way we met her was kind of humorous and head shaking at the same time. We came home from an errand and there were 6 goats in our north west pasture (All bucks for krisake). Well, that was surely going to happen considering that the only fencing between us is an old, sagging, dilapidated, barbed wire fence. I’m surprised her horses haven’t come over for a visit. They’ve certainly been curious about the donkeys.
Zina stopped the car and I hopped out to go round them up and send them back home. Zina took the car and went and knocked on their door. We found out it was her birthday that day as well. I got the goats back through their fence – wasn’t hard, they didn’t really seem to know it was even there (the saying is that if your fence can’t hold water, it won’t hold a goat).
These little devils went back through the fence and then headed west toward the road, came back through the fence toward us then and headed down the road. It reminded me of the scenario when I had a baby pig escape.
OK, so that was funny. The neighbor was very apologetic. She was repeating over and over that she is still learning and that it won’t happen again. However, like typical Citiots, you can’t tell them anything. “Oh, I promise it won’t happen again!” I laughed and tried to be a nice neighbor, having just met her and all, but I responded “Yes it will.” Their fences couldn’t hold a retarded Coyote. I told the husband, as we were again herding them back to the fence, that there is no way they are going to be able to keep those beasties contained until they learn how to build fencing – I offered, I’m pretty good at it and I’ve never had an animal escape unless a gate was left open. Crickets. Can’t tell these fools anything.
So a day or so goes by. We were told that the bucks were being held in their barn so they couldn’t get out. Wrong. They were in a pen that looks like a chicken coop. I haven’t seen a few of them since, but the lead demon spawn and I were about to tangle. Keep in mind that we have about $2000.00 of PURE BRED REGISTERED Nigerian Dwarf Goats. We cannot have strays coming on to the property because goats can carry any crazy number of diseases and we have already dealt this year with Tank getting Pink Eye; not to mention Ginger is due in 2 weeks.
This week was hay purchasing and stacking day (not to mention Sage being sick too – vet bills….. erg.). Usually, when I go outside, the boy goats (Tank and Dozer) call out to me. They did so again but I thought I heard an echo. It came from over by the greenhouse. I turned and it looked like Dozer had gotten out of the pen. Nope, the neighbor goat was in my garden (They also defoliated two of our apple trees and they are now dead. Out here fruit trees take upwards of 5 years to produce fruit. These were three years in…. pretty pissed). Kind of a big sacrifice to be neighborly – because after all – “Still learning”. So this demon was in our garden.
Make hay while the sun shines!
Now anyone who knows me in person, is familiar with my bark. I can scare shit out of a Marine drill sergeant. I let fly on that goat somethin’ to wake up the neighbors. This buck looks just like Dozer, except he has horns (Ours are all dis-budded to avoid injury). He understood pretty well that he was an unwanted visitor. He got into the garden because I had left the fence netting open as I’d been working in there. He high tailed it out of there and back home. Catastrophe number one averted. Goats like foliage, so he was probably sampling the plethora of greens in our acre garden. That alone is enough for war.
I head out, bought hay and came back. It’s a little bit of an effort to get the truck and the tractor through the gate, keep the dogs out of the pasture, keep the goats IN the pasture, and get set up to unload and stack the bales. While I was doing that, Basil was barking, I heard a goat bleating, looked up and that little shit was back again!! This time he wanted in with the does. My dogs were awesome. I sent em off after him. Sage is bloody fast. She was on his heels all the way back to the fence. She rolled him and when he got across the fence she didn’t follow him through it, turned and ran all the way back to me. So much for being sick.
For those of you who have never bucked hay, its a ferociously physical job. After yesterday’s load was up, I hobbled back to the house, took a shower and collapsed. That evening I got up out of my chair to let the dogs out before bed and Sage bolted out the door. I noticed a dark silhouette out by the donkey gate, and once again, thought Dozer had gotten out. Nope. Visitation number three by Satan’s cousin. This time, he had tried to get into the garden but got his horns all tangled up in the fence netting. So here, instead of going into all the details, I’ll just share the text I sent Zina after all of this ended. This is a classic example of people moving out to the country, thinking they know everything, and then screwing everyone’s lives up who have been here for years. Citiots think they know everything. She’s about to get a lesson in life. The mildest lesson is don’t buy livestock until you can contain them (Especially goats. They are smart and can figure out any weakness). The next is “why the hell did you buy six bucks? Did no one tell you they stink to high heaven and unless you are breeding you don’t need them?” And number three: Don’t fuck with the guy to your south. Don’t make him angry…. you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. He turns green and his body tears his clothes off and he smashes things. Lastly……. Your goat is going to get shot.
“3 times today that Dozer looking buck came over. Once this morning and it was in the garden, second while I was unloading hay and the dogs chased it home. They have earned their keep. Sage was ridiculously cool. Then I let the dogs out before going to bed. Sage bolted and I saw a brown silhouette down by the donkey gate. It was that same fucking goat. It was tangled every which way in the garden netting. I got my climbing rope out of the garage. I had to be kind of mean to it. Kneeled on it to get the rope around it’s neck, and I had to go back to the garage to get a cutter to cut the netting off of him because he had the netting in a birds-nest around it’s horns. By this time I smelled like goat. Kicking and screaming like a bitch (because I didn’t shoot it then and there) I took said lassoed goat across our north west pasture. With the long rope he had enough lead that he jumped through the barbed wire fence and I couldn’t get him back through it. I ended up going between the wire strands and ripped the shit out of my shirt….. twice – once in, once out. Banged on the door…. no one home. Went around the side of the house and fell on the concrete because I didn’t know there was a one step down on their walk way. When I fell I lost the rope and the goat ran off. At that time Maria’s daughter and husband/boyfriend were coming up from a walk, I guess along the property line. I totally let fly as bad as you’ve ever seen. They are duly notified that if their bucks come on our property again I will shoot them dead. 3 times!!! Just today!!! Pretty sure I scared her to death.”
Let the games begin.