Afternoon naps are a thing of the past

It was a typical afternoon in June. A sunny day, hot, but shady and cool on the porch, or cool enough to stretch out on the porch swing with a book.

6-25 Page 4A.inddThe plan was to read and sip ice water, but after a pretty rigorous morning of yardwork, the book lay open atop the reader, unread. The reader dozed in the half-awake, half-asleep state of the twilight zone.

The family who live on the hill across the road are excellent neighbors, kind and helpful. On this particular afternoon, the father was out in the yard cutting up a felled tree with the chainsaw. The sound of the chainsaw was almost hypnotic and didn’t bother the swing dozer in the least.

His companions in work were the dog, Molly, and Oswald, the goat. Yes, the goat. Some time back, the family acquired a baby pygmy goat as a pet. He is now an adult, an unneutered Billy, with horns and everything.

Oswald is unaware that he is a goat. He is under the impression that he is a dog and plays with Molly. He acts as a watch goat and greets visitors when they arrive, which is often a surprise for the visitors. The UPS delivery man was very surprised to be greeted by Oswald, who ran directly at him and delivered a few head butts.

All was peaceful, and the dozer dozed on when suddenly a strange creature leaped into the swing, atop the dozer.

The dozer woke up — justifiably startled I might add — to see the strange eyes of a goat staring down into her face. The dozer screamed, several times, which brought all the dogs to the porch in attack mode.

The following scene was chaotic in the extreme. The peace was shattered by the bedlam of five hysterical dogs barking and lunging at the goat on the swing who did not want to get off the swing or the dozer.

The dozer, wide awake, screaming and trying to get off the swing, was at a definite disadvantage.

Red Dog, who apparently has a hatred for goats who appear out of nowhere to enjoy the porch swing, was determined to do away with the goat.

He outweighed him and had the teeth to make his threat upon the goat’s life a reality. Kewpie, Dabby and Sebastian, the rat terriers, lack Red Dog’s size and abilities, but match him pound-for-pound in ferocity. The Chihuahua is a darter. He runs in, tries to nip and runs out. The others mostly ignore him. But he is a pack member and wanted to be in on the kill.

It was a bad situation. The dozer was screaming at and pushing the goat, trying to get him off the swing. The goat, fearing for his life, was determined not to get off the swing.

Fowler, who’d been working in the garden, finally arrived, much like the cavalry, minus the bugle, and encouraged the goat to get off the swing and the dozer.

How he accomplished this without having the goat killed by the dogs is best left to the imagination.

The goat’s owner, who was running up our driveway, arrived breathless and apologetic, explaining that when Oswald was a baby he enjoyed sitting on people who were relaxing in chairs or couches.

Fowler restrained the dogs while our neighbor took the goat home. Our dogs hurled threats at Oswald as he vacated the premises, and since then, although we sometimes see him at the edge of his yard, the dogs keep a close watch. Toby, the Chihuahua, will spend at least 10 minutes with his head stuck out between two porch rails, telling the goat what will happen should he dare to venture closer.

The dozer has found it harder to relax on the porch swing and now sits with open eyes, alert for danger. It’s more difficult to focus on the written word when your life may be at risk. All in all, the outcome has been positive, as Oswald made it home unharmed. That’s always a plus.