Kidnappers lead a very difficult life

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

We don’t need television. We have our animals. The same could be said of them, as I’m sure we provide as much entertainment for them as they do for us.

Sunday afternoon provided just such a situation.

Rosa and her baby goats (kids) have been occupying our backyard, which has displaced two of the rat terriers. Kewpie and Diablo have temporarily relocated to the front porch.

However, now that the babies are here and doing well, Fowler said we could move them back into the former bird dog pen, now the temporary goat pen.

And so, late Sunday afternoon after he and Buddy returned from their horseback riding expedition, they decided it would be a good time to move our goat family. A storm was predicted, and we all thought they needed more shelter than that offered by the deck, especially if it should hail.

So Fowler and Buddy went into the backyard, keeping all the dogs at bay, as they’re just a little too interested in the goats, with plans to move the babies and Rosa.

But the babies were nowhere to be found. Buddy was afraid a hawk might have snatched them up, as they’re no bigger than the average cat.

So we’d all looked everywhere we could think of when Buddy found them hidden away in the center of a clump of pompas grass. I suppose Rosa thought we looked suspicious and hid her offspring there to protect them from potential predators.

Fowler went and got the rope as he planned to lasso Rosa. All the dogs followed him. They knew something important was about to happen. Rosa, unfortunately, had other plans. She warily looked out at us from beneath the deck and stood between us and her babies.

An attempt was made to lure her out, but she ignored it. She acted as though she’d never seen any of us before and completely disregarded the fact that earlier in the day she had eaten honeysuckle vine from Fowler’s hand.

So they decided to catch her by other means. One would go under the deck while the other would grab Rosa as she ran out. The dogs had their faces pressed against the fence, ready to go into action. They knew more than we did.

Goats are not described as nimble-footed for nothing. Rosa can run like a greyhound and jump like an antelope. She can weave in and out like a downhill skier. She can circle the perimeter of the backyard three times in the time it takes a human to come out from underneath the deck.

She is obviously training for the Olympics.

Every time she circled the yard the dogs ran with her on the outside of the fence. She eyed them, warily bleating in protest. The dogs were also very vocal, assuring Fowler that if he would only let them inside the fence they’d make short work of Rosa and her family. It was chaos, and it was not controlled.

Finally it was decided that subterfuge was needed. Surely, we thought, if we couldn’t outrun Rosa we could possibly outwit her.

The babies were removed from their nest in the pompas grass and delivered into my care. Dolly, the tiny nanny, settled down after a few bleats and stretched out in my lap to be petted. Buster, the little billy, was a different matter and bleated frantically while struggling to escape. He had to be restrained.

Rosa became frantic. She would approach the babies but would not come close enough for capture. Numerous attempts to lasso her failed. Numerous attempts to grab her horns as she darted past also failed. After about an hour of this fruitless pastime we were worn out and exasperated. Finally, I released her children from captivity, and they rushed toward their mother. While she was distractedly checking them out, Buddy managed to sneak up and bull dog her. He held tightly to her horns while she had a goat fit.

Then they dragged her down to the goat pen while the children were carried down more peacefully.

Buddy said he had to go home, although he was invited to help catch any other animal on Fowler Farm that took his fancy. He said he would decline that invitation but would perhaps take it up another day.

Fowler transferred all the feed and water containers and then let the terriers back into their domain. They gave us superior looks as though to say, “You idiots. You could have avoided all this if you’d just let us help.”

Fowler says in four months when the babies are weaned we will sell the entire kit and caboodle. I believe this is a wise decision, as if we kept them we wouldn’t have time to do anything else, and we do have lives to live. Meanwhile, we’ll wait it out. How long can four months be?