So. I’ve been practicing the breathing techniques I leaned at Lamaze class 14 years ago. Deep breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth. With my eyes closed, I think of a better place. A peaceful place, like one without goats for instance. Sometimes there’s a noise on my exhale though; a slight moan. But that’s OK. I’m working through the pain.
Yoga works too. Well, sort of; it works in theory. Take a look at this image of me attempting some “relaxation” yoga with my three-year-old. Yes, that is him. On my head.
So then we come to my goats. Don’t get me wrong, I love my goats. Stella and Beulah arrived at my farm just over a month ago and it was truly love at first sight, despite the big nasty scabs all over their faces. Orf, the vet said. Harmless. Harmless, but disgusting. And the incessant coughing was a bit disturbing as well. But they have since matured into two lovely and healthy baby goats.
Healthy, lovely little goats from hell.
“What are you going to do with them?” I’m often asked.
“Just love them,” I reply.
As time goes on, however, the goats have become more comfortable and a little too confident in their new environment. If I’m going to follow through with the loving, then we have to sort out a few important boundaries!
It became clear early on that the goats cannot be left to roam the property unsupervised. They are capable of clearing vegetation like the locusts of biblical times. I’m OK with that, except when said cleared vegetation is my fifty dollar shrubs. And, every-single-one-of-my-potted-plants.
I decided to put this talent for clearing to work in a positive way. Why not fence them and they can “cut” my grass for me? Cities around the world have adopted this practice for years and it has been very effective. Check out this link for “adopt a goat”: (http://www.today.com/video/today/40380939#40380939)
So, with a new lightness in my step, I made a quick trip to the Co-op and returned with flexible fencing that is easy to install and can be placed anywhere on the property.
After wrestling with the thing for a half hour (it’s all in one piece – posts and all – so it was easy to get tangled), I managed to get the fence in place.
With much excitement the kids (mine) led the kids (goats) to their new temporary enclosure. It was wonderful for the first, say, 10 seconds, until they both slipped through the fence like it wasn’t even there. (Insert breathing technique here)
Long story short, the fence has to be electrified to keep these critters in. And so begins the next segment of my frustrating journey of goat ownership. I’m learning about “fencers,” and the importance of grounding electrical currents. And, not to be tempted to jump over the fence by your daughter after consuming a couple glasses of wine. This is not recommended.
To be continued.