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Menagerie Of Animals

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By all accounts, yesterday was anything but normal. I arose from slumber with a sickly feeling that was to last for most of the day. We were expecting new arrivals but my hubby was at work leaving me to cope with anything that might happen in between. Goats were on my mind -- where to put them if they arrived unexpectedly? I was on tenterhooks. Finally my hubby rang to say he was on his way home to pick up the trailer, at least now the situation was partly under control.


I couldn't help thinking that this was all my fault, my mad cap idea had worked. My hubby had tried for months to obtain some goats, I just put an advert in the local mill and, well the rest is history as they say. Five little pygmy goats with cute little names, why did I have such a bad feeling? It's true to say that we really weren't ready for goats. You'd think that having 22 acres it wouldn't be a problem; well let me tell you that it is! It's a problem because you have to have control -- where they roam, shelter and eat. We have so much crammed into such a small space on account of varying stages of renovation that we can hardly get down the drive to collect mail.


My hubby came home around half past three. We're still in the clutches of winter and the light begins to fade come 5pm. Lucky then that the goats were quite local and the idea was almost a good one to hook the horse trailer on the back of the van. We hit our first problem almost immediately. The towing hook lock was missing a key and after frantically hunting through the house, the decision was made to break the lock since the keys could not be found.


Second problem came as we tried to move the trailer. The jockey wheel would not wind up the trailer and came nowhere near the towing bracket on the van. My hubby was fast losing patience as the light began to dwindle. Finally my very red faced spouse somehow got the trailer hitched and he was off up the hill before I could wave him goodbye -- something told me he was in a very unhappy mood.


An hour passed by and no sign of hubby, van or goats. I began to worry if the trailer had come off and had visions of a runaway box bleating goats trundling down the highway. Trying not to think the worst I carried on making dinner until I heard the van pull up and the door bang. All was quiet in the trailer and I wondered if they had arrived at all. My hubby's beaming face answered my question without the need to ask.


Third problem. How do we get them out without them making off up field. The decision was to leave them in the trailer and pull it up to a makeshift pen, but the light by now had gone and car headlights were never going to provide enough light to work. We threw some hay and straw into the trailer and decided to get up early light, after all they'd be fine in the horse box.


4.30 am, the alarm rang and we climbed out of bed rather reluctantly, but the job had to be done. We placed a pen of corrugated sheets and mesh around the trailer. It was a frosty start and I was almost in tears with pain in my hands and feet. The goats came out slowly, one at first and then one mad rush. They were out!


My drive looks like an auction mart, you couldn't possibly get anything else in the yard. My car is beyond the gate and it's a good job I'm not weighty because I can just slip by the pen. Hubby's back at work and then when he comes home, it all begins again. The pen is a temporary measure but it will probably be there in summer. I'm beginning to wonder who is caged in -- me or the animals! At least they're here and now our menagerie is finally becoming a zoo.

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