It is many a young girl’s dream to one day marry her prince charming, live in a quaint little house with a white picket fence and spend her afternoons sitting on goats while her husband tapes broomsticks to their heads. I keep reminding my wife, Marianne, who married me and lives in an old farm house surrounded by barbed wire that one out of three ain’t bad.
Think of it this way, had she not met me she would not hold the position of Lead Goat Sitter (LGS) on the Wallace Family Goat Horn Broomstick Taping Team (WFGHBTT). She was chosen for this position based on her knowledge of goats, her single-minded dedication to get things done and the fact she is fool enough to do it. I have been assigned the more technical duties of broom stick modification (sawing) and horn application (taping).
We assembled and deployed the WFGHBTT in response to our smallest goat, Lilly, who has made an art out of getting her head stuck in the pasture fence. Not that goats are the Rhodes Scholars of the animal kingdom, but Lilly is a bit on the slow side even by goat standards. Let’s just say the day God was handing out goat brains, Lilly missed her appointment. She probably had her head stuck in the railings of the Golden Gates.
In Lilly’s defense, just about every one of our goats get’s their head stuck in the fence at one time or the other. Most learn from it the first time and don’t do it again. Others take a couple of times. Then there is Lilly. Not a week goes by that someone has to come along and free her.
She is lucky in that we share a road that runs alongside the goat pasture with the neighbors. Their kids ride their bicycles up and down the road all day. It has become a routine chore for them to run to the fence, grab her by the horns twist and turn her head until out she pops. I heard one of them once tell her, “See you next time, Lilly” before she biked off.
Even their parents get in on the action. They stop their truck. A door swings open and someone rescues Lilly.
Marianne scanned the internet for a solution. She found one. Some guy said to tape pvc or a light stick across her horns so they wouldn’t fit through the fence. Hence, the WFGHBTT was born.
We found an old broomstick that we were saving for a barrel burn. I cut an eight inch section out of it. Marianne found some black electric tape. She found Lilly and straddled her. I was expecting a bronco busting exhibition where the one who got busted was the cowgirl (or goatgirl as it were). Oddly enough, Lilly did not protest. It might have had something to do with the mouthful of hay Marianne gave her.
I taped frantically until Lilly had a broomstick affixed across her horns. She cooperated beautifully. Thinking the hard part was over we let Lilly go.
If goats made horror movies, one of them would be “Day of the Stick.” Apparently, the most terrifying thing on the planet for a goat is to have a stick taped across her horns. The second most terrifying thing is to witness a goat with a small broomstick taped across her horns.
Lilly screamed her head off and ran in circles. All the goats who showed up to monitor the operation screamed at the sight of her and ran in circles, too. The problem was they ran in small circles and they came flying at us from all directions.
It turns out Marianne could teach a class in advanced goat dodging. I, on the other hand, got clipped by one of our bigger males. He took my left leg out from under me, which took the rest of me out from under me. Me falling confused and terrified the goats even more. They quit circling and took off for parts unknown, screaming all the way. Lilly was right there with them.
Marianne immediately jumped to my aid by laughing hysterically.
Lilly and the herd got used to her stick and the “stick trick” as we call it worked. She doesn’t get her head stuck in the fence any more.
Marianne just reported to me Lilly has been pooping in the food troughs. I don’t know how she plans to stop that, but whatever it requires, she is getting tapping duties.