Goats in Pasture
by James Hayford
Their bony heads untaxed by need of moving,
Changing, repairing, laying by,
Goats keep a comprehensive eye
On the condition of the sky -
Such store they set on keeping dry -
And live attentively, without improving.
If you have goats, you know the truth of these words. We have two pastures: the 'home' pasture, where the barn is, and the north pasture. If those goats, Esther and Bracelet are in the north pasture, and there is the littlest sprinkle of rain, they begin to bleat. On a day when there 'might' be rain, Tom doesn't even bother moving them across the road because the goats will be so miserable, they'll go through the fence to get back to the barn. There is truly no other animal we've ever had with the personality of goats. Whatever they want to do, they will do. There is no stopping them. Last year I posted about how they got out of the pasture and ate down a brand new crab apple tree, two new Duchess apple trees, and did a lot of damage to a new sugar maple. I've also mentioned the fencing around the pasture lilacs - one of their many favorite foods. I keep threatening to put a note up in the vet's office, saying free goats, but we labor on - searching for ways to keep them in. Tom is always coming up with new schemes like mesh fencing, improving the charge on the fence (which they apparently don't even feel), and trying to foretell where they want to be on a particular day. We'll see. "Without improving" indeed. They know they are perfect as they are. It is the humans who need to change. We are on the earth for their benefit, period.