Charles Dickens once wrote: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
This is true, especially when you are running around a goat pen for hours on end to no avail.
There is a point in which you just have to wipe away the tears and sweat and just laugh—or so I am told—because this has never happened to me.
But allow me to share with you—in case of emergency—the best way to catch a goat:
This could be the only tip, and we could end right here. Just make sure the pen is securely closed after you feed the animals. Please. I mean, again, not that I have ever walked away with a partially closed pen with ornery goats inside. Nope. But, let’s pretend I have for a moment. Close. The. Pen.
Goats love to eat any and all kinds of grass. But shaking a leaf in front of its face and saying “Here goat, eat this. Allow me to inch myself closer to you which will lead to your eventual capture and ultimate demise” in a heavy Southern accent laced with coffee breath will not coerce any being to draw near to thee. The grass helps, though. Let your words be few.
Kids like Cheerios. Why not goats? If I sprinkled your favorite food in a large dish into a portable cage, wouldn’t you just waltz right on in? I simply do not understand.
Okay. The combination of large farm boots, a clumsy demeanor and a jacket filled with superheroes in one pocket and a cell phone in the other does not bode well when you are chasing the goat around the perimeter of the pen. The items in your pockets will fly out, your jacket will lift up as a cape behind you, and you will stumble and trip over various tree roots in those ridiculous oversized boots as you now attempt to toss a blanket over the goat in a momentary loss of sanity. If you could just darken his path for a moment, you think you can simply scoop him up. Again, I have no experience in this area, though.
Baby goats are called kids. Small humans are also called kids. It seems kids like other kids, right? Not when they are being harassed with statements such as “corner him guys!!” I guess if a bunch of kids ganged up to corner me, I would be a little less than compliant, too.
Do not attempt to lasso the goat. You know nothing about rope and its intended purposes. You didn’t even notice there was a rope hanging on the pen until you texted a cry for help and the reply was “get the rope”. What does that even mean?
Running doesn’t help, crying doesn’t help, chocolate chips cookies don’t help. Well, they help you as you take a break and continue to watch the goat eat away at what appears to be poison ivy.
Two hours later, it is suppertime. You are tired. You are angry. Your troops are hungry. Your goat has consumed your afternoon. And when you watch your husband come home from work, open the pen, toss in food, and the goat dutifully march inside, just let it go. Hold back that contempt for Murray. He doesn’t like you, and that is okay. You always knew your husband was a people person. Apparently, he is now a goat whisperer, too. Why would you trust a man with a gun as opposed to a kind lady with artificially sweetened cereal? Goats are not the smartest of creatures.
So, friends, the next time your farm animal leaves its pen, I hope you find this letter useful. In the meantime, relax, take off your boots and scramble a few eggs the chickens left in the coop. Just because they attempted to peck your hands as you collected their eggs the other morning doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Just pretend it doesn’t bother you and do not scream in surprise.
But that is a story for another day.