Henrietta and Othello. Photo: Terri Smith
Henrietta and Othello. Photo: Terri Smith

By Terri Smith –

Why did I think Amadeus needed a goat family? He doesn’t. And we certainly do not. I read (and stupidly took to heart) that a goat can get used to anything so long as there is another goat around. But whoever wrote that helpful bit of advice was making the assumption that the goat in question actually knows that it is, in fact, a goat.

Amadeus doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know a lot of things. Like how to walk without falling over, or how to scratch his head on the fence without falling over, or how to eat the top leaves from the raspberry bushes without falling over, or how to do anything at all without falling over. And the other goats are entirely less than helpful. They’re mean to him. I thought perhaps with a smaller herd, and the fact that they seem to be upset every time he is more than a few yards away they might learn to accept him. They haven’t. They go out of their way to head butt him. And then, of course, he falls over.

With his mother and brother acting so violently towards him (and only him; they are alright with other goats) it seems odd that they should care when he wanders away from them. I think the reason they get upset when he does, however, is the herd instinct that tells them there is safety in numbers. Unfortunately, I also think this instinct tells them that should a predator appear there is safety in having an awkward kid who falls easily close by so that he can be eaten whilst they escape.

`I do love these other two goats. Othello is Amadeus’ brother but was born a year earlier. He is what Amadeus would have been like had he been healthy. But, alas, instead, he is Amadeus’ opposite in almost every way. For one thing, he has a beautiful, shiny, black coat, whereas Amadeus’ white fur tends to be a bit dull. He is almost twice Amadeus’ size and is incredibly agile. He is confident, graceful, and has never head-butted a human as he does not make the mistake of thinking that he is one. Like Amadeus, he is a wether (a castrated male goat), yet unlike Amadeus, he has strong protective instincts, and is always alert to possible threats. Amadeus is never alert to possible threats. He manages to make his own existence a very probable threat on a daily basis. For instance, when given the choice between taking a direct route somewhere over flat ground and taking a route that is twice as long and requires walking over a pile of fence posts, navigating between boulders, and stumbling over a roll of wire, he will invariably choose the latter. Though his choice may have something to do with trying to avoid his family.

I don’t want to sound desperate, but if any caring readers out there know of a good home for two lovely pet goats, please do let me know before it’s too late. Amadeus and I can be found on his facebook page: Amadeus the Goat, or emailed at roads.end.csa@gmail.com.

 

Terri Smith is a non-certified organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo. She is passionate about writing, art, goats, and feeding good food to good people. She believes in following your heart, living your dreams, and taking care of the planet.

 

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