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Delinquent Goats

Freedom or Death

This story we have rather postponed in the telling, but here we go.

So, as last year wound on, it became clear that the goats, Billy and Hamish, were becoming increasingly stroppy and unruly. We run a pretty benign regime here, and all our animals enjoy considerable animal rights. But there are limits.

It is strictly forbidden to jump fences and help yourselves to grapes. Or eat and destroy entire fruit trees. Or march into the Proprietor's living quarters and leave goat droppings on his sitting room floor. But nothing would deter these bad boys.

Staff tried everything: stern lectures, electric fences etc., but nothing worked. The goats had had a taste of freedom, and nothing would get in their way. The Proprietor blamed Hamish for leading our old Billy astray, formerly a goat of admirable discipline and behaviour.

So one day in Spring, after having warned both goats about the dangers inherent in roaming free, we showed them the back gate. Which they gladly availed themselves of, and positively galloped into the hills behind our place. They left with our blessing, and with our best wishes. May a higher power protect them from the dreaded hunter, etc.

We really thought we'd never see them again, but then about 6 weeks ago, the Proprietor and Zappa were walking back in the hills, when a familiar bleat caught their attention. Looking up, there were the delinquents gazing coolly down on the walkers. The goats were hailed, and chatted to. And offered their places back on staff at Redbank, but they politely declined. It's freedom or nothing for them, and security and freelodging mean nought to them.

So, as far as we know, the boys are still at large, living it up ... Freedom!

Maybe Hamish, a Boer Goat, has found a Goat Free State back there, we don't know, and old Billy is now a ruminant voortrekker...

(See Hamish's story and Billy's story in the Bestiary section)

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Alexandra 9340
Central Otago
New Zealand

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