The Goat Pick-up Gene
The goats found a loose board in the fence and made a break for it.
I was running out to my car when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye and thought, "Oh, somebody has lost their goats."
Goats? Goats? I have goats too, but mine are locked up.
I had a tough time wrapping my brain around it. Fortunately, my dad, also my next door neighbor, happened to see the shadow of a fleeing goat running down the driveway and he came to my rescue. The problem for me is not catching the goats. I am a natural born sheep dog.
I chase the goat down the driveway and round her up from the neighbors ivy-filled front yard. Buttons and I make eye contact.
The problem is picking her up!!!! How do you grab a goat? My dad did it. My sister, my son, my husband have all done it. It seems I'm missing the goat pick-up gene. There is something slippery about goats. They have horns and hooves. I don't want to make contact with anything on the back end. I don't really want to hug the front end either. So I'm stuck. It's that awkward moment when you wish you hadn't gone in for a hug and suddenly you feel like you have extra limbs and you know before it happens that your heads will collide. So I pause, and the goat gets away.
"Pick up the goat," hollers my dad, who is under no small amount of duress and holding Calypso in a firm embrace.
So I try again, but I can't get past the geometry problem in front of me. My two arms, the goat's big squishy belly, the back end, the front end, the hooves. I'll never fit the pieces together. My son rushes over with a length of rope, and suddenly it all feels even more futile. More impossible geometry. A length of rope we had set aside for such emergencies. I start fiddling with it, because I'm pretty sure that if I can remember how to tie a slip knot this could be the first step toward success. Buttons bolts for the ivy.
"Pick up the goat," dad yells again, not sure why I'm just standing there idiotically while his arms are full of goat.
The rest is a bit of a blur, perhaps because my amazing sheep dogging skills all kicked in and I did some amazing goat herding right back up that driveway and into the yard, but more likely I stood there and waved my arms around (still like an idiot) while my dad rescued not just one, but two escaped goats. I really don't remember anything else until it was all over and dad looks over at me and says in the authoritative voice reserved for your grown children, "You have to pick up the goats! Just pick up the goats!"
Not gonna happen, I guess. It's a good thing my dad is also my next door neighbor, because I didn't get the goat pick-up gene.
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