At this point in my homesteading journey, I can say that I have a little bit of experience. Experience has taught me some valuable lessons, and two of those lessons are 1) If you have a weak spot in a fence, you have no fence at all, and 2) goats are great testers of character.
Putting up fencing can be a very laborious affair, but the peace of mind that comes with have your animals contained and controlled is worth every cut, scratch and tired muscle. (Whether it’s worth the couple of bouts of poison ivy that I’ve dealt with is yet to be determined) Lately, like for the last few weeks, Martha- our queen goat- has been getting out. Nobody ever sees it happen- she is like a goat ninja magician. SO I’ve been patrolling, finding any place in the fence where she could scoot under or collapse down far enough to climb over. I added more fence posts, and otherwise fortified the fence in several spots. This is all good, because she was continually pointing out to me where the fence needed to be improved.
Kind of like Morpheus to Neo in their training sessions… “Again”…
I thought for sure that I finally got the last possible spot, until this morning, when I heard the two most dreadful words in the English language. Maybe in any language. Those two words are “Martha’s” and “out.” And so, taking the day off from my job because I have a semi-serious case of poison ivy (see bit about poison ivy and fencing peace of mind above), I did what any respectable homesteader battling a ninja goat escape artist would do…a stakeout.
I began perched on my porch, watching the herd as they grazed along the fence line. I lost sight of them, so quickly boogied out to the pasture, hiding behind brush piles. The next time I spotted her, she was on the wrong side of the fence! I didn’t actually witness it but I easily saw the culprit- a spot where I had spliced two rolls of fence had split open a bit. An easy fix. So now I should be good to go. Mhmm.
The work environment at my job is extremely vulgar…the phrase “curse like a sailor” could be replaced by “curse like a concrete worker.” I never utter a curse word at my job, but I have hurled more 4-letter words at my goats than I am proud to admit. Of course it’s not the goats’ fault. They’re just being goats. So I just need to become the kind of person that does a really good job on things- my frustration with the escaping goat is only misplaced frustration that I am not yet the person who I aim to be. There’s the lesson that goes beyond goats and into any and every area of my life and probably yours too, so lets keep on striving to be the best version of ourselves as we can be.