Sex, Goats and Poor Choices

Curled up like kittens in their wood shavings, we have ourselves a Ferdinand the Bull situation.

Figuring things out ... one load of manure at a time.

The male goat will pee on his own head to make himself sexually attractive to the female.

I should not have been surprised to learn this.  Men often do dumb things when a woman is involved.  

Take my two Belgian draft horses — both castrated males — who frequently, when extreme weather is involved, make poor choices. 

20-below Polar Vortex air swooshing down from the Arctic.  "Hey, let’s go stand outside and freeze to death."  

On more than one occasion I’ve had to put on my headlamp at 2:00am and fight my way through whipping wind and slashing rain to find the Belgians shivering under a tree.
I didn’t grow up on a farm, so their stubborn, knuckle-headed, vote-against-your-own-self-interests behavior perplexed me.

You see, I was raised in a steam-heated apartment in New York City overlooking the West Side Highway.  The sound of commuting cars racing into Manhattan at 6:00am was my crowing rooster.  When I had the opportunity to move to Vermont and raise sheep and goats, I jumped at the chance, figuring if I ran into trouble, I could always call 911 —- like the time a porcupine waddled onto my property with no apparent agenda.

“I can walk right up and pet him,” I said to the 911 dispatcher from behind my trash can lid shield. “He must be rabid.  Do you want to send a SWAT team?"

“That won’t be necessary,” said the officer.  “Porcupines are rarely in a hurry.  They don’t have to be."

Talking to the emergency dispatcher took me back to my childhood in the Bronx, holding the phone, dialing 911, while the neighbors in my apartment building screamed and pounded on each other, making poor choices.  You’d then see them in the elevator a day later, black eyes covered with thick makeup.

Recently, I installed a surveillance camera with infrared night vision to study equine behavior like Jane Goodall studying chimpanzees. Then I would sit up in bed at night, ignoring my beautiful wife, and watch the Belgians in the barn on my iPhone app.   

To my horror, my work horses had transformed into leisure horses, curling up like kittens in their wood shavings.  Maybe they were dreaming of hauling logs or pulling sleighs, but I didn’t think so.   I suspected we had on our hands a Ferdinand the Bull situation.

I was about to call 911, but what was I going to say?  

Some things — your work horse refusing to work … your goat peeing on his own head … the neighborhood porcupine parked in your driveway … your son’s battleship streaking towards North Korea while his commanders discuss the tactical use of nuclear weapons between putts on the back nine at Mar-a-Lago …

Perhaps it’s best to just cover yourself with makeup and pretend it all never happened.  


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