A few years ago, for my birthday, I was given two goats. A white female and a black male with a white stripe on his belly. I named them Willa and Zane. Willa being the female, and Zane being the male. In the natural course of things, they had two babies. Beautiful girls, a blond and white one we named Honey, and a tan, white, and black one we named Dapple. I adored these goats.
Honey when she was old enough, had babies of her own. In a tragic accident, they didn’t make it. She became sick and didn’t make it either. Dapple and Willa also lost their babies. It was a rough winter that year. Some time later, Zane fell ill and didn’t make it, and I took in another little boy goat, Mercury. He was black, grey, silver, and white. He was the sweetest little thing.
Abby LOVED the goats as much as I did. She would help me take care of them. They were so gentle with her. They’d follow her, eat from her hand, and let her tug and pull on them. They loved her, too.
Last October, both Willa and Dapple became sick and died. They’d gotten into some bad feed before I could get rid of it. It was a long several weeks of me trying to make them well. In the end, it didn’t help. That left me with Mercury. My poor, poor little Mercury. He was left all alone, and he was not happy.
He became very ill very quickly on Halloween last year. It started as a runny nose and a limp. This was nothing serious. He loved to climb and jump. He’d pulled muscles before, and we were hit with a sudden cold spell. By the time we came home from our little party, only three or four hours later, he had progressed. He was out of his mind. I spent the next hours in the pouring rain, keeping him in the yard. Every time I’d touch him, he’d panic. If you’ve never heard a goat scream from sheer terror and fright, there’s no way to describe it. It sounds nothing like the Taylor Swift song with goats.
He would be put down in the morning, if he made it that long. Sometime in the middle of the night, he’d managed to get caught in the neighbor’s rosebush across the fence. It was a miracle I’d found him, and a miracle, he was still alive. It took me, my dad, and my younger brother, to retrieve him. He was put down only a few minutes later.
Abby is only two. She still talks about how she wants to take care of the goats. How she wants to see Willa and Dapple and Mercury. I don’t think she remembers Zane. She wants to feed them. She wants to pet them. And it breaks my heart.