Friday, January 6, 2012

High and Dry

Leave someone high and dry is an American expression with a negative connotation; it means to leave someone stuck in a bad situation. However, if that someone is a goat, then high and dry is the very best place to be! Just ask Blueberry and Meels, my Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.

The goaties are convinced that they will dissolve if they get wet. A few drops of rain or flakes of snow send them scurrying for cover—if the barn door is shut, they bleat, blat and caterwaul until someone saves their lives and gets them indoors. They also go to great lengths to avoid damp ground.

By and large, Blueberry and Meels prefer dried, crunchy leaves and branches to green ones and dried fruit or shriveled garden vegetables to fresh ones. Recently they gobbled up some stale old cornflakes I tossed in their bucket, but took two weeks to decide that rolled oats were edible.

The goaties’ motto is Aim higher! They adore the steep little hills and old wooden table in their pasture, upon which they perch and chew their cud or play queen-of-the-hill. Given the opportunity, they jump up onto anything they can: vehicles, the ATV, tool chests, table saws—and they don’t care what they knock over in the process. Their favorite napping spot in the barn is atop the straw bales.

In an attempt to understand my goaties’ peculiar ways, I did a bit of research. Apparently, domestic goats are descendants of wild goats that roamed the high, dry mountains of Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Their agility and suction-cupped hooves helped them scramble and leap to the safety of rocks and cliffs; if any predator did manage to follow them up there, the goats used their horns and strength to butt the offending party and send it tumbling downhill.

This explains a lot, except for one confusing little detail: Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats hail from Nigeria, most of which is neither high nor dry, but rainforest. Huh?

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” PSALM 40:2

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