As a goat farmer, I have found panic attacks very useful. The panic attack either puts me into active overdrive, both mind and body, instantly able to save a goat in record time, or stalls my body out so I am incapable of moving, but my mind is in overdrive, figuring out the situation I am in. And, then there is the third type of panic attack where you are in a flurry of motion, feeling scattered to the four winds, but your mind is stalled out to super slow speed, calming you down, figuring out the problem. There are many more types of panic attacks, I just donít have room to write about them all.
All the above mentioned panic attacks do come in handy. Take for example this morning, though not directly dealing with goats, it still relates. I was doing laundry after a weekend of barn cleaning, our clothes told the story of each stall that was cleaned. As I was emptying out Leeís pantís pockets, I came across a clump that felt like tissues. So, I hauled them out and set them on the dryer for throwing away after I got the washer started. When I went to get the "tissues" I suddenly realized I was looking at a wadded up snake skin that he had put in his pantís pocket.
Why he had put a snake skin in his pocket, I donít know. He will absent mindedly do things when he is busy, so probably had found that snake skin and meant to throw it away, but had stuck it in his pocket when he got busy with something else. You should see the things I find in the refrigerator and cupboards after heís been in the kitchen. Of course, I canít complain too much, I will absent mindedly throw away silverware when I get busy. I guess itís a deep seated thought that I really donít want to wash dishes. But, it sure keeps me short on the silverware. If anyone comes to visit, if you expect to use silverware, you might want to bring your own. I rarely have enough.
Anyway, when recognizing the snake skin on the dryer, I felt a tremor go through me and felt myself jogging in place. If our laundry room hadnít been so confining with barn boots and coats, I would have already rocketed out of there. My mind slowed down on the inside as my body went spastic on the outside. I could feel myself reasoning it out, "This is not a snake. If I explode out of the laundry room now, I could seriously injure myself on barn boots and heavy barn coats." So, my slowed down mind was able to think it through and get in control of the rest of my very active body. So, you can see how this type of panic attack is handy. It saves you from injuries.
One panic attack saved my entire herd of older adult does once. It was a crisp fall day and I was in the house enjoying a cup of tea while looking out the front window. Suddenly a herd of goats appeared out of the woods and started traveling up the paved road in front of our place. I stood there in my mellow mood, sipping tea, thinking, "My, what a fine looking herd of goats someone has, going down the main road." Then it was like an electric shock when through my body. Those were my goats!! Weíre the only ones on this road with a large herd of goats.
Whatever happened to the tea and cup, I donít know. I havenít found that cup to this day. The stains on the ceiling and walls told me where the tea went. My first recollection after recognizing my goats on the road was sailing off the back porch to get a bucket of grain from the cellar house. I donít even remember opening the patio door. All I know is that my brain went into hyper drive and told my stalled feet I would need a bucket of grain to get the goats back and then my feet took over and said, "Okay fine. Faster then the speed of light suit you?"
I had that bucket of grain and was down at the road in record time, the Olympics had nothing over me. Letís see them run with a heavy bucket of grain. The goats were happily traveling up the road and I appeared behind them and started shouting, "Babies, babies!"
All my goats have individual names. It doesnít matter if there is over one hundred goats, they all have their own names and most of them know their own names. But, they also know that their herd name is "Babies". Holler "Babies!" and a pack of goats will show up.
Those goats heard "Babies!" and stopped to find out where the voice was. As they turned around to look at me, I suddenly felt a second panic attack take over. I was standing out in the open with a bucket of grain, now facing around 60 adult goats in this one particular herd. I never go out into a herd of adult goats with a bucket of grain, unless my brain has turned itself off that day. We have a feed area that is fenced off where we can safely put out the grain and then we open a gate to allow the flow of goats to come in and eat. Even a small herd of five goats can get you down if you are in the middle of them with a bucket of grain. Think what 60 goats would do to you if they found you out in the open with a bucket of grain. People would be lucky to find bits of my shoes left by the time the goats were through with me. Piranhas are nothing compared to a herd of goats going after a grain bucket.
After my brain had realized I was standing out in the open, facing a large herd, with a grain bucket, it shouted, "Feet, get out of there!" and then my brain went into hiding. My brain could not face what was going to happen to me if my feet failed me. Thatís where you get that expression, "Feet donít fail me now."
My feet shouted, "Forget faster then the speed of light! Weíre going straight to warp drive!" If youíve never seen a chunky, middle aged woman barreling back to the house, leaving just a cloud of dust and part of a shoe lace behind, well, you should have been there that day. Not only did I make it ahead of that herd of goats, and this includes running up a hill to get to the house, but I also had time to unlatch the gate and throw the gate open, charge into the backyard, set the grain bucket down, and hide behind the cellar house. The dogs in the backyard took one look at the thundering herd fast on my tail, and took off with me to hide behind the cellar house. When all the goats got into the yard and were fighting over the grain bucket, I snuck around them and shut the gate. The backyard dogs skulked behind me with the wrong notion that they would be safe with me.
The goats stayed in the backyard that day until we could find where they had gotten out. The backyard dogs voted to stay with us. Lee was amazed I was able to save that herd of goats in record time. I calmly told him it was because of my finely tuned panic attacks that all goat farmers have, if they own goats long enough. And, also, if they have spouses who put snake skins in their pockets.