Last week was a strange week. Usually people are calling or dropping by to visit the goats. But, it was quiet. No one called, no one dropped by, even my pregnant doe that was past due was looking quite laid back and pleased with herself for running me to death to check on her. Absolutely nothing was happening. I thought, this is a great time to go get grain. Usually the round trip, plus waiting for the grain to be mixed takes a total of four hours. This would be a perfect time. It was perfectly quiet.
When I got back at eleven thirty a.m., everything was peaceful on the farm. I walked in the house and the answering machine was blinking frantically with 8 messages. Everyone had waited until I had left to call. I went through each call and found one from my neighbor.
It seemed we had a big black bull in our goat pasture. I flew to the window to look, but the goats were all bedded down, chewing cuds, peaceful. I did see the livestock guard dog in the doorway of the goat barn, standing with his tongue almost hanging to his knees, panting heavily. Odd.
The message said a big black bull had appeared in the pasture and Buck, our livestock guard dog for the mature does, had charged to meet it and to warn it away. For forty minutes the big dog faced the huge bull and they did a little waltz back and forth. The bull would take a step back then step forward two steps, but he was determined he wanted in that goat barn.
Finally, Buck the dog went behind the bull and sort of encouraged him up the hill to the goat barn and once the bull was inside, Buck the dog stood guard at the entrance and would not let the bull leave to get in the herd of goats napping nearby. Which was fine by the bull. He wanted in the shade of that barn to get away from the flies.
I tiptoed out of the house and made it part way to the barn to check things out when I saw a huge head in the darkness of the barn that looked bigger then my body. I quickly about faced, called the dog and the goats and put the 45 does and one livestock guard dog in our small backyard. The goats in the other pastures seemed unconcerned what was going on, so I left them be.
I anxiously called my neighbor who had been busy while I was getting grain. He thought he had located the owner of the bull and had been trying to get hold of him for me. I made a couple of calls also and added my voice to the messages on his answering machine.
"Hello, are you missing a big, black scary looking bull? There is one out in my goat barn right now. I repeat, goat barn. That’s right, I don’t have cattle because they scare me, so could you please call back if this is your big black bull that has gone missing?" And, in a trembley voice I added a small thank you.
Not too much later a fellow called to ask if this bull in my goat barn was a black Limosene. I told him it was big enough to be a black semi. He ignored that. He asked if it had a curly top knot. I informed him I did not get close enough to notice the bull’s hair do. He said he’d be over with his trailer.
The young fellow arrived with his girlfriend as his helper. Lee was home by this time and showed him where to drive and be able to back up to the goat barn to load the bull. We have a small doorway for the goats on the opposite side of the larger doorway and the fellow sent his girlfriend around to shut that door and lean against it to keep the bull from exiting that way. I stood on the other side of the fence with a clear path to high tail it out of there if things got hairy. Lee stood near the trailer to assist the young fellow.
The young fellow stepped into the barn with this long fiberglass stick and you heard him saying to the bull it was time to go home. Evidently the bull thought not. Without even mashing his nose against the door, just using a slight nudge, he easily tossed the fellow’s girlfriend over the hill. I saw it, it was the tiniest of nudges to open the small goat door and the girl went sailing and suddenly we had a bull door instead of a goat door opening.
Out came a bull that had to have been as long as that fellow’s truck and his back was taller then my head, and I am not short. He ponderously made his way out of his new bull door, decided he didn’t like it out with the flies and calmly turned back and went inside the shade of the barn. You heard some more talking from the young fellow with his tiny little stick that was suppose to impress the bull.
Low and behold, in a few minutes the bull calmly loaded himself inside the trailer. Lee quickly shut the trailer door. When the bull had walked to the end of the trailer and saw there was no where to go there, he turned around, bulging the sides out on the trailer for a second. He wanted back in the barn where it was cooler and no flies and he was not happy, so he turned again, bulging the sides out on the trailer again. The trailer looked like a balloon that inflated and deflated every time the bull did this.
The young fellow thanked us for finding his bull and down the road they went, with the sides of the trailer regularly bulging out. That was the last time I ever wanted to see the goat barn full of bull. Needless to say, Buck the dog was a nervous wreck all the next day, continuously checking out the corners of the barn to make sure there was no bull.