It is that time of year again. The bears are waking up from a long winter’s nap, looking for 5 Star Dining. Hopefully, they aren’t looking for a goat on our front porch…
I am going to tell you a true story about 3 goats that visit our mountain home to seek refuge from a bear! I couldn’t make this story up if I tried. Here’s the crazy encounter I call, The Goat, The Bear, and The Frazzled Mountain Woman:
Friday evening at 5 O’clock I headed home from work. As I approached the driveway, I was greeted by a doe, two fawns, three wild turkeys and my husband was on waiting for me on our deck. After a long work week, it felt good to be Home Sweet MOUNTAIN Home! Seeing wildlife in our yard is pretty much an everyday occurrence, although we have had our share of unusual occurrences…
Last year, I was standing in the kitchen talking to David, when I noticed a shadow fly over the deck. At first, I brushed it off thinking it was just a bird flying over. A shadow kept catching my eye and finally, I stopped our conversation to go outside on the deck to see what was causing the strange shadows. I was afraid because of the size of the shadows that we might be under attack by a flock of buzzards.
As I walked outside, I looked up but did not see anything. However, when I looked up on the roof there were about 20 white pigeons sitting there!
We have no idea where the pigeons came from. All we knew is that they were on our roof. They seemed to be looking for some rest and perhaps a snack. One of them seemed to be looking for a piece of action if you know what I mean…
We noticed that each pigeon had a band around its foot. This led us to believe that they were some homing or racing pigeons.
We tried to shew them away by throwing a wiffle ball at them because we didn’t want pigeons pooping on our new roof. I don’t know who was more entertained, David and I or the pigeons. They seemed pretty amused watching us throw the ball at them, especially when we missed. Throwing a ball at them didn’t work, but eventually, all of the pigeons flew away.
A few months later we had another unusual occurrence. David and I had to make a run to BJ’s Wholesale for some household items we were running low on.
The first thing I noticed when we walked outside was that my poor Forsythia bushes and hasta had been eaten down to stubs in the ground.
Then we noticed there were also droppings all over the front flagstones and along the border of the flowerbed.
I also noticed that the rug in front of the front door had been moved. I even asked David if he moved the rug. He didn’t think so but could have done it when he came outside and didn’t notice it.
We automatically blamed it on the deer. The deer have eaten everything I have ever tried to plant in the yard. That is until the last month or two…
I have had David urinating around my plants every once in a while to keep the deer away. (Yes, I know that is gross, but living in the middle of the woods, on the side of a mountain, you do what you have to do to grow things you love to look at.) The deer can sense the human presence and stays away long after it soaks into the ground.
We left for the store hating on deer. Especially for crapping at our front door. It’s bad enough that they ate the plants, but they had to crap at the front door too?!?…
After a few hours, we returned home with a carload of groceries and the needed items from BJ’s Wholesale. I backed the car up to the front door to save us some steps to the house with the heavier items.
About time we had gotten all the items out of the car I was inside the house when David looked up and saw a goat heading down the driveway. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing and just as he was questioning it to himself another goat and then another were all coming down our driveway towards him.
David yells inside at me: “You won’t believe what’s coming down our driveway.”
I took a peek outside the door. I then raced back inside to get my camera because nobody was going to believe what we were seeing!
It’s as if the goats knew we had just gotten groceries and were coming to find out if we had bought them some too. We then realized that it wasn’t a deer that had eaten up the plants in the flower border. It was 3 goats!
We were a bit flabbergasted by the sight of the goats. They acted as if they would go in the house if I would have opened the door for them. Our HOA does not allow livestock. The community is not zoned for livestock.
It’s not like we could go knocking door to door to find out who they belonged to. If someone did own the goats, they couldn’t or probably wouldn’t admit it if they did. We happened to see our neighbor (the HOA president) drive-by while trying to figure out why the goats were in our yard. We flagged him down to let him know. He suggested we call animal control to have them removed.
We had no choice, they were eating everything in sight and bumping into David’s truck with their horns.
It took only a few seconds for me to pull up the local animal control number on my smartphone. I called them and they dispatched someone up to the house to get the goats.
David and I stayed outside with the goats while we awaited the arrival of animal control. We wanted to make sure that they stayed insight. I guarded them against eating any more of my poor plants.
David gave them a bucket of water. We figured they were thirsty since water is scarce up here as far as standing water goes.
Animal control arrived about 30 minutes after the call was placed. The lady deputy was very nice and seemed quite concerned about the goats. The two females needed to be milked, because their milk bags were swollen and nearly touching the ground. She mentioned there were reports of some missing goats nearby.
It was not an easy task getting corralling the goats and putting them into the animal control truck. We chased the goats around the front yard, hill and driveway for about an hour.
The had become very spooked by us trying to capture them. At one point all three ended up on top of the hill in the front yard. David decided to get some bird seed to try to attract them. It was the closest thing we had to goat feed. Our hope was that the feed would allow the goats to let their guard down long enough for us to catch them.
It worked! As soon as we started shaking the birdseed around, all three goats started wagging their tails and bleating simultaneously. They still would not come down from the hill. We decided to throw some seed down and walk away.
As soon as we walked away all three goats came down the hill to see what kind of treat we had for them. They liked the idea of feeding time. I lost my footing while trying to corner one with the seed. I got knocked over and birdseed went flying all over the front steps
(NOTE TO SELF: never try to wrangle a goat wearing flip-flops).
Finally, the deputy caught one of the females that came up to eat out of the pan of birdseed she had. She had put a ramp on the back of the tailgate and led the goat into the truck and placed her in a cage.
While she was locking up the cage, David had a rope and lassoed another one by the foot! (My husband the cowboy!!) We were able to wrangle that one into the truck with the first.
The third goat paced back and forth. She knew the other two were in the truck, they were calling for her. We made several attempts to catch her, but she decided she wanted no parts of being captured and took off! The last time we saw her she was heading up the mountain across the road from our house.
The deputy waited a little bit, but the goat did not come back. The deputy decided to leave and told us if the remaining goat came back to call the dispatcher again. I continued to look in the yard well into the night. I was hoping the third goat had come back so she could be captured and taken back to the others. She never showed up.
When I got home from work the following Monday, David was already home from work. He greeted me at the door and immediately informed me that the missing female goat is named “Biscuit”!!
The owner of the goats had left a very kind note on the front door while we were at work. She asked us to please call her if we saw Biscuit and that she would reimburse me for the damaged plants.
I decided to give the owner of the goats a call to chat with her about what had happened. She thought a bear spooked the goats and caused them to escape. The goats were missing for a little while and they feared that the bear had eaten the goats. The owners were relieved to know they were still alive.
I told her about how capturing them was not an easy task and we were sorry we could not capture Biscuit. I then proceeded to ask her the names of the other two goats.
The name of the female was Keisha and of all names what do you think the male goat’s name was??
His name is ELVIS!! How ironic was that?
David and I just got married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas that past April. How crazy was it but to only to be visited by a goat named Elvis. But the story doesn’t end there. It turns out the owners of the goats just sold their house. In the contract of the house, the goats are to convey with the house. The new owners are from Las Vegas, Nevada!! I am still laughing. There is no way I can make this story up. It is just too good of a story not to share.
The owner offered reimbursement for the damaged plants. I didn’t even care about the plants. Everything that the goats ate would put back out. The only damage that concerns me the most was the Japanese Maple tree. It was chewed on and some of the bark got gnawed off. My mama got that tree for me after we moved in last year. If it were to die, money can’t replace it.
I would just have to do my best to make sure it wasn’t to badly injured to survive. Besides, how could I charge the lady for giving me a really good story to write?
I sure hope Biscuit finds her way back home with Keisha and Elvis. As much as I dislike what she did to my plants, I cannot stand the fact that Biscuit is out there somewhere all alone. It makes me a little sad…
A couple of weeks passed since our visitors came by. There were a couple, if not more, sightings by neighbors on the mountain. Heck, I even got a phone call last week while I was at work, alerting me that Biscuit was seen in our yard again. I quickly alerted the owner that her goat was in our yard again.
A couple of days after that, I found out that Biscuit disappeared before the owners got there to take her home. I guess Biscuit likes life free on the mountain. We continue to look for her. You’d think she would be missing Keisha and Elvis by now.
I usually clean the house on Thursday night. David and I like to try to do all our house chores during the week, so we can enjoy our weekends without that hassle. David was not going to be home for most of the day on Saturday, so I decided to wait and clean the house while he was away.
Saturday was beautiful. The morning was nice and cool and it was perfect for opening up the windows, while I was cleaning to let in the nice fresh air. I was in our master bathroom mopping out the closet when all of a sudden I thought I heard His Royal Highness running down the hall.
Atchee does this from time to time and at times he can sound like a one-kitty-stampede galloping down the hardwood floor of our hallway. I think I actually said out loud: “What is Atchee doing running down the hall like that this morning?”
Not thinking much of it, I finished mopping the floor in the closet, then started down the hallway when something caught my eye on the front porch.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was Biscuit!
David and I hadn’t seen or heard anything about her in a couple of weeks nor had we really looked for her anymore. I was surprised to see her.
As I watched her through the open screen window, I remember thinking to myself she looked like she was hiding and was afraid of something, but didn’t think much of it. I quietly went and got my phone so I call the owner.
I called, but there was no answer. So, I sent a text message that read: “Biscuit is on my front porch. If I don’t hear from you in 15 minutes, I will contact Animal Control.”
Since the windows were open, I remained quiet. I didn’t want Biscuit to run off again, but I heard her run off the porch anyway. When I opened the front porch door and saw Biscuit heading up the front hill, so I went back in grabbed my flip-flops out of the house and then proceeded back outside. I was at least going to try to keep an eye on her until either the owner or animal control came to get her.
As I walked around the corner of the house to the side of the yard, something caught my eye. After a quick double-take, I realized there was a big 200-pound black bear walking in my yard about 5 yards away!!
I froze. The bear looked at me for a brief moment, but he was not studying me. That bear was hunting a goat!
I managed to get myself together for a quick photo with my phone I had with me when I went outside. Then calmly walked back to the front porch. I watched the bear walk up the hill in the same direction that Biscuit had gone. I stood on the front porch in amazement for a minute.
That is why Biscuit was so scared. She was hiding from that bear!
About a minute or two the bear was out of sight and I could no longer hear him crunching his path through the woods. Then all of a sudden I could hear the two of them running through the woods. The crunching sound of the brush and leaves got faster and louder!
Then I saw Biscuit come crashing down the mountain at high-speed. A split second later, the bear was following down behind her! I grabbed the broom off the front porch, raised it in the air with arms and yelled, hoping to scare them somewhere else. It didn’t work! The two of them proceeded to run around the back of the house like I wasn’t even there.
Biscuit was faster than the bear, she made it around to the front porch before the bear was out of sight going around the back of the house. I tried to get her away from my front porch, even shoving her off the steps.
It didn’t work, she was determined to use my front porch to a hideout. All I knew was that I needed to get inside the house! That bear was going to be on his way around the house at any moment.
Sure enough, as soon as I got inside, the bear walked around from the same direction Biscuit had come. He was going to try to eat Biscuit right there on my front porch!!
I did not know what to do. All I could do was watch. I quickly ran and closed my front windows, before the bear got on my front porch. Just as I was closing the second window, my phone rang. It was the owner. She said she didn’t know when she could get there. She didn’t have a truck so she could come and get Biscuit. It would be a while. I told her I had not called Animal Control and then let her know what was going on outside on the front porch.
For some reason, the bear did not come up on the front porch like I thought he would, instead, he went around the outside of the railing. As I was telling the owner what was going on, I was watching the bear from my back bedroom window stand up on his back legs and swat at Biscuit with his big black paws!
There were a thousand things running through my mind, but I think the one thing that concerned me the most, was that Biscuit was going to break through the front windows with those big horns on her head. Then she and the bear were going to ransack my house! If they didn’t do that, then that bear was going to eat her on my front porch. I wanted no parts of either of these scenarios.
I got a little frantic and ended the conversation with the owner so that I could call Animal Control.
The number to Animal Control was stored in my phone in case I ever needed it again. Boy did I need some Animal Control and I needed it now!!
On the phone, I told the dispatcher what was going on outside on my front porch. Then she told me that they are not allowed to dispatch Animal Control for anything but domesticated animals; meaning only dogs and cats.
Well, this goat has a name! She knew to come to my house for protection from this bear and hide on my front porch behind my wicker rocking chair I had as a child. That sounds pretty domesticated to me!
I proceeded to the lady: “Look, I realize that, but I have a violent situation happening outside on my front porch. There is a bear trying to eat a goat!!!”
I remained as calm as possible and didn’t argue with her. She told me to call The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and was nice enough to give me their number.
I hung up the phone and dialed the number she had given me. An automated system picked up, which basically told me they were closed, their business hours and gave me a couple of prompts to dial to report a hunting violation.
I did not hear a prompt to press regarding a bear trying to eat a goat on your front porch. However, this was a hunting violation. There wasn’t supposed to be a bear chasing a goat on my front porch at all!! A deer maybe, but not a damn goat!
I hung up the phone and continued to watch the bear walk down my front porch through the triple front bedroom window. Then I called Animal Control again. I needed some help, and I needed it now!
The lady on the phone realized how determined I was to get help. She said she would contact the deputies they had one duty, but they were shorthanded, due to reduced staff and she couldn’t make any promises, that she had my name and number. She was to call me back if they agreed to come.
I then heard some more galloping on the front porch. Somehow, Biscuit had managed to get away from the bear, then ran around the backside of the house again, with the bear behind her. She managed to get away from him once again.
I then went to my back bedroom window, I could see the bear chasing Biscuit down the back hill. Biscuit bleated for her life. The bear was so close to her, but could not quite get her within his reach. Then they proceeded to run towards the back steps of the deck. I could hear the deck steps creaking. I prayed they were not coming up the deck.
The phone rang. It was the dispatcher calling me back. She told me that Animal Control was going to respond. They were answering another call but they would be up to me after they took care of their current call. It was the best they could do. I thanked her a thousand times before she ended our call.
I then received a text message from the owner. She was sending Biscuit’s previous owners up to the house to get her. I text her back, the following message: “There is a bear, they may need a gun!”
Help was coming, but was it too late?
I could still hear the back steps of the deck creaking. I could only imagine the worst and could not see what was going on without opening the door and did not want to know.
At that moment I heard hoof prints again on the front porch. Biscuit had managed to get away from the bear once again. Bless her heart, as I looked out the window Biscuit was hiding behind my wicker rocker, just as quiet and still as a church mouse. I kept waiting for the bear to come back to the porch, but he didn’t. In fact, after Biscuit waited a few minutes, she left the front porch again and headed up the driveway just like she did the first time she made her great escape.
I made a noise with my mouth, snapped my fingers and called for her, trying to get her to come back to me on the porch. She turned back to look at me as if to say you were no help to me earlier, forget you! She then turned away and walked up the driveway and out of sight.
I kept watching and waiting for the bear, but there was no sign of him anywhere. In the distance, I heard a vehicle on the gravel road, stop and then take off. I kept waiting for the vehicle to show up at the top of the driveway, but it didn’t. I went inside the house and gathered up the nerve to go out on the back deck to take a look around for the bear. It was then that the Animal Control truck was entering the driveway.
I went back through the house and out the front door to meet them. They told me that the previous owner of the goat had picked Biscuit up and was hauling her off in the back of a small SUV.
Animal Control then searched the perimeter of the yard and even behind the barn for the bear. However, the bear was nowhere to be found. I thanked them for coming out and away they went.
It was over…
After things got quiet and my nerves calmed a bit, I sent a text to the owner. I told her I was sorry I panicked and called Animal Control, but the bear freaked me out and that I was glad everything ended well. She probably really thinks I’m a fruit, but that’s okay, I’m sure a lot of people do. I’m used to it.
I was glad Biscuit was still alive after all this time. She didn’t get eaten by the bear that was trying to attack her on my front porch. The house and all its windows were intact. Me? Well, I was one frazzled mountain woman for the rest of the day. All I could say was: “There was a bear chasing a goat…” I’m sure after some therapy and a shock treatment or two I’ll be okay.
I will leave you with this song: “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music, sung by Julie Andrews.
I’m going to practice my yodeling now… 🙂
THE END. (I hope)
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