14 November 2008

Click and Clack: Photostory Friday

Meet Click and Clack, formerly my Andalusian goats.  
I was driving down a country road. On my way back from an early Saturday dump run, I was planning my day and what to do next. Much to my surprise four young skinny goats with curly horns stood side by side in the middle of the road. I slowed and drove around them. As I did I lower my window and said, "Hey! Where did you guys come from?" The cattle were behind the fence but not the goats.
As if my voice was the activator necessary, the four goats started moving towards me and my little Honda. I was a little startled and sped up a tiny bit. Now in a single line they were following me up the barely two lane country road. I sped up a little more, and they broke into a gallop. This freaked me so I stomped on it. Over the hill I went leaving them in the dust.
My first thought is that they had to be someones pets. There were obviously used to humans. But I soon found out. They were raised (farmed) by humans to be a trophy for a paying hunter. Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. This made me cry.
I wanted to save them. I wanted to corral them in my yard and let them eat my lawn. But I didn't. It wasn't my business.
I didn't see the goats after that. I looked for them, but they never did reappear on that road.
One day my friend, who rented the dairy barn house on the ranch, and I were sitting in his kitchen. The dairy barn house sits on 80 acres and the land is leased to an old rancher for grazing his small herd. The cows often walk within feet of the house as they come and go for water.
We were having our usual after work glass of wine and fried pot stickers when I glanced out the window. There they were the goats mixed with the cattle munching on grass. I was beside myself.
"Those are the goats I was telling you about," I said. "Where are the other two?"
He said he had only seen two and that the old rancher didn't like them because they freaked out the cows. The goats had been an experiment with the hunt club. But the hunt club couldn't contain the goats on the ranch land. The fences weren't high enough and the goats wanted to be with the cows. Can't very well go hunting goat around cattle, can we now?
So one day shortly thereafter, the old rancher corralled the goats in my friend's horse corrals. The hunters would auction them off soon, the old rancher said. 
Well, "soon" is a relative term, and "soon" didn't come very quickly. The hunters forgot about them and the goats became mangy and undernourished. 
So I did the only decent thing I could do. I fed them. 
They became pets, Click and Clack. They would wag their tails when they saw me or my friend. They liked treats like corn chips and grapes. They would vocalize for attention trying to show each other up.
But after a month or two, they weren't was happy. They were frustrated being unable to roam around free as they had been doing for over a year. So they started to charge at the small building in the corral area and they started charging at each other. It was frightening to see them charge at full force and smash their horns in a head on collision. 
I suggested we set them free and hope for the best. My friend was worried that the hunters would get angry. We could lie, I said, say we didn't know how they got out.
Click and Clack got lethargic. One developed a nasty cough. One wouldn't eat unless you threw table grapes to within inches of his nose. It was getting pretty desperate. 
Then one day when my friend was out of town and I was checking his house and feeding the goats, and I came home from work and the goats were gone. All the gates wide open. Indeed they were auctioned off.
To what end I had no idea. Another hunting group, I thought. So sad. 
Fast forward another year. I was driving down a country road. There is a little hay field in a valley on one side with some out buildings and two old country cottages on the other. Wispy smoke is coming out of the chimneys. From a distance I see a draft horse standing by a shed. Upon closer view, two big horn goats were there too. Could it be Click and Clack? It is Click and Clack!!!!! standing side by side by the draft horse.
More tears. This time for happiness.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


  1. Aww I am happy that this story has a happy ending. :)

    Are they click clack because they like hanging out with "moo". Throughout all of this story I kept saying "click clack moo".

  2. Hi Kelli,
    The names Click and Clack come from how they did click and clack with their horns, and it's a play of those auto guys Click and Clack. I have to see if I can get that book for my library however. Looks cute.

  3. aw, what a lovely little story. it's amazing how long you were connected to them in one way or another!

  4. Keep meaning to post a comment on here to say: I love this story so much. (And that NPR show with Click and Clack!) We had some goats - a couple times - on our farm, when I was growing up. A couple of pygmy goats (oh my gosh, so cute), and then a few years later two regular mommy goats and four baby goats. It always amazed me how those little baby goats could climb up on the huge propane tank by our drive. I don't even know how they did it...they must have jumped...


Thanks for sharing!