Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Eight years ago, we had a tin-roofed shelter where we would put a round bale for the goats to feed on. One day, when the feeder was nearly empty and I was in the house, I heard a terrific crash and then goat screams. I ran to the window to see a big poplar tree bying exactly where the shelter had been.
As fate would have it, Charles was away, and I've never learned to run a chain saw. I paused only to grab a hand saw in my mad dash to the downed tree. Frantically, I sawed through branches, hurling them aside until I managed to free a corner of the roof and wrench it upwards. Lying underneath was a baby goat just a month old: Juno. She was pressed against a roof beam that had not crushed her but instead fallen so close that it kept the tin from flattening her.
When her panic subsided, she got up and walked away, limping slightly. For a few days, she found it hard to nurse and had to be fed very carefully. Soon she recovered and showed only one sign of her ordeal: a slightly crooked face.
Three or four years ago, we had a bad winter for snow. Fluctuating temperatures caused a layer of ice to form on the roofs, which were unable to shed their load of snow. Outbuildings collapsed all over the countryside. One of ours came down and, you guessed it, Juno was under it when it fell. She was a lot bigger by then but was still saved by a roof beam. It fell onto a high spot, creating a space just big enough to keep her from being crushed again. This time, she didn't seem to be hurt at all.
Lately, just once in a while, I notice Juno carrying her head in a strange, low position. I can't find anything wrong, but I worry that she has a weakness in her neck caused by one of these accidents. I just hope it's not serious and that she continues happily on for a few more years, and doesn't have any more luck!