The weather in the valley was gorgeous during spring break. It was warm, not too hot, and not too cold. In fact, we all got a little color, I think from the fun we had outside at the children’s museum. I wanted to make as much as we could of the nice weather, and my parent’s awesome backyard. I had such grand plans of a perfect picnic, the kids and I getting to have a fun, relaxing time together, enjoying each other’s company and creating great memories. I have been around long enough to know that even though such fairy tales do exist, they don’t ever go the way you think they will.
After carefully packing the leftover pizza and allergen free spaghetti, apple juice, water and leftover chocolate birthday cake for desert, we gleefully walked down the big backyard to find the perfect spot to eat. My parents are lucky enough to have some eccentric neighbors. Those neighbors have a mini farm in their backyard. They have a couple of horses, roosters (I am not sure if there are hens to go with those roosters) goats, and even a billy goat. I love to watch the billy goat roam the yard. He looks so royal, as if he owned the place and he reminds me of the story, The Billy Goat Gruff.
I didn’t plan my perfect picnic with visitors in mind. Despite my plans however, the kids discovered a goat at the fence, trying to reach the grass that was actually greener and I am sure, jucier on the other side (our side). I was instantly up-staged by a goat! That was okay. I decided to go on and find a spot to settle down in while the kids grabbed wads of long, green grass for the visitor’s lunch. I found a spot and spread out our blanket, and that’s when the kids came rushing over to me frantically saying, “Mom, Mom! the goat is stuck in the fence! It can’t get out!” Not sure that the goat was really indeed stuck, I convinced them that we could help it out as soon as we were done with our perfect picnic. I wasn’t in a hurry to help the creature because I wasn’t real crazy about adding a bit of barnyard e-coli as a food garnish.
We sat down and started to eat. The goat was still on the kids’ minds, and that’s all they could talk about; how sorry they were for it, and was it ever going to get out? I tried to convince them that maybe the goat wasn’t really stuck, and just EAT for Heaven sakes! “Bleeaaaaaaah! bleeeaaaaaah!” the thing kept yelling, which was probably goatese for, “give me some more of that juicy grass!”, but of course the kids were sure those were desperate calls for help. Oh, man! What happened to the perfect picnic?
The kids rushed through their lunch then dashed for the goat. “Mom, hurry up! the goat really is stuck! you need to get it out!” they called. Pleased that they viewed me as the know-all, fix-all Goddess, I gave in and put on my imaginary superhero cape.
I’ve never been a farm girl. I don’t know anything about goats. What I could tell though, was that the goat indeed, was stuck. It had to stick it’s head through two fences to get through to the yummy, long grass. There was a wire fence on it’s side, then a wood fence on my parents side. You can see it in the photo above. It’s horns would get stuck on the wood fence as it tried to get back to it’s side, and the squares on the wire fence didn’t help the situation either.
I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to touch that thing, but I had my “cape” on and my children were watching with such admiration, that I had to do it. I took a deep breath and put my hands on the thing’s head, a little surprised with how rough it’s hair was. It resisted me quite a bit, not understanding that my twisting and shoving was for it’s own good. I managed to get the horns to almost clear the fence, but I crushed my finger doing so, automatically dropping the goat’s head in pain. Okay, that wasn’t good, so I decided to reposition, and try again. “Gwaaaaackkk, aaaaack!” Went the goat. We all jumped back, expecting the goat to regurgitate the now chewed up green grass that the kids fed it earlier. I realized that with my efforts to save the silly goat, I just about killed it by choking it! After clearing it’s throat a few times, the goat continued to reach for more green grass. Whew! I was glad to see that there was no goat throw-up, and that I didn’t really hurt the thing.
I gave up, and sadly removed my superhero cape. The kids and I brainstormed about how to get the goat some help. We decided to talk to Grandma… she might know what to do. Grandma must have thought we were crazy, but she calmly convinced the kids to leave it alone, and it will get out on it’s own. Worried that the goat would fry in the warm spring sun, the oldest child went out and gave it more grass and some water to drink. Eventually, that goat got out. We didn’t see it, but it probably did it on it’s own. It occurred to me that I bet that goat was smart enough to figure out that whenever the kids come over, it should poke it’s head through the fence. It will surely get plenty of green grass, water and attention!
My failed dream picnic, the perfect picnic, actually turned out to be not so bad in the end. We all got closer by having an adventure together. We worked together to solve a problem, even if what we came up with didn’t really work. You also can’t deny, we created memories like I wanted, even though they weren’t the kind of memories that I had planned. Yep, it was a pretty good picnic after all.