from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #7)
September 2011 (Fountain Hills, AZ)
On Sunday, September 25, 2011, Mama Goat passed away.
Being a rescue, there is no way of really knowing how old she was, except to say she appeared to be on the older side by way of subtle physical cues; not that it affected her personality or zest for life. The good news is that she didn’t suffer a violent death by the teeth of some coyote roaming the range. In fact, Billy tells a common enough story of her final day.
He had just come back from chores and noticed Mama Goat, Terry-scape and Larry playing a rousing round of King of the Hill. This I can picture in my mind’s eye because it was one of their daily events; and one which I never could capture in a photograph. Gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, head butting, running up and down that little hill, with each of those three goofy goats taking turns at being King of the Hill!
After awhile, Billy walks out to peek at their antics again and sees that Mama Goat is lying down surrounded by her two kids. Nothing too alarming about that since goats are very social and just enjoy being with each other. However something just didn’t seem right.
It is too quiet as Billy treks out to the little hill to check up on Mama. There is no bleating to greet him as he approaches the threesome. Mama’s closest loved ones standing guard as a pair of sentries in a double line of defense over her body…Billy knows.
Mama Goat just passed away. Peacefully, quietly; while in the midst of doing something she enjoyed in her funny little goat life.
I’m not sure at what point Terry-scape and Larry started in on their mourning bleating. But I’m told it was loud and persistent. I can hear them in my mind’s ear, and I’m suddenly thankful that I took the time to listen, really listen, to their youthful bleating intervals. Acting upon the need to compose my “Goat Suite: Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon for two classical guitars, UKE and 12 string guitar” Mama’s legacy lives on in my music.
After leading Mama’s kids back to their pen, Billy got out the tractor and dug a final resting spot near that special little hill.
A circle of life sort of thing…Billy knows…burying Mama Goat was a lot harder than giving up Tater.