Thursday, April 10, 2008

Goat Attack

(A short story for Steph & Lisa)

Because of the heat, I almost always sleep outside now on my reed mat, just outside my hut. My family does too, but not quite as often as I. This particular night, it was a bit windy out, and I was the only one out under the stars. As a side note, here in Bere, animals run free. They are not confined by any sort of fence so it is normal, especially at night time, to have them all wander into our courtyard, scrounging for food. I don't mind too much except I particularly dislike awaking to a grunting slobbery monster black pig up by my head (happens a lot. The neighbors own him).

Deep in my slumber this night, I was slightly awoken by something brushing over top my head. Thinking I was dreaming, and too tired to completely pull myself awake, I ignored it. It continued, though, to run across my face and suddenly I awoke in a jerk, with thoughts of snakes at the top of my mind. When I realized it was just a rope, I sighed and laid back down. Wait a minute. Why would the rope be moving? Sitting back up, I squinted through the blackness and finally made out the form of a goat at the end of the rope. No problem. I threw the end of the rope away from me, scaring all the other goats, chickens, pigs, ducks, and dogs in the courtyard. As I laid back down again, it struck me as odd that the goat with the rope didn't shy away. Hmm...maybe he's just half blind....Zzzz....Zzzz...back to thoughts of going home soon to real showers...bread & cheese in abundance....cold drinks....mountains...Zzzz.....

Aaah!!! I was rudely awaken again with something ramming into the side of me. Jumping up, I looked down at the attacker to see that it was that goat again -- with a bucket covering his head! Sometime while he was scrounging around for food, he came across our bucket to draw water from the well and had pushed his head deep inside, getting stuck. At first I wanted to laugh, but then I realized that this was our bucket for our clean water. "You're contaminating it!" Also, if I was going to get any more sleep without being trampled on or attacked again, I would have to free this goat from his unknown prison. He seemed not in the least bit perturbed by it, probably just thinking it was a dark night.

Walking over to the rope, I picked it up and started pulling the goat towards me. He soon realized that something was going on and tried to run away. Which, since I was holding the end of the rope, he could only run in a circle, quickly wrapping the rope around me before I had a chance to turn (I was still a bit tired :) Struggling to keep my balance, I worked hard to get myself untangled with him jerking me here and there across the courtyard. (I'm glad no one was around to watch this. It was probably a bit amusing to see me in my pajamas, wrestling with a goat and a bucket)

Free once again, I set my feet and with a determined pull, began once again to bring the goat closer to me. Finally he was close enough for me to grab the bucket. His head was stuck in deep, though, starting a tug-of-war between the two of us. Back and forth, back and forth. I got knocked off my feet in one big jerk from him and ended up lying out on my stomach, still gripping the bucket as hard as I could. "You aren't getting away!" I said through my gritted teeth.

The goat started to bleat with all he had in him. With the bucket over his head, it echoed for the whole village to hear. "Maaa! Mmaaaa!" Suddenly I heard Anatole bumping around in his hut, probably looking for a light to see what was going on. Not wanting him to see me like this, I gave it one last heroic attempt. Still on the ground, I swung my body around and put my feet up on the goat's chest and pushed as hard as I could while pulling. Pop!! The bucket finally flew off and I went tumbling backwards with it. The goat went galloping off and I was left alone in the courtyard with the bucket in my hands.

Not sure how I could explain this to Anatole in French, I quickly threw the bucket towards the well, leaped over to my mat and threw myself down, shutting my eyes and trying to slow my breathing. The door to Anatole's hut flew open and he stood there, beaming his flashlight in every corner, stopping for a minute at the haphazardly thrown bucket with the rope....leading to me. His light moved to my still form for a long time until finally, unable to solve the mystery, he went back inside. Oh well, they already think I'm strange....crazy white girl.


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  2. I always knew that you liked goats! I remember a few that you came in contact with at Milo! Leave it to Sarah!
    God bless you
    Darlene and John

  3. Hey, your life is just like Heidi. Well, OK, there are no fir trees, no mountain, no alpine flowers and no snow. But you've got goats!

    I sent you a little package several weeks ago--hope it arrives before you leave!

    I think of you lots and pray that God keeps you safe always.