The saga of Blackboots continues...

So the guy came and got the goat, lovingly named Blackboots by Anya, and we managed to send him off with no tears shed from the kids. Story over, or so we thought. As we were driving out of the gate on Thursday, who should ride up but Blackboots, securely tied to the man's bicycle. Chad leaned out the window, told him we could not deal with a goat on any day but Friday, and off we drove. Imagine our surprise when we arrived home later that day and found none other than Blackboots penned up in our back yard again! To appease the kids' cries, we secured the gates and unchained Jake, the Rottweiler, to see if we could get him to 'adjust' to a new creature. All seemed to be going well so Chad went off for his afternoon lecture while I settled into grading the first exams. All of a sudden I hear the most horrible bleating, children screaming, and then our houseworker yelling. I start to run outside, then realize what must have happened, and I ran back for a weapon. All I could find was a carved walking stick, but it had a good knob on the end. So out I ran, vaulted the fence (in a most graceful bound I'm sure) to find Jake with the goat securely in his jaws and murder in his eyes. He's a big dog, over 100 pounds, and he's a serious guard dog. That goat was going to be toast! The kids were screaming, our houseworker Bambo Phiri was valiantly trying to save the goat but is terrified of Jake himself. So I started the beating--whacking the snot out of that blasted dog, and finally got him to let go. Bambo Phiri grabbed the goat and I chased Jake out of the yard and rechained him. I was covered in mud, panting from the vigorous beating I'd just given, the kids were traumatized, and the goat was amazingly no worse for his near-death experience.

In talking it through with the kids later, helping them understand why we simply can not keep Blackboots, a light-bulb went off in Ethan's eyes. In all seriousness, he had used all his best problem-solving skills to come up with a solution...

"We should slaughter JAKE, then Bambo Phiri's family can eat half of him and we can eat the other half, and then we can keep Blackboots as a pet!!!!" And who can argue with the logic??? Yet we chose to be conventional, and sent Blackboots packing the next day with strict instructions to the owner and to our workers NOT to allow another goat into the yard without us being there and approving it.

Oh, the things we never dreamed of having to deal with!


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