Ginny is Our Darling Girl’s last primary school Agricultural Day pet. She arrived about this time 9 years ago, a hug-able little kid with an eerily human sounding cry and the most lovable nature. In previous years, Our Darling Girl had trained a lamb named Tim, Crumble the billy goat and a calf who’s name I can’t remember. They usually brought home ribbons but as soon as ag day was over, Our Darling Girl seemed to lose interest and they somehow became my responsibility.
Ginny has become a one man (actually one woman) goat. I move her daily and feed her treats and she loves me – and only me. If the Man of the House gets close she rears at him and even Our Darling Girl was in the firing line the last time she was home. We have to keep the neighbour’s kids out of reach and remember to warn all the townie visitors to keep their distance. But with me, she is always gentle and affectionate. She nuzzles my hair when I bend down to unwind her tether and when I call her name, she always answers.
Which is just as well. When we go to Wellington, Ginny’s chain is attached to a wire run to make sure she doesn’t run out of feed. We got home after our last trip and there was no Ginny to be seen. The run had broken. I called, ‘Ginny,’ and got an answering ‘baaaa,’ from up in the trees behind the house. I found her stuck fast, with her chain tied in a knot around a tree. She was wet and looked thoroughly miserable but when I’d released her and fed her a snack of feijoa branches (ice cream to Ginny) she was herself again and bore no grudge.
She’s a big strong goat and escapes from her tether 3 or 4 times a year, trims the garden and leaves tell tale piles of pellets in her wake. And she’s clever. I once attached her chain to a post in a sheep netting fence but she kept getting off. I found her wandering in the garden but her chain was still attached to the post. I suspected the collar clip had stuck open, tested everything was ok and connected her up again. It happened again and then I found the collar end of the chain clipped to the fence and no Ginny. I don’t know how she did it and she wasn’t telling so I moved her. She has broken her steel tether and her collar and has even pulled the tether out of the ground. One night we woke to the sound of a ghostly chain dragging on the deck and she has met us part way up the drive on our way home from an outing.
The damage to the garden is usually minor, though and she is a very effective lawn mower and cleaner upper of weedy ground and I still love her.