There is something about goats that defies definition. They are lost somewhere in a nether world, stuck between sheep, cows, pack mules and the family dog. They will happily work for you given adequate training, and then follow you around the yard, rifling through your pockets looking for the tasty morsel they are sure MUST be in there somewhere.

I remember clearly the day Wilfred our billy goat (then only a youngster) crept up behind me while I was mucking out and took my wage packet out of my back pocket – I turned around just in time to see a nice crisp £20 note disappearing down Wilfred!

They welcome us as we arrrive in the yard for chores, and chat away all the time. They love their routines – they know who is to be milked first and where to go and stand when they are let out of the pen. So I was quite happy last week, having to go away for a few days, to leave the apprentice in charge of the milking. She is a good little milker, and the goats have been slowly getting used to her doing some of the milking so I reckoned that, with adult supervision to keep her safe, she should be able to manage.

I had reckoned without goat-brain!

They played up!!

They kicked over the milk bucket, they stood in the milk bucket and they threw milk all over the apprentice every morning for four days while I was gone!!!

I was surprised, but realized that they had probably, being goats, understood that I was away and, like naughty children decided to take advantage.

So, my first morning back I walked into the yard mentally rolling up my sleeves ready to “sort them out”.

My darling sweet, lovely goats primly trotted out to be milked, and stood like little angels with sweet smiles on faces which showed no trace of anything but perfect innocence 🙂

The apprentice was hopping up and down like Rumpelstiltskin, but I found I just had to laugh. They had played me completely into a corner – there was nothing I could do and the little darlings KNEW it.

I think there is a reason certain mischievous deities were depicted with cloven hooves and horns – and that reason can only be the family goat 🙂