While scanning the week’s news events, I came across this:
A longhaired goat that ran away from a Minnesota nativity scene on Christmas Eve is finally back home after being on the lam for 25 days.
The errant animal, named Curley, turned herself in when she wandered onto the farm owned by Tony Loomer and family, near Fergus Falls, Minn.
After laughing for a good while, I wanted more information.
Curley was probably innocently volunteered by her owners to serve in the adoring spectacle of the nativity, but I couldn’t help wondering what went through Curley’s mind just before she made her bid for freedom. It’s clear that standing there, serving as a representative of something she couldn’t even guess at, all those eyes glaring at her, Curley decided she was having none of it.
I’ve written before about my wish to have a goat farm. This desire was ignited while talking to a farmer who explained to me that goats were extremely social animals. “You can’t have just one goat,” he said, “because it’ll die of loneliness.” This instinct endeared goats to my heart because it manifest something that’s true of most living creatures. Vulnerability and frailty are beautiful qualities to possess, in humans as well as goats.
Years ago on a hike through the Swiss Alps, I ran across a goat-herder leading his herd down the mountain. As I passed them, the first goat in the herd began to follow me and I soon had the whole herd following me up the mountain. Clang, clang, clang went their little bells. Endearing.
Curley was found half-frozen and starving in farmer Loomer’s herd. For Curley, freedom meant the comforting company of her own kind. Home is where she most wanted to be. Her owners were practically in tears when they learned that she had been found. In other words, the perfect ending.
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