On Sunday, I was amazed by the incredible sensitivity that one of our young goat bucks (Obsidian) exhibited – we were meeting his new owner in a Bob Evans parking lot (she was picking him up to go to his new herd), and I’d just transferred his leash to her, when a young couple with a beautiful little girl walked up. They asked if their little girl could “pet” the baby goat.
Since I’d just handed over ownership of him, I didn’t respond, and wasn’t surprised when his new owner said “Sure she can” – but was concerned. Obsidian’s always been very energetic and friendly, and despite trying to teach him good manners, he often jumps up on the new people he meets (we’ve had lots of guests at the barn meeting the baby goats, and he’s always been overly enthusiastic). The little girl looked to be about five years old, and was pretty small – so I was afraid that he would scare her.
The parents directed the girl’s hands to Obsidian, and as I realized that she was blind, I became even more concerned (and prepared to intervene). However, Obsidian stood absolutely still as she “petted” him (she lightly felt him moving from his back to his front), and as she came to his head, he leaned in and snuggled. He was a perfect gentleman the entire time (I don’t think I’d ever seen him hold still that long), and she and her parents left thanking us, clearly delighted with the experience.
How did he know to be so still and patient with this little girl? He’s never acted like that before. There was obviously a connection between the two of them – I held my breath as I witnessed it, and continue to marvel over it. I wish I had pictures (the picture to the right is him as a baby, but he’s the size of his brother, Tiger’s Eye, in the picture on the left now), but it happened way too fast. Have you ever experienced something like this – where it seems that the animal has a sixth sense? Sometimes the goats seem like a lot of work, then a moment like this comes along, and I appreciate again how much they enrich our lives.