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goat on window
The new window cleaner!

PLAYING THE GOAT

A tale in two parts in which we discover that it takes a village to catch a feral intruder:

Part 1. Some days all the quirky characteristics I love about Warrandyte come together in one sit-com-like comedy of errors. The Vicar of Dibley often
comes to mind.

One day in August, Robyn Power – nee Clarke and the three kids bang on the door. “Saw a goat in your backyard. I’ve rung the ranger. Keep an eye out”. I’m supposed to be working, but sure, I’ve heard rumours of the feral goats living around the 100 Steps. Within minutes it turns out to be true as a big brown Nanny, appears in my front yard.
When I approach, she takes off around the house and after a couple of circuits, hoofs off towards Hamilton Road. Back to work. Deadlines don’t wait.
Bang-Bang-Bang! Two strange men appear at the door like a lynch mob armed with ropes. “Did you know you have a goat in your backyard?” Sure. Go for it. They take off down the gully.

Bang-Bang-Bang! Why, it’s Kevin the postie: “Did you know a goat ran into your…” Yep. Thanks Kevin. Back to paragraph two.
Bang-Bang-Bang! It’s Ruth from Hamilton Road. “Do you know…?” Yep. Also, have I seen her husband Peter, who has also given chase into the bush? I’ll keep an eye out for both. Paragraph two…

Bang-Bang-Bang! It’s Ruth again, and Robyn again. “The goat’s under your house. We’ve shut the doors on it”. The ranger has been rung again. In the gloom under the house, the bailed-up goat looks big and so do those horns. Three women can’t handle this situation. “You’re supposed to grab the horns and wrestle it to the ground”, Robyn helpfully advises. So the goat is shut in to crash around amongst the costly plumbing and wiring until we can figure out what to do next?
Robyn knows a local vet, Shelley from Dingley Dell. And yep, she can be here in five minutes.

Crash-crash-crash!  The goat will be waiting.
Paul arrives unexpectedly but he’s got a sore shoulder. He could perhaps guard the door while the warrior women do the capture? Then – phew - Rachael the Nillumbik ranger rolls down the drive. She’s tiny but hopefully tougher than she looks. Vet Shelley and her three kids now duly turn up. So does Trixie Clarke, carrying a torch.

The professional animal wranglers get under the house and gingerly approach the goat who just gives them the run around. And folks, even with this cast of thousands who by now include a chorus of barracking children; even though we all worked bravely and in concert to a capture a goat that was supposed to attempt its escape via a chink in a door and fall into the trap of a carefully positioned loop snare, we failed.

The wily goat escaped embarrassingly easily and bolted back into the bush where maybe Peter and the two other blokes are still lost. I was left a nervous wreck.….Paragraph two.  Meanwhile, if you happen across three men and a goat, please, don’t tell me.

Jenny Brown.
     
Part 2: Saturday September 1…
Then there she was in the garden at 6 Hamilton Road. Eating the roses and other delicious plants so carefully nurtured by Jill and Graeme Jameson!
Another visit by the council ranger saw her cornered in a neighbouring property but just as she was about to be roped, she jumped up onto a shed roof and made another getaway.

A week is a long time in the life of a stray goat and she managed to hold up the traffic in Osborne Road on several occasions by just standing at the intersection of Hamilton and Osborne and thumbing her nose at cars trying to pass.
Then we had word that she was sleeping at the back door of 2 Osborne Road, pooping all over the verandah and eating their garden too. Many calls to the council ranger later and much head scratching about how to catch her ensued.

Finally, with a helper in the form of a Caring for Wildlife volunteer armed with a stun gun, the rascally goat was tempted with some lucerne back to 6 Hamilton Road and was duly sedated for relocation.

Ruth Rankin

goat and the goat trap
Quick pull the ropes!