Herbert

On Tuesday evening I left work at my normal time and headed out on my normal route and the drive itself was unfolding quite normally, but then a ways down Mebane Oaks Road I came upon some cars that appeared to be stopped for no reason. Until of course I saw the reason…a small white goat was parading down the middle of the road baaaa-ing at cars. A lady coming from the other direction in a truck rolled down her window to talk to me and we both sort of shrugged expressing uncertainty over how we were to handle this situation. It wasn’t exactly a turtle to be expedited across the pavement. I suppose I could have just kept on down the road, but something in me – we’ll call it crazy – lead me to turn the car around, park in the grass on the side of the road, and get out.

The truck lady also stopped and we both approached the happy little fella. He walked right up to us, not a bit of fear or hesitation, and just baaa-ed. I cautiously reached out to him, petted him, and ushered him off the road, while me and the truck lady chatted about whether or not we knew of anywhere around that had goats. Coming to no conclusions I said “well, I guess I’ll put him in my car.” Seriously? Seriously. This seemed like the logical next step. Truck lady kept him from the road while I pulled the Fit closer and opened the back. I gingerly lifted him and set him down, closed it up, and bid farewell my temporary helper. Then I sat down in the driver’s seat, started the car, cracked some windows and called Pete. “Hey honey. So um, I have a goat in my car. Yeah. A goat. Yeah he was in the road and I couldn’t just leave him there. Yes, I know I’m crazy. Well I don’t really know what I’m going to do with him, maybe you can look up some farms on Mebane Oaks Road. No, I’m not going to bring him home. He’s just laying down in the back of the car, it’s cool. I’ll call you back.” Or something like that.

I drove up and down the road for a bit and tried a couple side roads, hoping to see what? I don’t know, some magically obvious goat farm that I just never happened to notice any of the other thousand times I’d driven down this road. I found nothing. Maybe one of my friends wants a goat? I thought. And so I called one who surely would have adopted the little guy. But she didn’t answer. Finally, I pulled over and used my phone to Google a farm that I knew was a few miles away, and proceeded to call them to seek advice. The nice lady, after listening to me describe how I came to have a goat in my car, told me I was a good samaritan (read: bat shit crazy) and found the phone number to what appeared to be a goat farm not too far away. While I was on the phone with her my call waiting and messages were blowing up, and once off I saw that my mom and Pete were trying to reach me to let me know they’d found out who he belonged to!

My mom had called her neighbor (she lives down the road from where the goat was found) and he said the goat belongs to a hispanic family that leave him tied up in the yard and he gets out all the time. He described the house and I went looking for it, but I had no luck in finding it. Being that at that point I had now spent a good hour trying to save this goat and I certainly couldn’t bring him home, I decided it was time to let him go. I drove a bit down a gravel path next to a grassy field, opened the trunk, and again gingerly lifted him. Once on the ground he started to walk off, stopped to turn and baa at me, and then continued on his way.

I’ve decided that my new little goat friend will be called Herbert. I do hope he is safe somewhere. And if I ever see him again in the middle of that busy road, Graycie and Jake best prepare for a new backyard buddy.

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