As I sit beside him in the garage observing his behavior, he fights with all his will not let himself truly fall asleep. It has been almost four days. His head nods, his eyes mostly close, but his ears are on constant alert. The floppy downstyle ears tip left and right and move up and down constantly searching for sound, any sound. I imagine he will not let his guard down for fear of suffering the same fate as the others…

Sometime Monday night, 6/13 or 6/14, as Martha and I slept, the brutal attack occurred. As I stood at the door to the goat pen, I began to shake as I processed the horrifying scene before my eyes.  A wild animal had reduced our little herd of three angora goats by two. I have relived these images every day. The heartfelt sorrow brought about by these visuals will not allow me to describe them to words.

As we would learn later that morning, another goat a few miles away met the same fate as ours a few nights earlier. The authorities would find the evidence in tracks, scat, and method of attack that would point to a large male black bear estimated at between 250 and 300 lbs. The black bear’s home is in the same woods that we chose for our own. We share this place with him and have unfortunately been humbled by what we did not expect from him. It is a price we hope to never pay again.

For over three decades I have looked into the soft green eyes of the woman I love and have never seen such pain. I have few words to heal the wound to her heart and soul. As we look to each other for strength it is in short supply. My goat mama has lost her kids and there is no repair. I can only hope this pain will be lessened by time, but I fear it will never completely leave her soul. My heart cries for her.

To my two lost friends;

My little gray girl, Misty, after whom I named my company.  You have kept me keen and nimble all of these years. You were by far the toughest personality. For all your hard armor attacks I suffered over the years, your appreciation for my diligence, your dancing and chattering greetings, and your refusal to back down will always be remembered.  I will so miss your sideways dancing on those early spring days when we both knew the winter was over and the grass was greening up.

My bright Lightning; your happy go lucky demeanor made me smile every day. Your demanding stubbornness made me understand that you can have it your way,,,,, sometimes. You were a leader although you were not the biggest, strongest or smartest. Your ability to overcome adversity was monumental. The 6 months spent in the house recovering from death’s door is a comeback story without match.