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Thursday, November 29, 2007


So how did I discombobulate my ankle, you ask? Well...

I am in my studio, working, when I realize that it's 12:45. I need to get some clean, non-painty clothes on, because my friend Karen is coming at about 1:15 to take me out to lunch to celebrate my birthday. As I move toward the door to head back up the hill to the house, I hear an explosion of barking and the most horrible goat-y screaming. I grab my glasses and look out the back window, and sure enough, Phoenix, the little one-tentacled boy goat, is in the neighbor's yard harassing their big dog. With one tentacle left, Phoenix is in LUV with anything that moves... I run out the door and down to the gate into the pasture. We have the gate all barricaded and blocked in an attempt to keep the goats in the pasture, so I climb over the gate and jump down, hurrying. I don't really remember how I landed, except that after my left foot hit the ground I think "I broke it."

I holler "No!" at the dog, who gives me one look and then runs away. So the goat is safe--I just need to get him back into our pasture. I think to myself, "Oh, this ankle doesn't seem to hurt much, I think I can walk." So I haul myself up and hobble about twenty steps across the pasture before everything starts spinning around and I start to sweat. I lie down on the rough brown grass and close my eyes. Eventually I feel better again, and walk all the way over to the fence where goat boy is trying to get back into our yard. I collapse again, and this time I can see that my ankle is swelling. a lot, over the top of my shoe. I think "This is not good. Maybe it is broken, after all." There are red ants crawling on me, the kind that bite, so I scooch along on my bottom until I am clear of the ant hill. Suddenly, I hear a sweeping-swooshy noise, and I open my eyes to find I am surrounded by goats: the two fluffy Angora goats, and Phoenix' brother, Gryphon. Clearly, they are confused as to why I am reclining in the middle of their pasture. As big Bill Whickers sniffs at my swollen ankle, I realize I am probably covered in what Jenny calls 'goaty pebbles.'

I know Karen is coming sometime soon, but I worry that she'll go to the house and the studio, and, finding me not there, go back to her house. If she leaves, I'll be lying out there in the pasture until 4 or 5 o'clock.

Eventually Karen comes and finds me hollering for her in the pasture. She gets Phoenix back into our yard. I try to lean on her to get out of the pasture, but it's no good. She says she'll run home to her house to get some crutches.

I lie back in the grass and close my eyes, and then I HEAR him. And I SMELL him. And when I open my eyes, I SEE him, standing over me, leering down at me, because in his puny little mind he's thinking MAYBE THIS IS A FEMALE GOAT. THAT WANTS TO BE BRED. RIGHT NOW.

It's Phoenix, recently rescued from certain doom. Obviously that did not traumatize him sufficiently to dampen his libido.

I push him away. Really, even when I'm in a good mood I don't particularly want to be snorted at, sniffed at, or peed on by a boy goat. (Yes, that really is what they do. Relentlessly. Especially the snorting. And the peeing. Especially the peeing.) And he won't leave me alone. Really, truly, he has only one thing on his mind. He stands with his head stretched out, and there's a maniacal look in his beady, amber eyes. I have no idea how long Karen is gone, but I spend every second of it fending him off.

She told me today that when she got back, he got especially amorous and I slapped him, then turned back to her and said, apologetically, with a glazed look on my face, "I don't normally hit animals, you know."


When my dad was just about the same age I am now, he broke his ankle while hunting in Northern Michigan. He had Heidi, his German short haired pointer with him, and was out in the middle of nowhere when he went down on a rotten log that was covered in snow. He knew my uncle would find him eventually, so he waited, nauseous and dizzy. And while he laid there, Heidi, his faithful dog, his man's best friend, started to dig a hole. To this day, he says it was so she could bury him and get on with her hunting...


Eventually Karen just drove my car down into the pasture and took me down to the hospital in town, where they gave me a shot of morphine and phenergan and put on a temporary cast. I'm taking vicodin (750 mg) and motrin (600 mg) every six hours, and I will tell you, just laying here on the couch in the family room feels a little confining. Richard stayed home today to take care of me, feeding me good food and building a fire this afternoon. But I can't go to the studio! I can't even manage the stairs--we live in a vintage 1970 tri-level and there are stairs wherever you look in this house. So I'm on the lowest level, with family room, Katie's bedroom, and a bathroom.

The medication makes me sleepy and stupid; I'm just about due for another round, so hopefully this has made sense.

I'll close with this wish for you: May you never waken from pain and shock and nausea to find yourself face to face with an amorous goat. Because I'll tell you, the amorous goat takes the pain and shock and nausea to a whole new level.


Olivia said...

I'm so sorry for your mishap Karen. The story is incredible, though, and well-written despite your state-of mind :) Very entertaining and the start of a book, I'm thinking. Love and well-wishes, O

Sue Doe-Nim said...

I'm sorry it hurt darlin but goodness did I get to laugh!

Mercer's Daughter said...

Wow! What a story! Sorry it's true tho. I understand how you felt bad about slapping your goat. When my sheep, Betty, gets ornery, she gets this look demon look in her eyes and tries to head butt me. The only thing that works to keep her in line is an old boat oar. All I have to do is pick it up and she backs off! Point is, I apologize for scaring her with it!
Glad you are okay, and your goat. Get rest!

Kikipotamus said...

What a story, indeed. Was boy goat over the fence in hopes of getting romantic with the dog? Hee. I hope you feel better soon.

Rosie said...

Oh. Karen. I'm just so, so sorry about the ankle. But that was one of the funniest buck stories I've read in a long time. Don't worry about hitting him. I've broken sticks on Lucky beating him away. They can take it...and totally forget it the next time they see you. Rotten boys.

I didn't find out about Nanowrimo until I was halfway through the November stories and the month. You did pretty good!

Anonymous said...

Very funny story, Karen! I do think you should compile all of these anecdotes for a future book ... I'm sure the goat would have a huge chapter!

Also glad to note that the husband who did not notice that his wife was not in bed (and turned off all the lights in the house and yard) could rise to the occasion and take good care of you. As the rest of the group probably did, also.

Feel better; hope you get back to the studio soon!

Lynn said...

If this wasn't so awful about pain and suffering I'd be hysterically laughing and I guess in all honesty my humble concerns about your pain and suffering there then put aside, I am.

Mary S Hunt said...

While this is so terrible that you have this happen to you and I am especially glad the goat is safe. You do some fantastic writing.
I mean I was THERE with you feeling everything you felt.

I know from past visit you like writng..go for it

I think you should write a book.