Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Escape Artist Moves In

My kids had no idea what the phrase "escape artist"  really meant... that is... until yesterday... when we added a new family member to our household...

Her name is Ginger....

I don't think she has been around people much.  We got her from the lady next door who rescues animals from bad situations.  I am not sure what situation she was rescued from, but for sure, she is very, very fearful and scared.  When we first put her in the pen, she ran to the far back corner of the pen, and just crouched there shivering, and drooling a bit.  It broke my heart to see this poor little thing to be so scared. 

My kids were determined to make her life much, much better.  At first, she wouldn't even let us get close to pet her.  She ran around and around the pen. 

She is expecting babies, and from the best we know, she is due to have babies in about three weeks.  Our kids plan to bottle feed her babies, and then they will be taking care of these babies for the 4H fair in August. 

You can see from the above pictures how Ginger was straining to get away from us.  The leash was tight, and she was constantly jerking, and turning her head from us to try to get away, as far away from us as she could.  Yet, we kept working with her, and it wasn't long until she began to relax.

She finally relaxed enough to come and stand by us and just rub up against our legs, and she began to allow us to pet her.  She is such a beautiful little momma and really so sweet.  She just needed some time to warm up to us. 

Later in the afternoon, some friends came over to visit, and went out to the goat pen to meet Ginger.  Somehow, we're not quite sure, the gate to the goat pen was not securely shut after one of the girls went inside the pen to meet Ginger.  Ginger bolted away and was able to push open the gate, and off she went.

I don't have any pictures to share with you of this event, because we were all so traumatized trying to track her down, that I certainly didn't have the presence of mind to go and find my camera before trying to track down our little escape artist. 

She dashed across the road into the state forest land full of dense, thick trees and underbrush.  Even with four or five of us chasing her, she disappeared quickly.

It was a desperate two hours for all of us.  Our little escape artist ran fast, really fast.  Faster than we could run!  She was nowhere to be found.  After searching vainly through the forest for a couple of hours, we were in despair.

The kids told me later that they had stopped and prayed together while they were searching.  I had stopped many times myself to pray for poor little Ginger's safety.  The good Lord cares about all things in our lives, and I had no doubt that he was looking out for our missing goat. And HE was!

I then told the kids to walk down the street and talk to the neighbors on the street in pairs, and let them know that we were missing a goat.  So two of the girls were walking down the road, and a neighbor called out to them and asked them if they were looking for a lost goat! OH YES!  What a happy reunion for all of us! 

Ginger had made her way down the road about a half mile or so.  These neighbors had their own goats, and Ginger wanted to meet them. She had already  made herself quite at home eating their oats, grain and hay.  She was munching happily when the kids put a leash on her neck, and brought her back home. 

After we got Ginger safely back in her pen, I gathered all the kids around for a very important meeting.  We discussed goats, and their escape methods, and came up with a plan to hopefully prevent any further escapes - hopefully!  Ms. Ginger is expecting babies, and running around pell mell through the forest is not a good thing for this sweet momma.  All the kids recognized the importance of being very, very careful when going in and out of the goat pen from now on. 

All of the tired and hungry kids then came inside where I fed them chicken potpie which was now quite cool.  I had just taken it out of the oven when Ginger made her escape.  But, regardless of the slightly lukewarm supper awaiting us, the pot was just about licked clean when all the kids got through with it, and after a panful of brownies had been consumed, we decided to call it a day! 

We checked on Ginger after supper just to make sure she was okay, and she was.  There was a prayer of thanksgiving offered at our supper table from all the kids for Ginger's safe return.  I am thankful for the lesson we all learned today... our Father in heaven does care about all our needs and concerns, and we were very thankful for Ginger's safe return!

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