Sep 29, 2009

A Squirrel and a Goat From My Past

The other day I was out driving and the car in front of me narrowly avoided hitting a squirrel. As I watched the poor little thing stop on the side of road to catch its breath and probably wait for the tiny heart attack it surely thought it was going to have, I was instantly brought back to David's and my honeymoon long, long ago in 1987.

While we were out and about one afternoon in our rental car, David hit a squirrel though he had tried mighty hard to avoid it. Looking in the rear view mirror, he said the squirrel hadn't been killed but appeared to have run into the woods and he thought the little guy was going to be okay. I became very upset and insisted that David stop the car so I could get out and see if the poor thing really was okay, and wanting to please his new bride, he did just that. In fact, he got out with me and together we both found the squirrel: me in the bushes and him on the car. My half of the squirrel was alive and well, though now bob-tailed and shell-shocked and David's half of the squirrel consisted of the entire length of a bushy gray tail caught up in the wheel well. The squirrel was barely bleeding and quite feisty after it recovered from the initial surprise of having his entire back end torn off and so we figured he'd be just fine. We got back into the car and were back on our way once again.

A few days later we decided to go horseback riding at a farm we were told was near to our hotel. The horse farm turned out to be, in reality, much farther away and after a very long ride through the woods and up a mountain, we arrived to find the place inexplicably closed. No signs, no notices. Just closed when they should have been open for business. While David was searching for some signs of life, I wandered down to the barn, eager to see the horses. When I was about half way between our car and the barn, a teeny tiny little pygmy goat came rushing out of the stables and straight over to me. He jumped up and down on my legs and insisted on being petted and picked up just like a little puppy, which of course of I was more than happy to do. David came to tell me that he hadn't found a soul and suggested we find something else to do, so I said goodbye to my new friend and set him down and headed back to the car with David. When I opened my car door, the little goat jumped into the front seat and sat down, ready to leave with us. David removed him but he kept leaping back in, over and over again. I wanted to take the goat with us, but David said 'no way' and after several attempts, managed to get us both into the car while keeping the little goat out. As we drove away, I looked back to see the little goat all alone watching us leave. He was my favorite topic of conversation for days on end.

And now that I think about it, in the 22 years since, David really shouldn't ever be surprised when I talk about rescuing an animal or buying a new dog from a breeder or even donating money to an animal charity, yet he always is. He should know better, given the fact that within the first three days of our married life together, I crawled through the brush after an injured squirrel and contemplated stealing a goat from an unattended farm. Now, honestly, what the hell else did he expect from a life with me?

Photo courtesy of WV Fan on Flickr.

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