verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Monday, September 21, 2009

'Scape Goat

I know, I know.  This is a goat, not a dog.  But he's cute, right?  I think so, but then again I have a soft spot in my heart for goats.  That's because I'm a goat's milk soap person.  Not to reveal any idiosyncrasies (problematic or not), but it's the only kind of soap I'll buy or use.  But that's not why Buck's here in the blog.

I was walking Artemis and Biscuit a few weeks ago and we were on our usual route.  Groton is a suburban town and our idea of a main road is a two-laner that has a stop sign every third or fourth mile and very few side streets that aren't dead ends or unpaved.  But the speed limit on this particular route is 35 miles per hour which makes it one of our bigger main roads.  We don't stay on this road for long before we veer off onto the trails because every seven or eight minutes a car (or two!) may zoom by going 40 mph and for two dogs and a walker also sharing the pavement, well, all kinds of unpleasant things could happen.

As we were heading down the main route for the trails, out of nowhere came Buck the Goat, running at full throttle straight from a short paved dead end towards the big road.  The dogs and I were stopped dead in our tracks in a collective stupor as we watched this goat running in 36 directions at once, looking both exhilarated and utterly freaked out with his freedom.  As he went running towards the Really Big Road ('really big' signifies a road with double yellow lines down the center), he seemed to be shouting "I'm free, I'm free" yet answering himself with "What in the hell?  What in the hell?" clearly not know whether he was coming or going, and way in over his own um, horns.

The dogs and I knew this goat was a gonner if he wasn't stopped and immediately returned to his home.  Having never been involved with escaped goats I figured I should call the police to let them know Buck's whereabouts and the direction in which he was headed.

"Hi Police, It's Alice over here on Big Road.  Just thought you'd be interested in knowing that there's a goat running right down the middle of Big Road (and not in a straight line, I might add) towards Really Big Road.  Just thought you'd want to know".

"Uh-huh.  Who's this again?"

"Alice.  Alice, Artemis and Biscuit."


"So, that's all.  Just thought you should know."


"Just in case you're looking for him".


"Or if anyone calls you looking for him".


"So now you know his location."

"Yup.  Thanks for calling."

"Yeah, wasn't sure if that's the kind of thing you guys like to know about but anyway, [click] just thought I should call".


"Hello?  Hello???"

They must already be on it, I told Artemis and Biscuit.  Artemis gave me a doubtful look but I assured her that you always call the police to let them know about escaped goats.  "Just listen.  Any minute you'll hear sirens", I promised.

Well, minutes went by, followed by more minutes.  No sirens, no blue lights. Assuming they were sending out their undercover agents and using unmarked cars, I decided help their efforts by posting this news on the local listserv, alerting surrounding neighbors of Buck's break out.  Sure enough, the posts began to follow for the rest of the night. "Yup! There's a goat on the Smith's front steps", was one report. "I just saw a goat running towards the golf course", said another.  Eventually a post was sent from Lisa proclaiming herself as Buck's farmer and caretaker, imploring folks to keep her posted on his whereabouts.  She also stressed that this was Buck's very first experience off the farm and that he may not know what to do exactly (understatement...).

According to the listserv the next morning, Buck spent the night in someone's yard and was returned home to his pen that morning, unharmed and with no visible signs of traumatic stress, thankfully.  The whole adventure was fun and quite suspensful for us, and we were very glad that the listserv was helpful in his safe return. It does takes a village.

I have decided to designate myself as Chief of 'Scape Goats" for the Police Department since I believe they may still be trying to solve the case.  I get the importance of undercover work and all, but sometimes it helps to use your media resources.

Say-- if you ever find yourself in Lisa's shoes and chasing a fella like Buck, just call me. Chances are,  I've got your goat.

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