life on the funny farm

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

R.I.P. Houdini

Fred had his work party yesterday. Lovely day. Kids playing in the pool, folks eating, drinking, laughing, talking about summer plans.

At one point I was looking out to where we had thrown the spent corn cobs and watermelon rinds and noticed there were only five goats munching happily, when there should have been six.

Where was Houdini?

As is probably obvious from his name, he is is our resident escape artist. From the time he was born, he has always managed to get out of whatever enclosure he was in.

So my immediate thought was that he got himself out of where he was supposed to be and into somewhere off limits and then couldn't get back. So I went searching for him, fearing he was stuck somewhere. I looked in all the usual places to no avail. Finally thought to look in the bottom of the kids' play ship in the pasture and found him down in the hull. Dead.

Poor little guy. He was a funny goat. Not as people-friendly as some of our others, and the polar opposite of his twin brother Ozzy who is cute, friendly, and jet-black. Houdini was bigger, anti-social and snow-white. But funny.

True to his magical nature, he left me left scratching my head over how he died. Only about 4 1/2 years old, he was the picture of health, fat and happy. Coat looked good, eating well, up to date on shots and wormings. Only thing I could figure is that two nights before he died, the barn doors got broken, and I know some of the goats got out of the barn and into the workshop. No grain this time of year for him to overload on. No rat poison or anything of that nature.


I've been working a lot on the hen house. When I get done working, I make sure I always take all my tools and supplies out of the barn and put them away into the workshop. So I'm wondering ... maybe he ate some nails? Could have punctured his stomach or intestines. There were no outward signs of anything, like a struggle with a dog or something.

And I've seen goats eat all kinds of things. Tin cans, spider webs, string, paper, my shirt as I'm wearing it. It's always kind of tickled me to see what-all they would consume.

But this time, not so funny.

So goodbye Houdini. Hope you're up in goat heaven, eating delectable weeds and things to your heart's content. We'll miss you ....

Here's Houdini with his Mama, when he was about 5 or 6 months old.

Here he is with his twin brother Ozzy.

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