Thanks for your prayers, guys. God DID pull a miracle out of the hat! Praise the Lord!
I spent about four hours this morning on horseback looking for Cuzco’s body among our scrub oak and on the empty 100 or so acres south of us where no one lives. All I scared up was a big bear, which didn’t raise my hopes any. I kept scanning the skies for buzzards, but only saw a couple of fly-overs. I gave up and came home around noon and was having a good cry with Nibbles in my lap when we got a phone call. Our neighbor who has the horses said he’d met someone who had been woken up at 4:00 this morning by a huge one-horned goat on his porch. His house is in a heavily wooded neighborhood a good three miles away!
Naturally, we drove straight over, but we couldn’t find Cuzco anywhere. There are many little roads and houses in that area, all thickly wooded and covered in scrub oak, so it’s impossible to see very far. Also, practically everyone has dogs, so I was afraid that Cuzco may have been chased who knows how far since 4 a.m. When we didn’t see him, we went home and I got back on my horse while Phil posted fliers all over town. I rode up and down that road and many of the surrounding roads calling him and checking in every yard and pasture that had horses. I hoped he would see and/or hear my horse and come out if he were hiding.
After several hours without luck I decided it was no use so I turned for home. I went one last time past the house where he had been seen that morning, calling as I passed, and suddenly there was a faint “Baa-aa-aa” from the bushes. Now mind you, I’d been hearing “Baa-aa-aa’s” from every bush along every road I’d traveled that afternoon, so I wasn’t convinced right away. Nevertheless, I turned round and called a couple more times and suddenly a white face peeked out at me from behind the scrub oak.
He’d been hiding back there on that same property the whole time, too traumatized to come out I guess. He’s a little bit beat up. There are some bites on his neck and a pretty nasty scrape down his back where it looks like teeth tried to dig in. It definitely wasn’t a bear. I’m thinking it was the coyotes we heard that night. Cuzco is pretty independent and likes to go out in the fields near our house, but it was a bad night to be out, what with too many coyotes and no horses at home. I don’t think he was protecting Nibbles. She’s just a homebody and always stays in the pen at night. Cuzco feels it’s his privilege to come and go as he pleases and he picked the wrong night to go. I don’t care what he thinks about it, I’m keeping him locked in at night from now on–especially when I take the horses to saddle club! Right now he’s very jittery and wants to leave home. He’s one of those critters that feels vulnerable when he’s locked in, which of course is stupid to those of us who know that his enclosure is safe. But try telling that to a goat!
Anyway, thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. It’s been a very harrowing two days. Cuzco was gone almost a full 48 hours, and I’ve barely slept or eaten during all that time. So I’d better get me some dinner!