There’s a reason I often look at Finn and say, “Funny funny Finn-Finn!”
Finn is a clown and a show-off, and he’s the ultimate “Hold my beer!” goat. Finn is always fun to watch, but today he was in rare form! I drove from town with a load of water and groceries and the goats were all jumping and skipping on the rocks and lawn in front of our house. Everyone looked lively. Young Sapphire was a bolt of lightning ricocheting off the rocks with her tail in the air while Sonic and Scout took turns rushing up to Finn in feint attacks. Finn, however, was running circles around everyone with his hackles raised, tail erect, and ears cocked. He was only partially reacting to the other goats. Mostly the other goats were reacting to him as he spun, danced, whirled, leaped, caprioled, and launched himself full-speed off boulders. He ran figure-8’s through the herd, sending pregnant does and young bucks scattering in all directions. Sonic tried to match Finn’s machismo several times, but soon ran off in alarm as Finn’s antics escalated.
I unhitched the trailer and honked the horn as I drove through the mayhem to park near the house. Finn snorted and launched himself around the yard again at full speed. As I unloaded groceries from the back seat, I suddenly found myself attacked from the rear as Finn leaped up and tried to jump over my shoulder into the truck! I screamed with surprise and anger and Finn snorted in alarm and bounced off my back. He was a little more careful of my space after that, but he marched up to the house with me and tried to follow me through the porch gate. I could tell he was about to leap it. Finn went through a gate-leaping phase a few years ago and we cured it by keeping a full cup of water near the front door. I could see the temptation to clear the gate battling a memory of cold water in the face.
Finn wisely turned and cavorted around the yard, but he clearly had an urge to do something more spectacular. I was taking another load of groceries out of the truck when Finn looked me square in the eye, sized up the height of the truck bed, then suddenly launched himself over the raised tailgate! Had he not been looking me in the eye when he made the leap, I’m sure he would have easily cleared it, but in his urge to make sure I was watching him, he misjudged the jump and hung a front leg. He clung there for a few seconds, scrambling to get his hind feet over, but the one front leg that hadn’t cleared the jump was in the way. With an unceremonious crash, he fell onto his back, legs flailing in the air. He quickly rolled over and leaped to his feet with a hangdog look about him. I’m sure he wished in that moment that the ground would swallow him up. He gathered up the pieces of his pride and stalked primly off in the other direction.
Things settled down quickly after that. Finn tried to shake it off by trotting nonchalantly around the yard, but he’s lame right now. His left front leg is sore from trying to heave the rest of his bulk over the tailgate and I’m going to guess it will stay sore for a few days. Still, it was a noble effort and I’m sure his spirit isn’t dampened. The fact that something is too high for him to jump has rarely stopped him from trying. Even in this case, I’m quite sure if he’d kept his eye on the target instead of on me he would have cleared that leap without touching a foot to the tailgate. He did it once before as a young goat when the truck was moving. He’s heavier now, but he’s strong and I think he could still clear it if he weren’t so intent on looking at me and saying, “Watch this!”