A Goat's Tale

            “Baaaaaaa!  BAAAAAAA!” Oh-oh.  The kids and I new what that sound meant the moment we heard it.  One of our neighbors’ goats had its head stuck in the fence again.  Our neighbors were gone, so the kids and I went trotting over and sure enough, there was Creamy, with her head poked through a wire square of field fence.  You see, goats can poke their head through the fence pretty easy since their horns point backwards, but when they try to pull it back through, they are trapped. 

            “That grass always looks greener on the other side, doesn’t it, Creamy?” I thought as we made our way over to where she was caught.  When we came up to her, she started to get a little nervous and thrashed around a little.  The kids and I tried to soothe her with kindness so that we could help her.  “Shhhh.  Easy there, Creamy.  We’re just trying to help.  Easy girl, we don’t want to hurt you.”  Before long, she calmed down and realized we were indeed there to help. 

            I took hold of her horns and started maneuvering her head around, trying to get her worked back through the fence.  This required some force, and the discomfort started her fighting me again.  Her legs got stiff, she dug into the ground, and we were at an impasse.  The kids and I started talking to her again.  “Easy girl, it’s ok.  We’re just trying to help you.”  She relaxed a little and I started working with her again.  This process played itself out several times before she allowed me to do the uncomfortable things I needed to do to get her out. 

            Julie told me later that episode was quite a contrast to a few days earlier when Creamy had also been stuck.  That time she had managed to get her head through one square and back through another square so that her neck was being squeezed pretty hard by the fence.  She was so desperate at that point that she didn’t even fight Julie.  She just let Julie have her way and set her free. 

            We found it interesting that even though she has been in such predicaments, she does the same thing over and over.  We could have walked over to Creamy and said “Too bad you dumb goat!  Serves you right!  You’re just going to have to stay there!”  But we couldn’t do that.  Care for that silly goat compelled us to do otherwise.

Johnny The Prodigal Cat

My family loves cats.  We have adopted three cats over the past few years- Ida, Ichiro and Irma.  My daughter Hope even draws her own comic strip called "Cat-toons."  I think Meow Mix is planning their next commercial at our house ☺  

Several years ago when we were living in the country,  all of our cats were outdoor cats. We had one little black and white the kids named Johnny.  He was always kind of standoffish, so it came as no surprise when Johnny figured the mice were greener (or plumper?) on the other side of the fence.  

We were sad when Johnny ran away, but we soon found out he was staying right next door at the neighbors.  They said he was hanging out over there, but he wouldn’t let them get too close.   We decided to just keep an eye on Johnny and see what he would do.  We knew we couldn’t make him stay home, so we began the wait.

It took quite a while, several months in fact, for Johnny to come home.  He started taking a liking to another☺ little baby black and white we named Mini Oreos.  Whenever he would come around we would pet him whenever he would let us.  Slowly but surely, he warmed up to us.  

Johnny got me thinking about our relationship with God.  God must have thought it was pretty important to give us a free will, because He has paid dearly for it.  God wants us to be with Him passionately, but He certainly doesn’t force us to.  He waits patiently, watching for us to come walking up the road, ready to run and embrace us.