Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Mystery

While gone to Miami, one of my goats died.  Shivers.  You know...the one I helped birth (ok, *I* wasn't necessary, but I like to think I was indispensable)  He is also the one who made my eyes nearly swell shut because I was snuggling him... and who initially began all of my trips to the Allergy Clinic. 
I'm not sure what happened to him.  Well, because I wasn't here.  But, also because it wasn't obvious why he died.  We had wethered him and had him in with the buck.  The buck had been slightly aggressive because we put the doe in for awhile and then took her out before leaving for Miami.  Anyway, my dad buried him out in the woods... put two logs on it to mark the spot...and Malachi made a little RIP sign.  The sign was so said, "RIP Shivers    A Most Noble Goat"
Anyway, I walked to the grave upon returning just to see where my little Shivers lay.
A couple of days later, the kids and I walk outside to do the chores, and I was assaulted by the most offensive odor.  It was the odor most easily identified.  It was the smell of decaying flesh.
Immediately, I thought, maybe something has dug up Shivers.

So, we run up in the woods to check and sure enough...the grave was absolutely torn apart and Shivers was lying maybe eight feet away..missing a few pieces.
Malachi and I are instantly in CSI mode.  We want to know exactly what dug him up.  So, we start looking for tracks..anything that would point to the culprit.  There was nothing... we were frustrated...and then... well, then we found the scat.  And I took a picture...and I'm going to share it.  Like, right now. You really don't have to do this, you know.  You can choose to just begin reading a different post... go get some lunch....  brush your hair... floss your teeth.... it's up to you.
But, if you're interested, here's some massive scat.  LOL.

It was big.  And it didn't really look like dog or whatever.  So, I imagined it was a bear.  Because it probably was, right??  I mean, it moved the two logs out of the pulled the goat out of the ground, removed it from the trash bag my dad had encased it in, and dragged it eight feet away.  Bear, right?  Right.

So, the next day, Malachi and I get up and can't wait to go check the status of the grave and goat. We arrive at the scene and the goat was probably (omgah...I really HATE estimating distances...I have to try to mentally imagine people lying on the ground, end to end, so I can figure out about how far it was...)  So, based on those calculations, I'm going to say it was about four people (short people) or twenty feet away from the spot it occupied the previous day.  We were ecstatic.  SURELY, it was something BIG...and scary.  We again looked for tracks...but due to the pine needle covered forest floor, there was no evidence.  No more scat either.  So, we sighed and looked up scat on the internet..and felt pretty sure it was bear scat.  Because dogs or whatever don't do big piles...and it had...nevermind... I'm not sure I can describe what I saw in the scat without feeling like I've totally given up my dignity.  :)

Anyway, we go outside the next day and to our surprise, couldn't find him anywhere!  We searched and searched until I noticed a drag trail that led even further into the woods.  We walked up to him and by this time the smell was so intense, it made our eyes water and brought breakfast close to the point of erupting.  Course, if you find the perfect place where you're upwind, you can check out the scene with less olfactory torture.  Finding that, we proceeded to look for clues.  Nothing, dang it.  No scat, no footprints, nothing.  The only thing we observed was that every day of finding him proved that another large hunk had been taken from him.  (I know it sounds heartless to talk of my goat this way...the mystery captured me)  So, we were thinking that had it been a pack of dogs...or several whatevers, more of him would have been taken.  Whatever was getting him was taking pieces akin to going to the butcher and asking for a cut.  We never did figure it out.  The last time we checked, the only thing lying there was his skull.  Sad....and a dang mystery.  I REALLY want to know what it was, dang it.

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