Submitted by Pam Owen

It is my privilege to introduce everyone to Speckles, the goat. She is a female goat, also called a nannie, or a doe. Speckles is a dear, sweet, senior goat who has earned her reputation as being the Grande Dame of all the goats! She is the wisest and bravest of goats at Big Sky. Whenever there is something new, or any changes affecting the goats, she is in the lead to check things out, and the others take the lead from her. She is not a bossy type of goat, but rather one who shares the wisdom of her years gracefully. She has a calm nature that helps the other goats, but also has a calming affect on the people she meets. Some of the volunteers like to seek her out and relax with her until life doesn’t seem quite as hectic as before. Speckles has “a way of bringing peace to unquiet hearts” says one of the volunteers.

A typical goat, Speckles has an untamed curiosity! Naturally curious, goats of all kinds like to use their prehensile lips and tongues to ‘taste’ and explore anything that is new, including people. Speckles likes to meet new people by exploring them in just this way. Goats are often accused of being willing to ‘eat everything and anything’. Not true, says Speckles. Goats are actually browsers and prefer tips of woody shrubs & trees, most plants and grasses.

Goats do have a reputation for escaping their pens or enclosures. Again, Speckles has explained to me that it is their curiosity. They just have to check out what is on the other side of the fence! Once discovering any type of opening, all goats will be quick to exploit it. If not mended promptly and efficiently, the same opening will be a constant source of escape, as goats are quick to learn and watch what the others are doing….it is often remarked about cats and their curiosity, but Speckles thinks perhaps goats should be mentioned too!

Speckles has three rules she lives by, and wanted me to share them with you, in case anyone would like to be as at peace with the world as she is. Her first rule is always: be ready to enjoy the sunshine first thing in the morning. The sun rises every day and is a precious wonder to behold. Speckles likes to greet the sun from her ledge before the others are up and about, and well before most of us get out of bed. Her second rule is that there is nothing too serious to stress about, all can be resolved with the right attitude and, in Speckles words, “a nice bit of sweet hay.” The third rule Speckles lives by is: never to take friendship for granted. She is wise and most polite of goats, and will always greet old friends. She assumes that strangers are just friends that she hasn’t met yet!

There is nothing better than sitting in the sun with friends in companionable silence and, if an arm encompasses Speckles, then her world is full of joy and blessings. She invites you out to see her and her friends at Big Sky Ranch, or check them out at [email protected]

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