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Goat Short Stories
by Molly Bunton

Matilda's Long Night

Matilda was born on May 18, 2004, a snow white doe with the face of an angel.  All goat babies are cute, that is true, but not all have an angelic face like Matilda did. 

Matilda's mother, Myrtle, is, how would you put it nicely, a bit "slow" in the head, and is not the best mom in the world in terms of keeping track of her kids.  Every year she has babies, it's like she has to relearn how to be a mother all over again.  But thankfully she does not pass this trait on to her children, who are always much smarter than her.

Matilda was a happy outgoing little doe and when she was a week old she was allowed to spend her first entire day out with he herd. Myrtle took her out browsing and lost her. We have had kids lost before, when they had crawled into a little hidy hole to take a nap as the herd browsed, but have always been able to locate them, though sometimes it's taken an hour of searching up and down steep hills and through brush piles, we have always found them. Well, Myrtle lost Matilda and we could not find her. As Myrtle stood in the barn yelling for her daughter <a dim bulb>. We searched and searched for hours.  Finally it got dark and we had looked everywhere and we had to give up. 

We were sad and worried because we had never had a baby goat be out overnight by it's own at that age (we've never had a baby goat left out at night ever).  We were also scared for her, hoping she would be ok, but worried something amiss may have befallen her.

The next day we went out searching again, outside the fence line and looking for any signs of what could have happened to her.  We expected to find a body or sign of what was once a body.  We could find nothing.

After searching long and hard, we were depressed and and even though we could find no "closure" were coming to terms with the possible fact she was gone for good.  I thought I would sit and fill the water tank.  I sat down and looked up at the hill and I could not believe my eyes, but I thought I saw Myrtle with her little daughter Matilda.  I yelled for Larry who ran to see and it was indeed Matilda, out little goat baby angel.  On her snow white face, were signs where the tears had run down.  Alone, that night, by herself in the cold, she had cried for her mommy.  How frightened she must have been.

We were so glad that Matilda was found and have no idea where she had spent that long cold lonely night.  Needless to say, she never got lost again.  She's a smart one and stuck by her mom after that, even if her mom was not really smart enough to make sure her daughter stuck by her.

Also see: Matilda's Longer Night

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