Goat Ladies, continued ...
A few days after our conversation, one of Marcie's friends
called her about McCoy. She had sold a herd of registered dairy
goats to McCoy -- on credit. After several months, still no money.
The goat lady had gone to repossess them. They were all gone
and McCoy still refused to pay.
Marcie tried to phone McCoy. The number was disconnected.
She and I decided to drive down unannounced.
As we got out of the car, Dudley and the Arabian stallion
were standing at a pasture fence nearby. Although the pasture
was barren of grass, Dudley looked good. He's a sorrel roan Quarter
Horse, built like a bulldog. I could see why Marcie loved him.
Nowadays many Quarter Horses are mostly Thoroughbred. That's
because of the racing industry and its Appendix Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred
registry. If you want a Quarter Horse to rope cows or just plain
not act like a Thoroughbred, you need to avoid that racing blood.
Dudley wasn't exactly in perfect condition. Bot fly eggs covered
his forelegs and chest. A swollen and scarred area on his nose
looked like the aftermath of a rattler bite. On his right hindquarter
was a fluid-filled cyst. His hooves looked like he hadn't seen
a farrier since he'd gleft Marcie's place.
Dudley whinnied hello. Marcie and he walked up to each other
and they hugged, her arms around his neck, him arching his neck
around her chest in the way that horses who love their owners
know how to hug.
The Arabian stallion hobbled over slowly. He looked like a
walking skeleton. His hair had come out in patches. Bot fly eggs
dusted most of his hide. His front hooves curved up like elf
shoes. He sniffed my hand. As we left the pasture he tried to
follow us but couldn't keep up.
TAs we walked back toward the mobile home, the disheveled
bulk of Christine's mother appeared on the porch. Christine's
toddler was playing at her grandmother's feet amid beer bottle
shards. We approached, Marcie stumbled on a broken bottle and
"Would you like to sell the stallion?" I asked McCoy's
"He belongs to someone else."
"Nancy Smith." (Name has been changed).
"That's Stormy?" said Marcie.
"I know Nancy. That has got to be her stallion, Stormy."
As we drove off, Marcie said we had to tell Nancy about Stormy.
We discussed the trouble Dorothy had getting her filly off the
McCoy place. If she and John hadn't chanced arrest for trespassing,
Kiri might have become yet another of the McCoy estate's flyblown
corpses. Or, perhaps McCoy would have resold her until someone
else had the tenacity to force her to make good on the sale receipt.
Getting Dudley back could be hard.
What about the missing goats? I told Marcie about the goat
corpse we'd seen. McCoy had nowhere for a goat to get out of
the weather. Some people believe that goats are so tough that
they can keep them in a pen with no shelter. Sure, goats are
tough, as long as they can find a cave or overhang to keep them
dry. That's what they do in the wild. When a goat gets wet and
cold, it dies.
Or, I wondered, had McCoy sold them, as rumor had it, for
roping practice? Around here, "goat roper" is an insult.
More than an insult. Greenhorns get the idea that a goat is a
cheap calf. The difference is, when you rope a calf, it usually
just gets upset. Rope a galloping goat, and chances are you'll
break its neck.