How Momo the goat brightened my day

Well, I needed something to brighten my day, and just to show you that God has a sense of humor, my day (or evening) literally brightened with the realization that one of our goats, MoMo, can turn one of the barn lights on and off!

The goat barn is a three sided run in shed that we converted to a barn.  We put a wall down the middle of it, with two doors and a window, then we walled in the front of the left side to make a large enclosed stall.  We left the right side open, and that is where we have two “lockers,” as we call them, to store hay and grain.  The lockers are old chest freezers.  We removed the motors, and they are the perfect weather proof, rodent proof storage containers.

The Goat Barn

The  two doors open into two separate stalls on the left side. They are separated by a panel of wire fencing, which is supported by three long 1X6 boards, which are firmly anchored to the walls.  One at the floor, one about two feet high, and one about four feet high. This way all of the goats can see each other all of the time.  The two young goats have a slightly smaller stall than the three adult goats. As if they can’t see through the wire, the three big goats stand on their hind legs with their front legs propped on the middle board so they can look over the fence to make sure that Esther and Sara aren’t getting any sort of special treats.

Because our winter days are so short, we installed four foot long indoor/outdoor flourescent lights in each side of the barn.  We configured the inside light so that the pull chain for the light is over the section for the younger goats, and we made it as short as we could.  I can barely reach it, so the bottom of the chain is probably six feet off the floor.  We thought we were safe.

Then, a couple of days ago, John and I were outside working when we noticed that the interior light was on in the barn.  John commented, “Hmm, I was sure I turned that light off,” and we didn’t think much of it.  When you do something like that repeatedly, it’s easy to mix up whether you did or did not turn out the light.

Today I went into the barn to feed the goats.  It was bright and sunny outside, so I did not need the light, yet later in the day when I looked at the barn, the light was on.  I could not figure out why I had bothered to turn the light on in the first place, much less left it on!

Later in the afternoon I took the goats for a walk, and when we returned to the barn the sun was setting, so I went ahead and gave them fresh water, hay, and grain, and closed them in for the night. I made a point of turning out the light.

I spent some time in the shop cleaning eggs, and when I came out, it was nearly dark.  I set the eggs down in the house and stepped back outside for one last look.  I was mentally double checking myself to make sure I had closed up all of the animals when I looked up, and the barn light was on.  Wait, what?

I watched, and through a dusty window I could see a head bobbing up and down.  My first thought was that John was up there feeding and petting the goats, but no, this head was brown, and John does not have a brown hat.  Before I could look any closer, “Poof!” the light went out.  What was going on?  Did we have a short in the barn? But what about that head?  It was the same color as MoMo!

Surely not. Surely he was not propping his front feet on the board between the stalls, stretching his height to reach the chain? Even more surely, he had not figured out how to pull the chain with his teeth to operate the light.  Or had he?

I was trying to figure out how I was going to explain this to John when I cast one last glance over my shoulder, and the light was back on! I looked intently, and sure enough, there was Momo’s head bobbing again, and “Poof!” the light went out!

I turned and walked halfway back to the barn and stopped, hoping for another look.  I stood there for a couple of minutes but nothing happened.  When it’s 2 degrees and you aren’t moving it gets cold fast, so I walked back to the house, glancing over my shoulder several times.

So now, don’t you know that we keep walking over to the window to see if the barn light is on, but apparently MoMo has called it a night.

Tomorrow you can find John in the goat barn, rigging that chain so that somehow I can reach it, but Momo can’t.  Good luck with that one!

One Reply to “How Momo the goat brightened my day”

  1. Thanks for the update on Montana life. Two degrees, a very clever goat, and a farm loving mom and dad. Miss you. —A from the big city of Seattle.

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