Help St. Anthony! I am missing a goat!
One morning several years ago on my way through town to my office at the friary, I saw three baby goats and their mothers on a steep hillside sandwiched between a very busy street and a large billboard advertising pizza. The little kids were bashing their heads together and the does were peacefully eating vines and bushes.
I had been intrigued by the idea of farming in the city and wanted to speak to the owner of these goats. After work I found my way to a house next to the urban pasture. On the second floor balcony was a hand-painted mural of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary as in the Gospel of Luke. Perhaps this was where the farmer lived?
Beth answered the door, and yes, the goats were hers. She gave me a tour of the place and introduced me to Ping and Pong (the moms) and Clover, Pavlova, and Mary Poppins (the cute kids). Providentially for her, she needed a new leafy place for her young goats to browse and our two acre yard and woods were perfect.
We fashioned a place for them with shelter, food, and water all enclosed with an electric fence. When Beth brought them in her truck, they happily went into their pen. When I went to check on them the next morning, Pavlova was gone!
The fence was not broken. Clover and Mary Poppins were still there. Where could Pavlova be? We searched all through the woods and yard. She was nowhere to be found. How could I tell Beth that her precious Pavlova was gone? So, I said a quick prayer to St. Anthony.
Shortly after that prayer, a neighbor up the street called to say that a goat was on their porch nibbling at their plants. Half angry, half amused, she wondered if the creature was ours?
That wasn’t the last time that Pavlova explored outside the pen, or the last time we called on St. Anthony for help. But we did learn that goats can jump quite well and you must not put their shelter too close to the edge of the fence. Standing on the roof and leaping far is just one of the many talents of goats.
Thank you, St. Anthony, for your intercessory help!
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