There is a herd of wild goats that rampage around our promontory, raping and pillaging at will.
Since Andrew got his gun licence, he has talked at length about going and shooting one, but there’s always been an excuse a valid reason not to. Either he’s due to start work; or the goats are hiding; or his trigger finger’s stiff; or he needs to further research his prey by observing their grazing patterns from the living room.
Personally, I suspect he was intimidated by the Billy giving him the glad-eye.
Finally, last Friday the herd was sunbathing in the clearing above the cliff. If you squinted you could actually see the bull’s-eyes on their foreheads.
“The goats are in the open,” I said. Andrew barely looked up from his laptop screen. He said something that sounded like, “Um”.
“Well, are you going to go and shoot something?”
“Let me just check the weather forecast.”
The weather conditions were evidently favourable, because twenty minutes later we were edging down the track. I was present in my official capacity as Dog Handler and Controller – not that you’d have guessed it by the state of the squirming mutt at the end of the lead. Andrew stalked in front, gun at the ready, issuing Navy Seal hand signals over his shoulder.
He shot a young male goat in the head.
Its eyeball popped out.
“I hope you identified the target beyond all doubt,” I said, quoting the New Zealand Police Arms Code. “How did you know it wasn’t our neighbour, Tim, snuffling for raspberries?”
“Well, if it was, he’d shrunk and was sporting a goat costume.”
After boning up on his Basic Butchering of Game and Livestock, Husband gutted and skinned the animal, then chopped it up. Most of it will keep Jed in dog food for maybe a week; Husband might roast some goat chops in the slow cooker.
Personally, I don’t really have the stomach for it