Warning: this post might offend goat lovers (that means you, Ms. Nanny Goats In Panties and legions of fans), and while I am an avid animal lover (get along with them better than most people, actually) and would NEVER hurt one (spiders excluded if they err in coming into the house) -- I do encourage you to avert your eyes if you feel strongly about all things goat.....
One of our neighbors lives behind a small church beside us. Having a small church as a neighbor is actually a plus. We only hear them twice a week, and we're usually gone ourselves on Sunday mornings. As for the neighbors behind the church, we decided we didn't want to see their trailer abodes -- they seem to be growing -- and I am positive they didn't want to peek into our bedroom, which is basically a glass box oriented into the woods. So we had a trench dug and bought a rhizome barrier that cost more than the bamboo we planted, which quickly grew into a 7 foot screen, and now everyone's happy, presumably. The barrier is working so we don't have to worry about despoiling Wye Mt. with bamboo shoots. I didn't want to be the person who introduced the equivalent of kudzu to the Mt.
Most weekends, I like to sit on the screened porch off the bedroom to read and edit, and listen to the birds. Unfortunately, the neighbors have taken to cranking up the Grand 'Ole Opry as loud as their boom box allows. Then they proceed to do a lot of noisy obnoxious things with engines and hand saws. Sometimes I imagine them sitting in their car with a brick weighing down the accelerator, 'cause that's how revved up it sounds. I envision them imagining running in a demolition derby or alongside one of those Ernhearts or something.
A few years ago, said neighbors had a goat that kept escaping its pen. I found this out when a white, ill-tempered goat began stalking me on Saturday afternoons when I'd be out in the yard. There I'd be, minding my own beeswax, and I'd turn and 2 feet away the goat would be standing there looking at me, its hard little gold eyes boring into mine while it munched some specimen plant I had just bought and planted. If I tried to shoo it away it'd shake it's pointy little head, beard waving, "NO" in the wind. Dude, it seemed to say. You have the best buffet in town.
Neighbor-man would eventually come looking to claim it. "It's eating my plants and flowers," I'd point out. "Won't hurt 'em," he'd mumble, wrapping a cord around the goat's neck. Then the goat started clamoring onto the terrace to eat my even more expensive potted plants, and he terrified my then-old red tabby, who flew into the woods until we found him perched tall up a pine tree. Xenon was an old man and fat, but he was a striped blur heading for the woods that day.
The last time the goat came over, I had enough, and when neighbor-man came moseying over to 'ask' about his goat, I came thisclose to saying, "Yes, it was delicious." But THEY ate him soon after, and the bar-b-cue did smell good. So much for having it as a pet.
Last month we had a bear lurking about. Neighbors down the road spotted it eating their dog food and bird seed. We take our bird seed in at night to prevent the coons from eating it all up, but throw dog food on the terrace at night for the coons in exchange. (Go figure). For a whole week we didn't see any coons, and the two or three that did show were extremely nervous, getting on their hind legs to scan the woods. I wish I could've offered them night goggles. At least for the one on lookout on our roof. During this time, a neighbor further down the road reported her chihuahua missing. Then, our close neighbor's pack of dogs began barking, and the calphony kept up from 3 am to 6:30. She came over that night to report her dachshund had dug out of its pen and had "'gone missing." "It's never done that before," she exclaimed. I said she knew about the bear, and when it had barked for hours and didn't get her attention, it was scared enough to flee the premises. Poor thing's never been found. The coons started coming back in full force a few days later, so I guess the bear's moved on.