The Day Esmeralda Nearly Drowned
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM Sandra Isobel Kyle
Facebook posting, February 14, 2022

If I had said to myself 'It will probably be alright' or 'I won't be much help anyway' or 'her owners will sort it' or a similar thought, it would have been too late for Esmeralda. My point is one individual can make a difference. We can all be agents of positive change in a sad and sorry world.

goat Esmeralda
Esmeralda and Sandra...

When I first moved to Otorohanga, a small town in New Zealand's Waikato region, I noticed a goat tied to a small shelter in a paddock near to my home. After making enquiries I was told that she belonged to someone who lived on the outskirts, and they came every couple of days and shifted her hut to a new patch, so she would have plenty of grass to eat. As the days went by I noticed the goat was always alone, chomping away on the grass, and every few days the position of the hut shifted. But I never saw anyone visit her.

One day I climbed over the fence and offered her some leftovers from my dinner. The goat gobbled it down, and seemed grateful, so after that I went to see her every day with a container of food, and hung around for a chat and a few pats. I thought about a suitable name for her, and decided on Esmeralda.

A few weeks after I started feeding Esmeralda we experienced some torrential rain, that lasted for many hours. I was teaching music in my studio about 6pm when I had the sobering thought that the sloping land near where her hut was would quickly fill with water, and if it did, she had no way of escaping to higher ground. Thankfully it was near the end of the music lesson and the moment it finished, I jumped in the car and drove down to her paddock.

Sure enough, floating on the lake of water that wasn't there in the morning, was Esmeralda's hut. I immediately thought the worst when suddenly I spotted her, still chained to the hut, and barely managing to stop herself from toppling into the water. I had literally arrived in the nick of time.

I held onto Esmeralda so she wouldn't fall in the water, but didn't have enough strength to haul in the hut. I shouted for help but I feared my voice would be lost in the wind and rain, and there were no passers by out and about in such weather.

I was wondering what on earth I could do when suddenly a neighbour apeared at our side. With our combined strength we managed to haul in the hut, and he helped me set it on dry land. Esmeralda was just fine after her adventure, if a little miffed that I had come to see her without bringing food. 🙂

The neighbour said: 'I have seen you feeding the goat, and when I looked out and saw your car, I thought something like this would be happening.' I asked the neighbour why Esmeralda's owners didn't come to check on her, and could he tell me where to find them. He gave me directions on how to get to their place.

Suffice it to say, a few days later Esmeralda was officially my goat companion. The owner loaded her house on his truck and installed her at my place. She was the first of my rescue goats, and she stayed with me for three years until I left the area, and placed her to a marvellous home where, to the best of my knowledge, she is still living happily.

I'm telling you the story because the thought just came to me out of the blue. If I had said to myself 'It will probably be alright' or 'I won't be much help anyway' or 'her owners will sort it' or a similar thought, it would have been too late for Esmeralda.

My point is one individual can make a difference. We can all be agents of positive change in a sad and sorry world.

PS Esmeralda, soon joined by her rescue sister Blanche, had a large piece of land in front of my house (that I also owned) to free range in. She wasn't tied up; I can't remember why she was tied up in this photo. 


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