Strolling across this field was the easiest way to get to Gus without going through the public areas and along the roadside. We’d become firm friends shortly after my arrival, he a local resident while I was just another blow in.

It was his anxious stomping about that first caught my attention, he didn’t seem happy.

With the discovery that his favourite dish was fresh young bamboo shoots and as I was trying to eradicate the weed it was to our mutual benefit to take a hike and feed him by hand most days. He seemed to sense when I was coming and his tiny tail waved a friendly greeting.

But the more we saw of each other it became clearly evident that he was indeed afraid of the passing traffic. His stomping about on his shed roof or cringing inside it were sure signs that he needed a change of career. He was the live-in lawn mower tethered to a wire running the length of the neighbours’ roadside nature strip.

This was common practice in New Zealand and others recognising his fear had untethered him but he was always returned to the line. So gradually over time several others had tried to ‘acquire’ him as their pet in order to free him from his labour. But each time his owner retrieved him.

My turn was coming as we had became more closely acquainted I felt it my duty to secure his release. Finally I seized my opportunity and brought him into my community where he was kept well away from the roadside.

With sharp horns and a curious nature Gus still had to be tethered. Yet for me he was as tame as a kitten. I could untie him and he’d follow me around and gently nudge me for fun … he was the goat for me.


  • please be sure to look at these great pictures of an elderly couple with their pet goat …. it’s so cute!