(Editor’s Note: A bit of levity for our readers.)
We owned a bit of land on top of mountain. The main foliage on this mountain was a tall plant called Salmon Berry. Now, this plant grew to be 6 to 8 feet tall and had thorns that attached to a paper thin skin, so when you brushed it the thorns embedded themselves into your skin. “Get goats” a neighbor advised, so we did. Goats eat most anything and it seems they love the taste of Salmon Berries. Tessa was the matriarch and Tassel was the escape goat.
It’s been said that if it won’t hold water it won’t hold a goat, and we could count on Tassel to escape no matter how secure we thought our fence was. On the west side of our property was a sheer drop-off. The fence ran along the top and no critter in its right mind would dare to think of plunging down the cliff. Tassel was not in her right mind.
One day she saw fit to pry up the fence and plunge to the bottom of the canyon, which was so overgrown with salmon berries that we couldn’t be sure that there was, in fact, a bottom. When we noticed we had a missing goat we went looking for her and soon heard her calling from the depths of the salmon berries. The cliff was so steep that even a goat couldn’t climb out!
Now, let me describe my husband. He was a very large man, standing 6’4″ tall and 250 pounds. He had a heart of gold, but had always been very quick to anger. When he met Jesus, the change in him was amazing. One change was that his anger was easily controlled; he began to see things from God’s perspective. This turned out to be a good thing for Tessa, who was very concerned about her friend Tassel who was at the bottom of the canyon.
While we tried to figure out how to get the goat out of the pit, Ron decided to fix the fence. As I said, this land was on the top of a mountain and aside from the sheer drop-off, the rest of the goat pen was steep. Fixing the fence required Ron—who was almost crippled with one artificial knee that just didn’t work right, and another that needed to be replaced, to dig in with his toes and cling to the mountainside with one hand to keep from sliding downhill. He used his other hand to mend the fence.
My heart swelled with love for this man, who didn’t particularly like goats but knew I loved them, and he wanted to please me. I had been in the house and was going to take Ron some water and help if I could. The sight that met my eyes caused me to almost drop to the ground in fits of laughter! There was Ron, clinging to the mountain side for dear life, fixing the fence…with Tessa on his back! She was worried about her friend and was earnestly looking down the cliff from the height of Ron’s back.
Oh, how I regret not taking a picture! But I pulled myself together, pulled Tessa off of Ron and into the barn. The fence was fixed, the goat was rescued, and once again Ron was my hero. The fact that we didn’t have goat barbeque for dinner that night is a testimony of the power of God to change a person.