Thursday, 7 August 2008

Nerves of steel

Some say the most dangerous job in the world is crab fishing off the Alaskan coast. Brave fishermen risk their lives in sub zero temperatures in wild stormy seas climbing into steel wire cages to empty them of prized crab for posh restaurants.

Others will argue that tree felling in Canada should be top of the list, where life and limb are exposed to horrific danger from natural sources like extremes of weather and falling trees to man made dangers like machinery and chainsaws.

Maybe the view that those engaged in mine clearance have an occupation that holds certain hazards, or putting out fires in oilfields, lifeboat crews, clearance divers, the SAS even.

None however face the hazards that Tracey and I faced this evening, that of trimming the hooves of a psychopathic goat. Our difficulties were compounded by Geisha who tried to assist. It was a simple plan, get Maggie eating, when suitably distracted trim her hooves. She has been limping so may have foot rot in her front right hoof. The hoof traps dirt, and this breeds bacteria and infection which in turn causes pain. Its solved by keeping the hooves trimmed and clean.

Maggie started off well by burying her head in the bucket and happily munching. Tracey gripped the offending hoof and began trimming. Geisha approached at speed and dived headfirst into the bucket I was holding, and as every action has a reaction Maggie freaked out at this sudden intrusion and gave Tracey a glancing blow from her horns just above her ear. Her cry of pain was somewhat drowned by my cry of pain as goat and bucket slammed into my groin.

Maggie has less of a limp now, Tracey has a headache, I am a proper farmer with two acres and Geisha was last seen heading down the lane with the bucket still attached.

We take comfort in the fact that there are only three hooves left to do.

I have always wanted to be a fisherman, maybe there are vacancies.
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