Men at a rescue ranch sent to pick up a goat find out it’s a ram

Lefty Graves

** This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

Over the years, I’ve worked on several ranches. One such ranch was what was considered to be a “Rescue Ranch.” This particular ranch rescued not only animals but also homeless men and women struggling with addiction, homelessness, and other personal situations that created hardships for them.

The people were required to help on the ranch by working in the gardens with the animals, cleaning up around the place, building projects, and the like. For example, one afternoon, when I was volunteering at the food bank for the rescue ranch, the lead boss came around and asked four men who were moving heavy boxes to go with him to rescue a goat.

These four burly guys all piled into a van and went with the head guy to a location in the woods where a goat had been abandoned. Upon arrival, they contemplated several ways to convince this goat to get into the van, to no avail.

Finally, one of the larger guys climbed atop the animal, and two others helped guide the animal into the van. They quickly climbed in with the animal and held it down while the driver drove the 3 miles back to the rescue ranch.

Upon arrival at the ranch, we all went out to watch the adventure as the men unloaded this animal. It was all black and quite shaggy, and you couldn’t see its face at all for the hair. The animal was finally unloaded into a pen, and we left to allow it to settle down.

Later that afternoon, my friend and I walked down to look at the animal, and I realized it was a ram, not a goat. I began to laugh. The lead boss happened to walk up while I was standing there laughing, and he asked me what was so funny.

I reached out my hand with a carrot, and the ram took the carrot, at which point I was able to move some of its hair and show the lead boss that this wasn’t a goat at all but rather a ram. He, too, began to laugh. A few days later, they found someone to shear the ram, and he once again looked like a ram.

I still laugh that four grown men captured this animal on a rescue ranch, spent over an hour with it, and never realized it wasn’t a goat. Though I no longer work there, I’m still in touch with some of them, and when I stop by to visit, I always stop down to visit the ram.

The ranch hands that live there all year round still talk about the goat that was really a ram. Have you ever confused animals for a different type of animal?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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