Goats…..I don’t recall any during our time in the Western Caribbean, but on the eastern side, they were a regular sight. On Grenada, it was common to see goats tethered in a yard, or along the roadside. Their insatiable chewing of all things that grow, make them perfect, environmentally-friendly lawnmowers.
When our friend Karen visited us on Antigua, she and Scott hiked the Goat Trail. The aptly named path was home to goats of all sizes, their droppings making for quite a “fragrant” hike.
During our stay at Ile Cabrit, in Les Saintes, we were greeted buy a goat “guard” at the remains of Fort Josephine, and were amused by a young goat playing with a coconut along the water’s edge.
On our tour of Dominica, we passed several goats along the roadside, munching on new growth sprouting up after Hurricane Irma’s devastation.
However, on the island of Statia, goats rule. During our first trip to shore, a herd crossed the road in front of us as we made our way through lower town. We’d never seen so many run wild together, off tether. Oblivious to us, they made a beeline for the nearest pile of ruins, and began to munch.
We watched them hog-down on plants and weeds that grew out of the ruins; eating from crevasses, crawling into holes to munch, and when the easy-to-reach stuff was gone, climbing higher up, for the good stuff.
The frenzied smorgasbord lasted less than a minute; and then, as is if a bull horn had signaled the end of the meal, they abandoned the ruins restaurant as quickly as they’d entered, and continued on…… trotting down the middle of the street, stopping to nibble stray weeds along the way, with no fear of people, or the cars that drove toward them.
Later, while walking to upper town, we passed a family meal in progress along the road. Like the herd in lower town, the family dinner was short-lived, and they quickly moved on down the street.
We came upon a herd making their way through the cemetery just outside of town. Jumping from gave to grave, eating as they went, these goats had no respect for the dead, at least not for the human dead.
As I mentioned before, the lack of people on the streets in town was eerie, almost post-apocalyptic. What had survived this possible fateful event, that seemed to have wiped out all humans??? Goats. They seemed to dominate the town, leaping back and forth over the walls and fences of both private and public buildings, in search of food, and always eating on the run.
We were quietly eye-balled, as we walked by these Statia residents who appeared to monopolize the island. The message was clear, “What the hell are you doing here?? Stay out of the way, and don’t even think about eating anything…everything you see is ours.”
The upper town herd trailed us through town. It seemed whenever we glanced back, there they’d be, coming up behind us, before running ahead to the next feeding station, as if to beat us to it.
As if the only sign of life in town being a herd of goats wasn’t creepy enough. One of them was downright scary-looking. I think I’d get the hell out of dodge too, if this guy showed up…
It wasn’t just upper and lower town that had been overtaken, we also noticed a herd living on the steep hills above the anchorage! I’ve heard goats were nimble, but it was intriguing to see them in action, scaling the steep facade like it was an anthill, with the older goats coaxing the kids along. I was sure that one of the little ones would fall, as we watched them lose footing several times, but they always seemed to find their goat feet.
Once they had eaten their fill (although it looked like the pickins’ were slim up on that hill) and were all safely in place, the hill herd settled in for the evening.
Goats had definitely run amuck on Statia. At every turn, there they were, eating, running and keeping a silent watch on us. It sure was amusing, this Caribbean goat island.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”