Legend has it that the folks who lived here before us were the proud owners of two milk goats. The blue outbuilding lends credence to that claim as when we arrived it was outfitted with a feeder, had straw flooring, glass milk jars were stored in the corner, and there were goat pictures on the wall.
The odd thing about all this was that the property had everything to handle goats, yet there was no sign of the goats themselves. No droppings, no fur, no barren ground patches, nothing. Maybe the goats escaped from the blue building, goats are know to be brilliant escape artists. How hard could escaping be, the blue building was certainly no Alcatraz as the backside was a patchwork of poorly repaired holes and sheeting.
The mystery was solved one day when the furnace repairman asked if we had had any problems with the local bears. We stated that for the past two springs our bird feeders had been mangled by what seemed to be a bear, and the neighbors feeders and garden has suffered the same fate. The repairman laughed and let on that we had so far gotten off far lighter than the previous owners, who had in fact woken to the horrible sights and sounds of a bear ripping through the back wall of the blue building to help itself to the crunchy, cream filled goats that it found inside.
This episode (true or not) has given us pause as we have considered what type of shelter to build for our arriving flock. Hoop buildings have been researched, but couldn’t a bear just rip through the fabric wall? Open three sided shelters would provide even less protection. The answer to this conundrum will require a little more thought, but it has surely given us pause to bringing on a few critters this spring and housing them in the blue building.