Goats are everywhere in Cyprus. Especially where we live – the last house up the mountain. We had often waved to the goatherd leading his charges to their grazing and goat bells can be heard most days from our garden. Ah yes, our garden. That's the one place you don't want a goat. We had experienced a goat in the garden once before and the Major had wrestled manfully with it when it got inside the house (army training always comes in handy). But this time they came – a whole herd of them – when we weren't there.
The first thing you need to know about goats is they can get in anywhere. That first one had arrived from the ravine that borders one side of the garden. Along a "path" that you wouldn't think a cat could negotiate, let alone something ten times its size. This visitor then jumped neatly over the wall and into our garden. It wasn't too sure it had made the right choice, though, and ran around mad-eyed, tried to butt its reflection in the window, leapt into the house and would have started eating the sofa were it not for the intervention of the Major. The sofa? That's the second thing you need to know about goats – they eat everything. And I mean everything.
So in our garden fruit trees, olive trees, vine, even thorny bougainvillea – all had been savaged. This was pretty disheartening and we certainly didn't want it to happen again. So we called our builder and together walked around the garden looking at possible points of entry. So that's everywhere then. They'd got over the six foot wall at the back without any problem. What could we do? We could make it even higher but it seemed unlikely that would keep them out and who wants to live in Fort Knox? I needed Goat Busters.
So I went to everyone's first port of call when searching for goat repellants. Google. This proved disappointing. Nothing much repels a goat. They don't mind any kind of noise or smells and walls are a stroll in the park to them. In the US (there's a website called Homesteading Today!) they suggest a 10 foot high electric fence. Hmm. Or a gun.