Huckleberry – Part II  (Part I posted yesterday)

   Huckleberry had grown up into a fine looking goat and had learned to join his two worlds together – his people world and his goat world.  He pastured with the herd, slept with the herd, and fit in quite normally. But if he was ever in ear shot of our voices – whether we were calling for the horses, or yelling “supper” to my husband – he would hear our voice and give his typical “baaaaAAAA!”  It always reminded me of the Bible verses where Jesus says that “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  Once you bottle feed a baby goat, no matter what they are doing – they have one ear listening in essence for you to call them and then they would come a-running from where ever they were – just as if you were their mother, for in essence, you were. This obviously becomes a very endearing experience. A Huckleberry was just this way.
   Now, fast forward to Thanksgiving, 2011. Huckleberry is approaching one year of age. One of Jill’s high school buddies, Dan, was in the film business – doing his own films on the side from time to time. Dan had filmed a short promo film here at the farm years before and knew full well of our farm and our goats. So as Dan’s next project included a snowy Christmas setting and a goat – who else would he go to for such a casting task than us?  His plan was to haul the goat in his van to Minneapolis where his wife’s family lived. As we mulled our choices, we knew that it was be most practical to sell him either Huckleberry or Hombre. 
   Hombre was an older male goat but he was more the size of a Shetland pony.  That just didn’t seem practical since Dan was hauling him to Timbucktoo in his van – which sounded a bit absurd in the first place.  The next thought was Huckleberry.  We grieved at the thought of letting him go but we knew if there was any goat destined to be in a movie – it would be Huckleberry.  We knew that if any goat was to handle the chaos – the people – the needs of a movie, even a small budget movie – it had to be Huckleberry.  So, we made the decision and though we were saddened, we knew it was the best choice.  So – on a dreary rainy day in late November – Dan loaded up Huckleberry and set straight away for the freeway and beyond – for the long trek towards a frozen tundra called Minneapolis.
   Well – Minneapolis had a warm winter that year as we did as well.  In fact, there was very little snow fall at all in Minneapolis and so little in fact that it did not facilitate the making of Dan’s movie.  Fortunately Dan and his wife enjoyed the winter months with her family but as they plotted their trip back south they made the decision to not bring back Huckleberry but instead to find a suitable home for Huckleberry with one of his in-law’s friends – a plumber friend who had a few acres – a little farm of sorts.
   The details of this part of the story have come second hand and again…I hope to one day chat personally with this man to get the full details. So forgive me in this next segment  if it is less than totally accurate for my intent is to be truthful and give this wonderful story its just reward by telling it as it really happened.
    The plumber’s farm was small – more acreage than a farm but it was a wonderful refuge for the man and his family.  They purchased Huckleberry and he immediately fit in and was a pleasure to have around. The plumber has a son who is handicapped and who was not able to get around very easily on the farm. Eventually, the plumber decided to make a cart for Huckleberry.  He made the cart large enough so that his son could be placed in the cart and the goat could be led around the farm.  Huckleberry took to the cart so easily that in no time before the son was able to steer it himself and now the son was able to have access to the whole farm via Huckleberry and the little cart.  The freedom and fun now discovered for this boy who had once been limited was so amazing and had transformed the lives of the whole family that the plumber named his farm “Huckleberry Farm” in honor of his special goat.
   I so hope to contact this man to hear first hand with full detail the entire story for I also think that sharing Huckleberry’s unique beginnings will touch his heart as well.  What started out as a bleak beginning for such a common animal, began a marvelous road of touching the hearts of not only us as we cared and loved him but in the visitors that came to our farm. It continued on with Dan who surely was disappointed at the inability to make his movie after buying a goat, hauling it to Minneapolis, and shacking up with his in-laws all winter – to no avail. But how else was Huckleberry to be at the right place at the right time for the right person?  No ordinary goat would do.  It had to be one as special and as loving as Huckleberry.  It had to be a goat who love to be with people more than with animals. It had to be a goat who was always listening for his master’s voice to call him. It had to be a goat who would instantly run and romp when his name was called. It had to be Huckleberry.

Margie Gardner