“Did you ever think that you would have a sleepless night because of an animal such as this?” were the first words I heard as I woke up. He greeted “Hey! Good Morning man!”
“Good Morning! So what? It came in again? I heard some noises last night” I said rubbing my eyes.
“No! Not in our tent! But in rest of the tents” he replied.
“Back home in the cities that we live in. Its those bloody street dogs barking through the night that give me sleepless nights. But an animal as mute as this, never have I imagined” said another guy
‘Well not exactly mute! It was pretty irritating when the herd came in last evening. I don’t think there is any more animal sound that is more irritating than this. With the exception of dogs barking of course”
“Yeah!! Did you see that? When we were pushing it out for the second time it did not even make any noise”
“And yeah! Though small in size it was pretty heavy. And it tried hard to stand its ground despite me and him trying to push it out” said another.
I got out of the tent, and overheard everyone sharing their stories from last night, as I went to get a cup of tea. We were at the Hora Thatch campsite that I had talked about earlier here. A shepherd and his herd of sheep and goats had also called it a day here the previous evening. And then when all of us retired for the night, when one among the herd decided to wreak some havoc.
As the sun went down, the mercury fell down to the point that I quickly gulped dinner and went inside the tent. A few others, enjoyed themselves in the chill and stayed warm enough by lighting a fire. I got into my sleeping bag which lay at the entrance to the tent and lay listening to the songs being sung around the bonfire. I did not realize when I fell asleep when all of a sudden I was woken up by a faint noise of the tent flap being pushed and someone getting in. I could feel a presence a few inches away from my feet. It was dark to the point that one cannot see his own fingers if they were kept even an inch away from the eyes. It must be one of my tent mates I thought and that he may be removing his shoes before getting to his bed. But I continued feeling a presence after a couple of minutes. I had my torch handy and thought that its better to help the poor soul who’s crawling his way to his sleeping bag for the fear of tripping over if he walked. I searched with my fingers for the torch that had kept near my head and turned it on. And what I saw near my feet was small goat. Peeing! Dafuq!
I quickly throw in a kick and the kick lands near tiny but fleshy shoulders of the goat. It gives a feeble squeak and runs out of the tent. It has peed over one of my tent mates blanket. I pick it up and place outside the tent in a corner. No worries about the blanket. We had got a few extra in in the evening just in case it get too cold at night.
Shortly after every one with whom I share a tent returns and I tell them the story and they laugh. We crack a few jokes on the incident and quickly fall asleep. Only to be woken up by a loud shout of one of my tentmates. The same goat had made its way in. Myself, including a few others who were sleeping close to the tent entrance got up. Some to shoo off the goat and some to make enough way for it get out.
The shoo-ing off starts as a gentle affair. We start by prodding it with our hiking sticks. It refuses to budge. The tender prod goes one level up and turns into a whip. It makes the meek creature move. But only further inside the tent and into a corner. Now this is getting tricky. One of us approaches the corner to push it out. It tries to dodge him and then quickly runs to opening of the tent only to see it closed and then making its way back to where we saw it standing. A couple of us get out of our sleeping bags to hold the tent flap open. Muttering curses siliently under our breath. And then we manage to push it out. Whoo!!!
I have a sense of ‘deja poo’ - a feeling that shit that happened before will happen again. We look around the tent and see that we’ve managed to scare the shit out of it. The curses become audible while we take the blankets and floor mat of the tent outside. And replace them with extra ones that we have. Ideas are discussed how to prevent another infiltration. We deciding pile our rucksacks near the opening of the tent and that should keep it at bay.
I do not know if the goat made further attempts at breaking through our resistance and failed or if it decided it was wiser not to try. Of course we could hear noises from our neighboring tents and their attempts at getting the goat out. Thankfully our ordeal, got over by 1030 at night and we were not disturbed at some unearthly hour. The other tents, were however, not as fortunate.
I took my cup of tea and walked back to my tent. And the discussion had not died down. ” It just had its revenge and nothing else. Come on! We are in their home, their territory. And as we speak many among us are going around the forest finding nice little spots to empty our bowels. It just decided to dish us the same treatment” Some one concluded with a smile.
“Ha, ha! The thought did not occur to me then. But we should have killed it. Imagine having a nice little roast for breakfast. And a spice curry for lunch”
People all around made noises “Mmm” and some smacked their lips. The topic, thankfully, had moved from goat to food.