The Goat Hunter

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Slade decided it was time to dust the bow and arrow off and go hunting. The backpacks are loaded and we are off on the first hike of the trip. We are going to conquer Mosquito peak. 10 mins in and I am staggering up the Mountain on all fours with AK strapped to my back, my feet slipping on each step whilst trying to grab hold of grass. It is steep, Beany is lying on her stomach just up from me. Slade has charged off up the ridge his long legs thriving in the steep terrain. He eventually remembers that he has a family and waits for us on an animal track just from the top. I convince Beany to keep scramblling along and after what seems like an eternity of lactic acid build up we finally clamber onto the animal track. The sweat is dripping off Beany’s forehead. Here we swap AK over to the Mountain goats back. To do this I lye down on my back unstrapping AK while Slade shuffles across and slides the backpack on. I stand up feeling as light as a feather just having lost 20kg and Slade heaves himself off the ground. He the trotts off to leave Beany and I to continue our vertical crawl. I am not surprised by my husbands behaviour .Every time we ever went hiking with my Dad he would charge off into the distant haze, Mum would then be left with us three squirrels to get us from point A to point B. It’s kind of like dejavu really. It doesn’t bother me too much, since I have had plenty of practice with my Dad. We finally make it to the top after an hour long slog and the view is amazing. We can see all the scattered reef and Islands and can see right over to the mainland. The water is pristine blue and not a ripple to be seen. AK is asleep because being carried up a mountain is tiring work. We set about having a picnic of cabbage pancakes and water.It’s truly amazing how versatile cabbage is. It’s the sort of gourmet picnic that dreams are made of. We then set about getting down. I whinge and moan. “ Slade we had to crawl up here it’s that steep we cant just pop down over the ridge and waltz down the mountain, How the hell am I going to lug AK and I down” he replies with “ it’s okay we will follow an animal track down and go slow” I am super grumpy by now “ I am top heavy you fool an animal track doesn’t change the steepness ! “. My words and anger fell on def ears and we proceeded down a very steep very thin animal track. I felt like I was walking a beam, something I have not done in years. Slowly AK and I shuffled down the animal track continuely falling to my bum and slipping, most likely squashing AK in the mean time. Slade did his best at charging off again and Beany tried to follow. We then reached little sections were rock slides had been and the animal track had crumbled away. This is were I would sit on my bum lean back against the mountain and slowy shimmy sideways across ,digging my heels hard into the soft soil. Lucky for Slade my rage had turned in to fear. I think he could sense this and by the 3rd rock slide he had wandered back realising that they would be extremely difficult for me to get across. I was very grateful to see his face as I sat in the middle of a rock slide unable to move as the soil kept sliding away under me. Another hour passed by and we found another ridge line to walk down. It wasn’t too steep so AK was unleashed from her queens throne and sent running down the ridge stretching her legs. Then we saw goats, the hunter was out and next thing I knew I was left sitting on the ridge line for an hour an a half with the two kids. We couldn’t move because slade was out with the bow and arrow. I couldn’t see him, who knows where he wondered off to. He knew were we had been left and for our own safety we needed to stay there. It wasn’t too bad, since there was a nice view being so high up. Then the goats started to come to us and bleet very loud. I felt threatened as they stalked closer. Bleeting louder and louder at us. I packed AK back in her pack, threw the other backpack on my front. Yes I was left with that one as well because the hunter needed to set off lightly. I grabbed Beany and we headed back up the mountain. I had no idea were Slade was so going down the mountain wasn’t a safe option. I wasn’t about to play Russian roulette with an arrow. We trudged up as high as I could manage until there was only one grumpy goat. I sat awhile trying to keep Beany sitting in one spot so she didn’t fall down the mountain. I soon figured that I would have to take on the grumpy goat, I hid Beany behind me, she had to stay walking under the bottom of AK’s back pack. Together Beany and I yahooed and whistled, charging the goat until it scattered. We high fived and headed back down the mountain. The hunter was down below us coming back up to find us. We re-grouped halfway down. He didn’t succeed in popping off a small goat and I am very happy. Poor little cute baby goat, I didn’t want that on my dinner plate. After 5hrs we made it back to the bottom. Beany walked along the beach collecting deer bones and AK sat sulking after being taken out of her queens throne. I was absolutely knackered, when we got back to the boat Beany ate dinner then crashed. I was really surprised how well she managed the walk, even sliding up the mountain on her stomach ,I could see she was bounding with joy. We watched the sun set and I listened to stories of the goat that got away. Lucky for the hunter I am not too bothered by sitting around with the kids while he scouts goats or surfs. He deffinately picked a winner wife if I don’t say so myself.

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