Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My
This was my friend Sue's angora buck, from whom I have received mohair for my rug yarns. The goat was about the size of a large dog, except for the horns (!), and was a nice old guy. Smelly, but oh! the hair. This is before shearing last winter, and he was sheared twice a year.
Sue lives just up the road from me, we can see each other's house if we flash a light at night (this is what passes for being a neighbor here, and a sight line is unusual in these hills and ridges).
Anyway, I use this mohair blended with wool in my knotted pile and pickup bands, here is an example of both:
I dyed some of this yarn the other day:
Perhaps you can see the sheen and glow of the mohair: it makes the dyed yarn sparkle. [See Claudia? still working on that red inspiration :)] Mohair also adds strength to the yarn, a good thing in warps and rugs.
But, this big goat is no more. Sue lost 5 or 6 goats, and a sheep or two to a mountain lion attack the other night. Even her 4 dogs didn't hear this attack: he came silently in the night, and killed each goat with a bite to the back of the head. The remaining animals were terrified, bunched up with eyes wide open, when Sue found them in the morning.
We live in the woods. There are other inhabitants of the woods who occasionally assert themselves.
The state trapper was worried about this particular attack though, because it was so vicious. The lion did not just kill to eat, he killed on a spree. And it was one lion, not a mother, teaching her cubs to kill. The trapper brought out his striker dogs and his scent dogs, but the trail was lost amidst the houses and fences that dot the ridge.
The lion has not come back, he's probably well away now. He may have just been passing through: the trapper indicated that there is not enough habitat for the current lion population, and some are left to roam and fend for themselves, without specific territory.
Lions and bears are always with us here, usually more in the background. Attacks like this are rare, and senseless killing sprees are more often done by packs of dogs, more a worry here than the occasional lion. Lions more characteristically take one animal, for food, and move on. Not this time.
There's no happy ending here, no moral, unless it's lock up your pets at night:
If sheep and goats were the main course, Mojo would just be a snack.