It has happened before, but it is hard to watch every time and there's not a darned thing I can do to stop it. When one of the herd gets old, it sometimes happens that the eldest gets picked on and beat up by one or more of the others. Lucy took the brunt in her day and was driven to the far corner of the pen and not allowed to feed on the alfalfa until the others had finished. Ruth was butted and had great patches of hair snatched out. This time it's Inga, and Sheila is the bully. Poor Inga. She has always been the most timid of all the girls and easily spooked. She's been gentle and probably the least trouble, aside from that hard-to-milk udder that was certainly not her fault. Sheila took a mad on and goes around with her hackles raised (goats do have a mane of sorts) like a schoolyard bully showing off his muscles. She is just plain mean to Inga, making her wait out of range until she and Tessie have had their fill of alfalfa and bashing her a good one every chance she gets. At bedtime, she drives Inga away from the gate and wait. The other night, while I was undoing the latch to the barn and Inga was by my side hoping to be first in, Sheila gave her a head butt so hard that Inga was smashed into the wall so hard I thought the panel would break. Inga was okay, but then I was afraid Sheila had broken her neck because it was crooked to the side and she didn't seem able to straighten it. She walked around the corner of the barn and evidently shook it off because her head was on straight when she came back. Whew! It would have meant putting her down had it been broken. It didn't teach her a darned thing though, because she is back to being the mean sister again and making poor Inga cry. The only good thing, if there is such a thing, is that it was Sheila and not Tessie that bashed Inga. Had it been the unicorn, Inga would have been skewered like a shish kebab.
Cam and Honey came by in the afternoon. Bessie was so happy to have a playmate and was more active with Honey than she's been in days. Honey is a big German Shepherd and it's like watching Mutt and Jeff when the two go running around.
To paraphrase Sonny and Cher, "And the heat goes on."