We got the bleat
In one of our early brainstorming sessions for Zombie Ranch, we discussed how when the near-apocalypse was going down, huge swarms of zombies ravaged the countryside, devouring everything in their paths like two-legged locusts. Sure, they were still slow and uncoordinated, but most livestock abandoned in their pens were going to be some doomed critters. The fate of the Zane family’s stock and farm animals (and for that matter, just about everyone else’s) was sealed.
Could anything have survived? Well, as I was browsing around the googleverse, I came across a video of a bunch of goats up in a tree, casually chewing on leaves.
The video was taken in Africa, but I brought it up with my live-in farming reference, and Dawn just started laughing.
Yes, she’d owned goats. Yes, it was nearly impossible to keep them penned if they didn’t feel like it. And yes, they’d be up on a roof the moment you turned your back, with nothing more than a carefree bleat and a tail wag in response as you shouted at them wondering how the hell they got there.
I was fascinated, so I had to go poking around for more videos, this time of the domesticated variety. These weren’t your laughingstock “fainting goats” that fall over paralyzed when scared (a trait that we humans bred them for, I guess for our own amusement, and which would make them easy zombie food). Your average farm goat seems to be a pretty crafty critter, and whatever enclosure you’ve built seems to just be something a goat considers optional.
Between that, and having the instinct and ability to get up high someplace where a person would have trouble reaching, much less a zombie, it was clear to us that if anything “domesticated” and hoofed was going to survive our greenie hordes unassisted, it would be those wonderfully obnoxious goats. And while Frank may be unamused by their antics, you gotta give them credit for pulling through… not to mention Frank no doubt likes still having some milk and cheese options around without having to trade for them from a Safe Zone.