It is Friday. It is summer.
And so, with those disclaimers out of the way, we now bring you a news report about dozens of goats that briefly took over a neighborhood in Boise, and Twitter along with it.
The goats turned up early Friday in a residential neighborhood on the western side of Boise, Idaho. There were dozens of them — “at least 100,” according to the man who brought this news to the world via Twitter, KTVB reporter Joe Parris. Their provenance was initially unknown, though some sported ear tags that suggested they might be livestock on the lam.
Photos from the scene indicated they were doing as goats do: busily stripping rose bushes, nibbling ivy off trees and mowing lawns. “They were eating, and they were eating fast,” Parris said in a phone interview. The animals moved from yard to yard, he said, “like they had an itinerary.”
Neighbors spilled out of home to observe, Parris said, and most were amused, but not all. “There were a few concerned homeowners trying to shoo the goats off their property,” said Parris, who added that the goats were “extremely friendly,” unlike some aggressive farm goats he has previously met on the job as a political and breaking news reporter.
Even so, the authorities soon showed up.
“Animal control is here,” Parris told an anchor at the news station. “They initially showed up with one truck, and they realized very quickly that wasn’t going to be enough.”
The goats, it was clear, could not be contained. Neither could the goat puns. KTVB’s web story was headlined “New kids on the block.” Twitter users piled on:
Eventually, Parris said, it emerged that these were professional goats owned by an operation called We Rent Goats. The company, according to its website, does just what it claims — rents out goats — “to remove noxious weeds from fields, acreage, pastures, open spaces, ditches, ravines, embankments … you name it and the goats can clear it.”
And given the chance, it seems, the goats will also clear flower beds.
This goat crew had been working overnight in a nearby drainage area when, at some point before sunrise, it broke through a fence and began its adventure. By 8:30 a.m. local time, KTVB reported, the animals had been corralled and herded onto a We Rent Goats truck.
They went without protest, Parris said, and the goatscapade came to an end.