Goats on Campus: Gone but Never For-goat-en


Olivia McCaughey ’16

I know you have all been sitting on the edges of your seats waiting to hear what happened to the goats. Well, I am here to attempt to quench your insatiable curiosity about the goats’ whereabouts. Oliver, Eunice, and Valentine have at last been returned to their beloved owner, Lars Schuster. The goats originally joined the Island last January when Lars was getting ready to set off for his spring term at the High Mountain Institute in Colorado. As much as Lars wanted to take his goats, they just would not fit in his bag, though not for lack of trying.

Director of the Work Program Pete Gwyn saw Lars’s departure as a chance to get his hands on Lars’s goats. He approached Lars and asked if Loomis Chaffee could host the goats for the second half of the school year. A mobile house was constructed for the animals with an extensive space for them to roam.

When Lars returned from his term away and was finally reunited with his precious goats, he admired how lean and muscular the goats had become from their larger pen at Loomis. While Lars is happy to have them back, the students who were aware of their presence last year deeply mourn their absence around campus. Lars believes himself to be “extremely lucky to have these well behaved goats” and makes the most of it at all times. Lars frequently describes these goats as his “best friends.”

On numerous occasions he has gone on the trampoline with Oliver and jumped together for hours. Lars frequently hikes with his goats and watches them climb up trees in awe of their athletic ability, wishing he could be equally as agile. He recounts fondly watching his goat Eunice give birth to his third goat, Valentine.

“We didn’t even know she was pregnant!” he told me excitedly. While for most, the responsibility of caring for three goats would be an overwhelming challenge, for Lars the goats are a daily excitement.

He wakes at the crack of dawn each morning and treks down the mountain to his barn to wake the goats from their slumber. He lets them roam on the farmland as he tackles the laborious task of shoveling out the dirty cedar chips from the goat’s cages. After he lays the new chips in each of their cages, he joins his cherished goats outside and feeds them a hearty breakfast of specialty goat pellets and hay. He watches them chow down and sets out a salt block tag for them to lick on all day as he leaves them behind for school.

Lars loves returning to his goats every day after school, but he has begun to face the reality of next year, when he sets off for college. Mr. Gwyn has already made a proposal to Lars about bringing the goats back to the Island. Lars has begun to ponder this idea, remembering the extensive pen they had and how much they enjoyed the “many freedoms of boarding school.”

The goats are famous around campus. Recently a freshman even asked Lars if she could have some of his goats’ milk, though Lars regrettably had to inform her he never milked his goats.

For now, Lars is not ready to part with his goats and plans on enjoying the time he has left with them.