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GOAT LADY OF BOZBURUN

 

Small cove off Bozburun

Small cove off Bozburun

We recently anchored in a small cove within sight of the small village of Bozburun in the Yesilova Gulf about 20 NM east of Datca.  Since the cove was very small leaving no room to swing on anchor, Kent took long lines to shore to secure us.

 

Oh no, there's a goat on my rock pile

Oh no, there's a goat on my rock pile

He had no sooner tied our first line around a pile of rocks on shore when a very curious goat came by. 

The goat carefully inspected our chain. . .hopefully he doesn't eat line.

The goat carefully inspected our chain. . .hopefully he doesn't eat line.

Before long it became apparent that there were goats everywhere on this remote spit of land.  They were strolling along the shore, chomping leaves off trees, and tucked into and on top of rocks. 

Not the most hospitable place even for goats with rocks and little vegetation

Not the most hospitable place even for goats with rocks and little vegetation

There are goats everywhere!

There are goats everywhere!

When we woke up the next morning, there was a small boat tied to shore and a Turkish woman, in loose fitting clothes and covered head, was unloading grass and water to feed the goats.  We watched as she hauled large 5 gallon jugs of water and poured it into containers for the many goats that came when she called them.

Hauling water for the herd

Hauling water for the herd

She called to some goats and shooed others away—with rocks thrown in their direction, as necessary.  After the grass was spread along the shore for the goats to graze, and water distributed, she sat on a rock and hand fed some of them. 

Fresh green grass is spread on the beach

Fresh green grass is spread on the beach

Hand feeding the goats

Hand feeding the goats

Chasing off intruders

Chasing off intruders

It was impossible to tell how she distinguished “her goats” from the general goat population.  They were all colors and sizes.  The ones she tended to shoo away appeared to be older, males with large horns, so we speculated that she kept the “bullies” away from the younger more fragile goats. 

This ram with 18 in. horns was not invited to dinner

This ram with 18 in. horns was not invited to dinner

Occasionally, several goats not in the “chosen few” would gather together and in a group start walking toward the woman and the food.  Sometimes, she just raised her hand and hollered and they took off the other direction, and other times they brazenly raced toward the food. 

The unchosen join forces. . .and wait.

The unchosen join forces. . .and wait.

She watched over her feeding goats for more than an hour, ensuring that they all had plenty to eat and drink.  It was obvious that she knew the moment she left the other goats would descend on what was left.  Eventually, she loaded up the water jugs, piled the other containers on shore for her next trip back, and raised her anchor. 

Keeping watch over her flock

Keeping watch over her flock

. . .then, time to go

. . .then, time to go

No sooner had she gone, than the other goats came trotting down the beach in groups and headed for the remaining food and water.  There was a little head butting among some of the males, but they all got down to the business of cleaning up the leftovers. 

Finally, it's our turn!

Finally, it's our turn!

Finishing off the feast. . .

Finishing off the feast. . .

Dinner's over. . .back to the shade

Dinner's over. . .back to the shade

In all likelihood at least some of these goats will end up on the woman’s dinner table this winter, providing food for her family.  In the meantime, she provides them with food and we suspect love. 

Once they were well fed, Kent and Jolie went ashore for her morning walk and had their own close encounter.

Jolie stands on a rock to get a look at the goats

Jolie stands on a rock to get a look at the goats

What an unusal and memorable experience.

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