SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- A dwarf billy goat gave new meaning to the word “scapegoat” when he busted out a surprisingly slippery Clydesdale that went on the lam in California for several days.
The nearly 1-ton horse named Budweiser, who goes by “Buddy,” was safely wrangled back into his pen Sunday in the Santa Cruz Mountains on California’s Central Coast.
The goat named Lancelot knows how to butt open the stable gate, and did just that Wednesday, letting his best friend escape, owner Tamara Schmitz told the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper.
Another Clydesdale, Harry, also fled and was nabbed in a meadow the next day. But Buddy is more wary and wily, Schmitz said.
“Buddy’s very elusive,” she said. “He’s not like other horses. He’s not attracted by meadows and other horses. He can stay hidden.”
That made him very hard to find. He eluded volunteers from around the Santa Cruz area for five days, with evidence like tracks and loud snorts suggesting he was as far as 3 miles away.
The owners even trotted out Lancelot and Harry to try to lure back Buddy, but he didn’t fall for it. They just hoped the horse would stay away from Highway 17, a busy and dangerous road running through the area.
A pair of searchers on horseback finally found Buddy hiding amid manzanita shrubs Sunday.
“When we got him back in the pen, he was particularly frisky and playful and happy,” Schmitz said. “I think he was glad to be back.”