Friday, January 9, 2015

Baby Goat Adopts Maui Couple

To go where no goat has gone before.
On a bright and sunny Maui day, when palm trees swayed in the wind, whales cavorted in the ocean, and surfers flirted with waves, a kid was born on the rocky south shore of Kanaio*. Not a human kid, but a goat kid, a baby goat. This baby goat had a sparkle in his eye, an impish grin, and a healthy set of lungs.

Despite being very young and fresh out of the womb, he wanted to be an explorer goat. He had never heard of Star Trek but got this idea to go where no goat has gone before.

What a beautiful world this was! The blue sky, the sun in his eyes, oooh… and rocks to climb on and jump on and jump down from and jump back on. Rocks were fun! He could jump up and down from them all day! Wee! This is fun to be alive! Oh, and what was that thing in the distance where the big blue thing on top meets the big blue thing below, in a straight line? It’s so far away. He wondered if he could get closer to it.

Rocks to climb and the blue thing above and below.

Now he wandered a little farther from the herd and a little farther yet. An older goat noticed him moving away and yelled, “Hey you stupid kid, get back here! You might get lost! The world is a dangerous place!”

“But I’m exploring the world! The world is a wonderful place! I can climb rocks and kick my legs and jump down rocks. And there’s something sparkly in the distance. It’s kind of blue, then it sparkles and there’s a line all the way at the end on the other side of the world where the two blue things meet.  I want to see where it goes!”

The blue sparkly thing.

“Look kid, there’s nothing there to see. You gotta stick with the group here. I told you to come back and I’m telling you again. Come back now, or we won’t look out for you.”

“I just want to see the sparkly blue thing and where it goes…” The older goat wandered back to the herd. And the baby goat looked far into the distance, where the sun glinted on the ocean, luring him closer and closer.

“I’m almost there! Maybe I can just jump over.” So the baby goat jumped out from the rock towards the blue shimmering thing in the distance, and he landed, not on the sparkly blue thing, but down on some soft, crumbly things. His feet sank into the sand and he lifted one up, puzzled that the sparkly blue thing was still far away from him.

Adventure is in the air.

His feet kept shifting in the ground, as if the ground was loose and swallowing his feet. But he could lift them out and saw the rocks up top.  He was also closer to the blue sparkly thing. He moved closer to it and it was attached to a snake, a strange white snake that kept changing its shape, shifting and moving. There were no eyes, but the snake moved in and out towards him, curling and moving forward. And it made a sound, “Whoosh… whoosh.” The snake was long and then short, then it would disappear and reappear into the sparkly blue thing. He got close to it and his feet felt strange. They tingled and felt cold where the snake had touched it.

The strange white snake.

“This is fun,” he thought. “I bet no goat has ever been here before.”

Then he thought, “Wonder where mom is. I’d like some milk.” He called out, “Hey mom! Mom! I’m hungry!”

No answer.

“I guess I’d better go look for her. I’ll just jump back up to the rock. C’mon legs, you were made for jumping!”

Goats are made for jumping.

Up! Up! His goat body moved up and came back down again. “Okay, I gotta try harder next time.” Up! Up! And he came back down again on the same sand, with the waves lapping at his feet.

Keep trying. Maybe I can do it from the other side. So he ran to the other side of the cove and jumped up and still found himself on the sand. I’ll try again. So he ran to the far side and jumped up.

He was stuck. “Help! Help! Come get me! I’m down here and can’t get up!”


I’ll be louder, he thought. “Help! Help! I’m hungry!”

And he kept bleating. Maybe the old goat was right.

Then, after what seemed like forever, he heard a noise from up above.  Oh, there’s something on the rock! It’s not a goat. It’s too big for a goat! Oh, it’s a stick, it’s a big tall, walking stick! And it has eyes at the top, and it’s on two legs. It looks really funny! Well I don’t care if it’s a stick or a goat, maybe it can help me get out of here.

“Help! Help!” he bleated.

But the funny two-legged stick looked at him and walked away.

“Oh no! Don’t go away! Help!”

He jumped up again, trying to reach the rock and he couldn’t.

Life was awful. The world was terrible. He was trapped. There was a cold white snake thing on one side of a big blue thing, and on the other side was the high rock that he couldn’t reach. He should have listened. Why did he have to explore so much?

Then he heard more noises from the top of the rocks. The baby goat squinted. It was another stick creature, on two legs, with eyes high up. There was a patch of fur above the eyes and the eyes looked friendly and sparkly. The stick creature started to move down the rocks.

“Help! Help!” he bleated. The stick creature climbed down and the baby goat rushed to meet the stick creature. “Oh thank you! Thank you!”

Kanaio was very thirsty after being rescued.

When Carol and Mac were out exploring Kanaio one day, looking for shells, they did not expect to come home with a baby goat. It was a quiet day and the only people they had encountered were Dana and Jerry, visitors from Oregon.

After parting ways, Dana and Jerry showed up again saying they had seen a baby goat that was trapped under a cliff.

Carol and Mac thought about it. Feral goats are a problem on Maui. They cause a lot of damage to native plants, farms and ranch areas. If they rescued the goat, they couldn’t simply release him into the wild, because there were no other goats around. Or the goats might reject him if they found him again. It could mean one more feral goat to cause damage. But they also didn’t feel right abandoning him to die.

Newly adopted baby goat.

Carol and Mac had grown up children, yet they had always wanted another kid. Though they didn’t realize it until now. So much for shell hunting! Mac scrambled down the rocks and became a daddy again.

They named the goat Kanaio because that’s where they found him. As Mac recalls, Kanaio Boy daGoat was really young, maybe just a day old. He still had his umbilical cord attached. Mac rigged up a bottle and sock to give Kanaio some water, since he was very thirsty.

Next stop: Dels, the farm and ranch store on Maui. Baby goat kids need baby milk formula and something to suck on. Carol and Mac fed their baby kid every two hours out of a baby bottle.

Del's, offering supplies to take care of a baby goat.

Mac researched goat farms to see if anyone would take Kanaio when he gets older, since it might be challenging to keep him in a suburban neighborhood in Kihei. But goat farms like Surfing Goat Dairy said no, they can’t bring in feral goats with their domestic goats.  

"Can I help fix the washing machine?

“He’s really cute right now, but we know he’s going to get bigger.” Mac admits. Kanaio is small enough to stay on the lanai or even come in the house, but eventually he will need an area in the yard or something even bigger. Mac jokes, “If he’s old enough to hump my leg, he’s old enough to wait outside.”

Mom and kid.

In the meantime, Kanaio is having an adventure and going where no goat has gone before. Kanaio gets to play with cats, who think he is a very ugly cat. Besides, what cat with any pride would wag its tail? 

"What a strange looking cat!"

Carol and Mac take their baby goat to the beach, to visit friends, to Ho’okipa to watch turtles at sunset, to Nakalele Blowhole, and to Jaws to watch monster waves. Kanaio has even gone stand up paddling with a life jacket. 

Recently, Carol and Mac had to visit a veterinarian in Kula to get their baby kid castrated and dehorned and get a clean bill of health. At five weeks old, he is starting to find shoes very attractive.

"Can I eat this?"

Kanaio is also very popular and has groupies wherever he goes. Carol says, “We can’t go anywhere but it takes three hours to get there. Everyone wants to stop and take pictures, or hold him. Sometimes they don’t know what he is.” Mac laughs, “I tell them it’s our dog, but we fed him GMO food!” Mac says they’ve also meet a lot of local people who have raised goats, or have eaten goats.  “We keep an eye on him!”

Superstar Kanaio

"I just want to be loved."

"C'mon daddy, it's fun up here!"
"Maybe I'll be a life guard when I grow up."

"Have you hugged your goat today?"
If you’re on Maui, you might get to meet Kanaio and his parents. Pun alert! I kid you not. He’s extremely photogenic and is always happy to pose on a rock! You can also visit Kanaio Boy DaGoat's Facebook page to look at pictures and videos of his daily life. He’s one of the youngest celebrities on Maui!      

Another beautiful day in paradise. 
*pronounced “Kuh-nye-oh”

Photos are used with permission by Kanaio's parents, Carol and Mac. 


  1. Adorable! He is so lucky to have been adopted by such loving parents!

  2. Wonderful story. Thank you, and bah!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it! Baaaaah to you tooo...

  4. A happy ending! Mahalo for stopping by!


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