Rescue of one small goat is neighbors' united aim

Amidst the devastation and death of the floods throughout the northwest United States, there are those small acts of selflessness - and small answers to prayer - that restore one's faith.

Even if that prayer is for one small goat.Terry Clark, executive secretary to the presidency of the Lake Oswego Oregon Stake, lives in West Linn, about 20 miles south of Portland. His home sits on the banks of the Willamette River, and in view of his home is small Willow Island. A pleasure to residents here in the past has been a herd of nine goats. The friendly goats tend to "pester" people when they picnic on the island.

As the river began to rise the week of Feb. 5, Brother Clark's wife, Laraine, became concerned for the goats' safety. By evening in the middle of the week, the island was under water.

"My wife was sick about it," Brother Clark told the Church News, adding they could hear the goats bleating.

The next morning, Brother Clark's 9-year-old daughter, Leah, called him at work at his dental office. "I think I see a goat over there," she told her dad. So at noon, Brother Clark told his staff he'd be gone a while and headed home.

Upon arriving home, Brother Clark hopped on his jet ski and headed for the island. His wife and a neighbor, Vicki Neland, were watching from the shore. "Here's this goat, the only one left, trying to climb up a log. I grabbed her by the horns and ran her to shore and gave her to Vicki," he said.

That night, Sister Clark visited her neighbor to check on the goat. Brother Clark told about the visit: "Vicki told my wife, `I was praying out loud that somehow, some way the Lord would help us save at least one. No sooner had I finished that prayer than your husband buzzed up.' "

In a telephone interview, Ms. Neland said she had tried to rescue the goat herself but the current was too strong for her canoe. "I came back to the bank and was crying my heart out," she said. Ms. Neland said she thinks the goat is expecting kids.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed