Hazel, Rae's goat
Image"Last night Hazel ate everything in mummy's garden, even the pansies", said John Blundell Jnr, revealing with the innocence of a child what his mother had never dared to confess.

Fortunately the locals were a tolerant lot. They not only welcomed Hazel, but went further and freely gave Rae the endless assistance she needed to look after, or move, Hazel.

Although she was jet black Hazel certainly added colour to the Bay, along with endless interest and excitement. In any other community people would have been complaining to Council about the smell and the nuisance, or writing letters to the Mayor declaring that goats were illegal and not permitted under the by-laws. In Karaka Bay she was just another source of adventure and delight.

Hazel's seeming innocence was disarming. Anyone who turned their back on her invited a butt which was powerful enough to throw you to the ground.

Hazel would sit placidly until she knew the moment when her stake had been taken out to be moved. Suddenly she would make a bolt for freedom. If she was lucky enough to escape she would head for the clay cliffs below Pane-a-Horoiwi. It was impossible then to get up to her and impossible to get her to come down.

Presuming that she would eventually come home herself was not an option as along the way she would eat her way through every neighbour's garden. In those days no one cut the grass along the beachfront so there was always plenty for Hazel to eat in her role as the local lawn-mower, but she also had gourmet ambitions.

Catching her was still not enough. Rae did not have the strength to hold Hazel on her own, and needed help to even move her. Goats know when their owners have no control over them whatsoever, and goats can be very single minded. However no one complained and so Hazel led a very happy life at the Bay.

The era of Hazel has passed but Rae will always be remembered at the Bay as the goat lady.