Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

January 10
Getting Your Goat
Part II

My all-time favorite worst stated reason for acquiring a goat came from a gentleman who called wanting to buy a dairy goat for milk to help his ulcers. If getting a goat because you want feta is like buying a lumbermill for toothpicks, then getting a goat to help your ulcers is like strengthening your heart by jogging through a rifle range.

There has never been a product so mild that originated in a container so caustic. As easy as goat milk is on the digestive tract, that's how hard a goat can be on every other aspect of your life. What I usually tell people is that goats, like puppies, seem to be on a single-minded mission to eliminate all competition for your attention. You have to like the animals more than the stuff they are bound to demolish but, unlike puppies, goats are untrainable and never outgrow their need to destroy.

Among the more vulnerable things are fruit trees (every part of which is highly prized by goats), any ornamental shrub, vegetable and flower gardens, laundry hanging on lines, the lines, cars (inside and outside), and anything that your neighbors have when the goat finally figures out how to get over there.

Of course, a properly fenced goat cannot inflict any damage. The trouble is that goats are untrainable NOT because they are stupid. And they are very clever about figuring out how to get through, over, under, or around obstacles, and they are also demoniacally motivated. They do not sleep, opting instead to stay up nights chewing their cuds and making plans. A fence to the average goat is Mallory's Everest - a challenge, a reason for living. Unless you are prepared to match a goat's sense of purpose regarding escape with your own regarding containment, you might as well just saw down that apple tree and take a ball-peen hammer to the roof of your car, thereby skipping the middlegoat and maintaining a modicum of control over your own destiny, miserable as that is now that you let a goat into it.

So why the heck do I have goats if they are the agents of Satan? Is it the melodious MAAAAA of a displeased goat? Is it the heady aroma of a buck in rut? Could it be the sense of being needed when I am getting out of bed every two hours on cold winter nights for an entire week trying to improve the odds of a kidding going smoothly? It is anyone's guess, but in my defense I know several women who have gone through a first pregnancy that defied description in discomfort, a first delivery so grueling that no mortal could stand the pain, stayed up for weeks with the resultant colic-y infant and had almost zero help from Papa, and yet willingly bore a second child 18 months later.

Goats make more sense than that. It is unlikely that goats will outlive you; they can be legally locked in the barn when you want to go have fun; acquiring them doesn't give you stretchmarks, hemorrhoids, or droopy boobs; and they can be sold (sometimes even at a profit) when they stop being enjoyable. Having goats may be like hanging a millstone 'round your neck, but having babies is like tattooing your forehead.

Like everything else in life, I guess you pick the chains that chafe the least and call that freedom.

Saints celebrating feast days today include:

Happy Birthdays
Not Celebrating: Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)

Still Celebrating: George Foreman (1949, Marshall, TX) and Rod Stewart (1945, London, England)

And, from IMDB...the complete list of celebrating and not celebrating stars.

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© Marilyn Jones 2000-2008