Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

January 24
Did She Jump or...

I did an online search for any web pages that included all three of the following words:


Thinking that Google was probably being overly optimistic with its 2,950 pages, I tried the same search on AltaVista advanced and came up with a whopping 2,041. I am hanging my head in shame--for some reason I thought there was nothing funny to write about today. What was I thinking?

I must admit that this search string was not original--I heard a story on the radio about a new law someplace that made it illegal to throw a goat off a tower. Having missed the whole story, and recognizing it as the kind of event that was probably well-covered on the internet, I did the search. At first it appeared that well-covered didn't even begin to express it.

As luck would have it, the search string goat +tower +throw is far too inclusive. Who would have guessed? Apparently Tom Waits sings all three of the words on "Frank's Wild Years." There is a travel story about Australia that includes all the words and one about Morocco. Morocco made sense--I don't think you could write anything about Morocco without including "goat" and "tower" at the very least.

One of the sites was a journal written by an angora goat breeder. In the first few paragraphs, she had lost kids in a storm, newly shorn goats in another storm, their best young buck to pneumonia, and they were only halfway through winter. Rather than read the rest of the story, competent as it made me feel, I decided to make up my own ending: all of the goats who were left committed suicide by throwing themselves off a tower.

Most of the sites were biblical or gaming-related, but here is the story I sought, more or less:

ACTIVISTS FILE COMPLAINT AGAINST GOAT-TOSSERS Tuesday January 26 10:55 AM ET MADRID (Reuters) - Animal rights activists filed a complaint Monday against the government of a Spanish town, saying it was abusive to animals during its annual ritual of hurling a goat from a church tower. The National Association for the Protection and Wellbeing of Animals filed a formal complaint with the regional government of Zamora after the weekend ritual in the northern town of Manganeses de la Polvorosa.

"Throwing a goat from the church belfry, as part of a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, Zamora, on the 23 of January was a premeditated violation of the law that protects animals," the association said in a statement.

Villagers followed a time-honored tradition Saturday and hurled Pepa the goat from a church tower during a local fiesta. The goat emerged shaken but unscathed from the 50-foot plunge after being caught in a canvas sheet by revelers who then paraded her through the village. Animal rights activists have long opposed the tradition. The association cited laws that prohibit the use of animals in public shows or parties that involve torture, suffering, cruelty or maltreatment of the animals. It urged the government to impose the toughest possible penalty on the town.

From what I caught on the radio, this year's hurling was to have taken place yesterday, but tradition bowed to economics and rather than pay the fine that tossing Pepa (or any other goat) would have cost, the townsfolk had to make do with tossing one of their many small children.

That was a joke. Laugh.


And speaking of jokes....

The Flying Goat

Two guys are walking through the woods and come across this big deep hole. "Wow...that looks deep." "Sure does... toss a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is." They pick up a few pebbles and throw them in and wait... no noise "Jeeez. That is REALLY deep... here.. throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise." They pick up a couple football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and wait... and wait. Nothing.

They look at each other in amazement. One gets a determined look on his face and says, "Hey...over here in the weeds, there's a railroad tie. Help me carry it over here. When we toss THAT sucker in, it's GOTTA make some noise." The two drag the heavy tie over to the hole and heave it in. Not a sound comes from the hole.

Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appears, running like the wind. It rushes toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs will carry it. Suddenly it leaps in the air and into the hole. The two men are astonished with what they've just seen... Then, out of the woods comes a farmer who spots the men and ambles over. "Hey... you two guys seen my goat out here?" "You bet we did! Craziest thing I ever seen! It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole!" "Nah", says the farmer, "That couldn't have been MY goat. My goat was chained to a railroad tie."

Tomorrow: livestock tossing continues with Plummeting Poultry


Saints o' the day include Babylas, Cadoc, and Francis of Sales (patron saint of writers, journalists, authors, the Catholic press, and editors).

Oral Roberts isn't dead yet. He turns 90 today (1918, Tulsa). Maria Tallchief, one of the greatest ballerinas ever, turns 83 (1925, Fairfax, OK). One of these days I have to write about her--she is remarkable in every commendable way.

On to Plummeting Poultry - January 25
Back to January 23
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Marilyn Jones 2001-2008