A Misty Isle of Goats

  • Oct. 10, 2011 8:00 a.m.

I have a friend who likes goats and that’s okay, I’m not judging, Jane Wilson writes. The thing is that it comes and goes, this liking for goats, and so the goats come and go as well. It’s a goat revolving door situation, goats arrive and hang around for awhile (often under the trampoline for reasons that I can only assume has something to do with the universe having a natural tendency towards slapstick-style humour). My friend then tires of the goats and the way they tie her down so she can’t travel. The goats outstay their welcome for another month and are sent away, and around a year later more, and different, goats appear, start to annoy my friend, outstay their welcome and off they go.We’re on the fourth round of goats since I’ve known my friend and I’ve started having to question it. Gently, of course, the way one does when one’s friend falls off the goat wagon. The conversation is one of those difficult ones like when a friend insists that this time the diet/relationship/mini-skirt is going to end differently (i.e. without weight gain, tears or unsightly woven chair marks on the backs of the thighs). My side of the conversation sounds a little something like this “So, sweetie, I notice that you went camping and when you came back there were goats with you.You know, I can see that the other people at the campsite might have complained about that.Okay, but where did the goats come from?. But why goats, really? .You know the store sells milk…Okay, but if you have them to keep the weeds down in your yards, won’t the deer do that if you leave the gate open?” Around then, the conversation peters out as we realise that we will not be bridging the comprehension gulf between us today, or perhaps, ever.Naturally, I’ve asked around to see if performing goat rotations is normal behaviour and the doubly strange thing is that apparently it is, for people who like goats. People have goats for a while, then don’t, then do again, kind of like cold sores, but with fur and not yet antibiotic resistant. Even stranger is that there must be some kind of thriving goat black market because she always finds people to take the goats, and someone always has goats for her when she wants them again. This raises the question of what people are doing with their goat paraphernalia when they are between goats. I happen to know that goats live in little houses, so do they just sit empty, waiting for the next rotation? My prediction is that you would store random yard equipment in it and not, for instance, move in attractive young women. Apparently, I’m wrong again though, because there’s some attractive young woman living in a goat shed in Tlell, because I gave her a ride one day and it came up in conversation. I’m sure that it was renovated and not at all goat-like now, but I can’t help noticing that it’s still called “The Goat Shed” not “The Attractive Young Women Shed”, so the goats are still taking priority in the situation, as if the shed owner is holding out for the day the goats return. For the record, I would judge someone for evicting a nice young woman in favour of goats; I have to draw the line somewhere. You may have noticed that there were no names in this column, in order to protect the innocent (probably the goats), but if you want to email me at jane.wilson@hgqci.org and guess, I can’t stop you.