Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Billy Goat Gruff

Friends of mine own a farm. It serves as both a petting zoo and organic vegetable garden for Brooklynites who still make the traditional northward migration to summer in the Catskills. And the farm has too many goats. The local animal warden has brought them goats rescued from lives of incredible depravity, and of course my friends bought some goats, and the goats had goats, and those goats had more goats, and I think the sheep had goats, too, because really, they've got a lot of goats. The first thing that assaults you at sunset when tossing the goats chow are not the goats, though the goats do aggressively enjoy their feed, but the goaty smell. It smells like you're already cooking them, but you haven't yet added the jerk spices, that's how goaty a goat herd smells. My lovely shepherdess Marilyn volunteered this information (I don't think I asked, or said, Wow, that's some goaty goat smell): After they're about 6 months old the male goats, the billy goats, begin to pee on their heads. These acts are undertaken to attract female goats, what else? A nanny goat can tell an awful lot about a billy goat when she approaches him downwind. Why I did not ask Marilyn how a billy goat is able to pee on his own forehead I do not know, but I think my brain hit the pause button for a moment, and the next thing I knew we were feeding the llama. Why do I want more goats 'n peeing info? Because there is an adorable and friendly little boy billy goat at the farm that Marilyn would let me have for a pet, and I don't, six months down the road, want to greet him each day with, Ewwwww. I'm hoping there's a way to encourage a billy goat not to aim for the forehead but rather the ground. Perhaps if there aren't any girl goats hanging round? So I googled. When a person googles "billy goat urinating" the first link to appear is: Hitler Did not Urinate Into the Mouth of a Billy Goat. (Which you then follow and link to because you cannot bear not to) That link did not help me in the least. In fact it hurt me, because now I am distracted and wonder why, if I was supposed to have believed that Hitler was one-balled or peed at a Billy Goat, I did not have such information before I could be disabused of the notion.

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