Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There But for the Grace of God Go I

Recently one of the lead stories on the local eleven o’clock news was about a woman who was being charged with animal cruelty because police found her with a goat in her trunk. It turns out the woman was stopped at a routine DUI checkpoint and the police officer heard bumping coming from her trunk. He opened the trunk and found a billie goat tied up with its rear end stuffed in a black plastic garbage bag. Admittedly the trunk was probably dangerously hot (94 degrees after 10 minutes open the officer said,) and animal cruelty is never justified, but I could be this woman. I feel for this woman who is now going to trial for one count of animal cruelty.

Billie goats are hard to love. Usually I’m a big fan of learning new things and I’m not generally squeamish, but I find myself ill equipped to describe the physiology of male goats. It is not from lack of research. I spent hours I will never get back reading veterinarian’s descriptions of billie goat anatomy. There is a reason “horny old goat” is an insult and demons are described as having “goat slit eyes.” Billie goats are vile. Their penises can extend over ten inches and curve towards their heads – a fact my sons find fascinating. They consider their own urine to be both aftershave (applied liberally) and aperitif. If you want to know more by all means look it up, but never ever type goat penis in the search engine block while the children are around. Enough said.

We have a billie goat named Camo. My husband brought him and his two half sisters home when they were adorable kids. They followed the boys around and were generally cute. Then they grew up. The does are still sweet tempered and lovable, but Camo turned into a stinky beast. When I go to the barn to feed them I leave smelling like billie goat and wishing there was a way I could explain to Camo that I don’t like him like that.

The lady who was arrested said she was driving the billie goat to a nearby city where the four men riding in the car with her were going to keep it as a pet. Seriously. Regardless of the implausibility of her explanation I know this is one of those “there but for the grace of God go I moments.” On any given day if someone was willing to take my billie goat I would stuff him in the trunk and take him to them. I would wrap his back end in a black plastic trash bag so he didn’t spray everything with Eau de Goat and I would drive like the wind. It wouldn’t make me a good person, but after being butted and molested one time too many, I would do it. I hope the judge in her case has some experience with billie goats.

My husband and sons sold Camo, a little buck and an old doe at the neighbor’s livestock auction. Apparently goats are a hot commodity. The boys took some of the proceeds to buy Terrain Titans which now zip endlessly around our home. We are all happier and no goats were harmed.