… Goats are Goats … part 3

What I saw across the road, through the watery gauze of the side window, sent an electrifying jolt through me. Magnified, blazing eyes lanced through mine, saying – you’ll find what you want. For a brief moment he was there, an intense presence, a man dressed in emerald green at the corner of a white-washed house, holding a staff capped with a skull exquisitely carved from ivory. For a brief moment we were one, intimately united in clarity of being, which was how I perceived the finest detail of the staff’s handle across the distance of twenty feet. When I looked again, the figure was gone.

Trust unfurled in fast motion, unlike the everyday subtle intuitions I weighed with reason as counterbalance. My attitude towards the unexplained was respectful but wary. Ellie’s entities were real to her, and felt by those around her. Not that I doubted the forces pushing through envelops of time, only that the deeply personal significance of a supernatural event could be misread and misapplied. Since every cell of my body had grown wings, I was convinced by the message I received, with no need to solve or snub the mystery.

‘The sky’s clearing.’ Ellie said. Brilliant light broke through the clouds. A breeze swept remnants of rain like sparkling trinkets from trees. Dowsed in afternoon light, the village roofs glistened like buffed silver under a giant rainbow. ‘I’m starving,’ Ellie added, at the sight of a grocery shop.

The woman behind the counter smiled at seeing us. ‘You brought the sun!’ She cut us wedges of freshly baked bread and topped them with local cheese. Rarely had bread tasted so delicious. ‘I’ve goats’ milk in the fridge, would you like some?’ Ellie burst into hysterical laughter, which shocked the dear woman.

I grinned, ‘We’d love some.’

‘I fancy it myself,’ the woman said, and filled two glasses to the rim with cool, silky milk. We savoured every sip and wanted more. The sweet, nutty taste so absorbed my attention, I forgot to ask her about goats, which is why I felt my heart wobble when she said, ‘Sadly the source will dry up. My friend, Marte, is getting too frail to milk her doe and I don’t have the space to keep goats.’

This is what goats get up to.

Marte lived in the next village. She had been forewarned and waved at us, stoically forcing her arthritic knees towards the gate. Her goat, Fleck, was white with random patches of brown and gracefully curved horns. ‘A gentle creature,’ Marte said, ‘unless you annoy her.’ She giggled, as if she shared a pun with an inner companion. I had an ear for this kind of banter, having companions of my own. ‘She needs a good home,’ she said. ‘I gladly give her to you, if you take her weaned kid as well.’

Fleck was used to cars from trips to pastures in the hills. She calmly walked the plank into the hatch of my estate. Her adorable kid followed. The goats ogled Marte as she raised her hand in salute with a tear in her eye. Equipped with sacks of grain, lore and advice, we drove home with two new passengers comfortably bedded in straw. Their curiosity was engaging. I fell in love with the pair. And even Ellie, contented after her anxious day, was too protected by bliss to predict the trouble ahead.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. A wise man does not need advice and a goat won’t take it.      Anon

The End 

@ Ashen Venema July 2012

Don’t miss this wonderful drawing, created especially for this story by Natasha Tonkin, my son’s partner. If the link doesn’t work  you can find the post in the archive under August 2012




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20 responses to “… Goats are Goats … part 3

  1. Excellent – really enthralling and at times poetic descriptive passages – Thanks for this – Diane


  2. I love it! I felt I was there. Can you tell us what happened once the goats arrived with you? More, please! :–)


    • Thanks. He, he. They gave us wonderful milk and cheese, and as I was forewarned, they ate everything, roses, the bark of apple trees, even our precious cannabis. So we attached them to long ropes tied to poles and they grazed the grass clean to the nib, circle after circle, leaving a kind of sacred geometry. And plenty of trouble, but that’s another story 🙂


  3. Fun, but what is it about men in green?


  4. I loved the story! I never thought the search for goats could be so unusual!

    There was an article in our local paper about a couple of goats that call a senior’s centre’ home’. They apparently live in their enclosed courtyard and wander the halls as therapy to the elderly residents. Very cool! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your quest.:)


    • Thanks. Goats wandering the halls to cheer up the elderly, brilliant. I knew a place where goats wandered freely … and ate books. Wrote a narrative poem about the place. Must post it some time.


  5. loved the story and the quote you added in the end.


  6. She got her goats. 🙂


  7. 🙂 It’s more like they have me.


  8. Liz

    It better be the beginning. I want MORE!


  9. A lovely story, marred only by its brevity. I hope there will be more. Goats are such interesting creatures. I don’t think humans have domesticated any animal that doesn’t mirror human nature in some way.


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