Googling Goats

— Stephanie Pressman

Why google goats in the first place? While in the petting zoo with my granddaughter, Luna, I read a sign: goats are the only animal that has rectangular pupils to help them with depth perception. As many goats as I’ve seen in my 72 years, I never knew that.

The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation [supposedly] formed in 1982 as “an informal support group for problems that were the result of traumatic experiences at petting zoos as children.” Claims of arms being chewed off. Obviously doctored photos: an angora goat standing atop a cardboard-cutout child, another chewing a two-dimensional Tinky Winky doll: garish colors, yet bloodless. I dare not take Luna to the zoo again lest she be traumatized and turned into a “social deviant.” If then at 16 she wants to escape into gaming—become a resident of Vault 101—she would have to take the G.O.A.T (Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test); or she could listen to LL Cool J’s album of that name (the greatest of all time)—by then retro. A lot of yelling of rap lyrics. A goat yelling like a man (seen on YouTube) with no point to be made.

Domestication of goats started sometime between 6000 and 7000 BCE. Herders admonished, “Don’t let them out of your sight. They’ll go wild in an instant.” All those years of trauma for children sent out to herd goats from Jericho to Cayonu: thousands upon thousands of social deviants starting the unrest in the Middle East.

Forget all that. Let’s drown our sorrows in Horny Goat Beer accompanied by a sourdough crust pie from Goat Hill Pizza. Or enjoy some brew at Flying Goat Coffee whose owners encourage us to “buy weekly, drink daily.” Order cheese at Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero: hand-formed chevre decorated with borage, calendula, dianthus or pineapple sage. Like Zeus, let’s suckle at the teats of Amalthea. Like Amphictyonis, let’s bring wine and friendship to nations of goats.

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