Lifes Coloring Book A column by Suzi Walls for The Daily Herald

There’s nothing cuter than a baby goat. Well, okay, maybe a baby pig, but that’s another story. Let’s talk goats.
Maybe we don’t have a farm and maybe Walzie’s true name is not Noah, but we’ve crammed nearly every animal imaginable into our two acre ark, including several goats.
When walking through the goat barn at the Huntingdon County Fair, I first noticed how cute baby goats are. Naturally, I wanted one right away and my dear hubby, (who will do nearly anything to keep me happy, bless his little pea pickin’ heart!), quickly said, “Okay, you got it. But let’s get a miniature. It’ll stay tiny and make a really good pet. Shucks, maybe we could even make it a house goat.”
So for several weeks we perused the Bargain Sheet and finally one day, there was the following ad: For Sale, miniature kids, $15. Yahoo, assuming that they didn’t mean tiny children, we’d found our baby. Only thing was, the farm was in Cumberland, MD. Oh what the heck, it was only a four- hour drive (two down, two back), and we really wanted a mini. We sped off on a hot Saturday afternoon.
Following the farmer’s directions, we traveled back a long country lane sided by high weeds and rocky hills. Once in a while we’d see a flash of black and white darting among the weeds or hear a shrill “nnaaahhhh”. At least we knew we were in goat territory. Finally, we reached the farm.
An elderly Amish-looking man greeted us. We paid him the $15 and he instructed us to pick one.  There must have been a hundred nannies, kids, and billies roaming in a weed patch. Pick one; yeah, right! Being young and knowing everything, Walzie and I dove in. From the corner of my eye, I saw that Amish man snicker.
We ran and we chased through the brier patch. Goats darted around, over, and even under us.  Finally, Walzie was able to pounce on a teeny black baby. Oh, he was a cutie.  As I stood there, oohing and aahing, I never heard the snort behind me. Old Billy’s rock-hard forehead connected with my buns. He sent me down the hill like a rolling donut dusted with thorns.
The Amish man asked if we’d like to have our prize catch neutered, “dey make mo’ betta pets dat vay,” he stated. We nodded. He instructed Walzie to hold the little guy by all four feet and bottom up. When I saw the pocket knife, I tightly shut my eyes, cupped my ears, and cringed.
Next thing I knew, the old man spit two grape-like things at my feet. The barn cats came running to scrap over those tiny desserts. I nearly lost my lunch.
“Don’t be squeamish, missie,” he said with a trickle of blood on his lip. “Dat’s the vay the shephard’s do it. More sanitary. Ya see, me teeth dey crimp da blood vessels. Not as messy dat vay.”
The baby goat cried and Walzie hugged him, “Calm down little Billy. That didn’t hurt too much, did it?”
“Ya vant to be next?” the old Amish man asked.
Walzie and I and our new baby got the heck out of there.
And so the little goat thrived in our back yard.  You know they say that goats will eat anything – not so. This guy only ate flowers, shrubs, garden plants, and the bark off our trees. As the months flew by, Billy grew, and grew, and grew. He was no longer a mini-goat. He ended up being a full-sized goat with 6 inch horns and an attitude like a bull in a China shop. Do you think this may have had something to do with the neutering?
Billy absolutely hated our kids (the human ones, of course), our hound dogs, cows, his pen, weeds, squirrels, even Walzie and me. Billy would just as soon butt it as look at it.
On our back deck we have a glass sliding door. I’ll bet you can guess where I’m going with this.  Jason was about twelve years old; his job was to feed Billy. But Billy didn’t care if Jason was hand that fed him or not. I heard Jason scream and then the glass door slam shut. Suddenly, there was the shatter heard ‘round the world, and Billy stood in our kitchen! Jason was locked in his bedroom shouting, “shoot that sucker!”
And thus, our sweet little mini-goat that grew into a split-hoofed tornado went on a little trip to the Belleville Auction.  I’ll bet that tough ol’ boy was like baked shoe leather on someone’s dinner table.
As time passed by, we forgot the terrible saga of that goat and bought several more goats, sheep, cows, chickens, ducks, horses, pigs … keep it up, Noah, we’ll soon need to build that ark.

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