.A comical look at at choosing a pet for the family
|No one will forget the day I opened the newspaper and saw the headline 'Goat for Sale.' The kids had been asking for a dog for some time now but I wasn't keen, knowing that the novelty would most probably wear off and I would be left to do the feeding, walking and everyday care of it. Then there was the cost of the registration each year, so a goat could be the answer and it was only twenty dollars. The advertisement read that it was a young nanny so at once I had a picture in my head of a tiny baby animal. I phoned the number and yes, I was in luck. The man said he lived out of town, but could deliver her in the boot of his car to save me a trip to the country.
"So she is a baby then"? I asked.
"Oh yes, she is only a young thing," he answered.
I was happy with that and felt excited for the kids. They would be ecstatic with their new pet for sure, and very surprised when they got home from school.
The kids arrived home and I explained I was getting them a pet goat which would hopefully double as a lawnmower when it got older. They were full of questions and asked if they could play with it. I said it was still only a baby but would grow to be their mate. Looking rather dubious they followed me to the back yard where I said we were going to build a hut for it. While hammering two pieces of tin together in an effort to make a lean-to, the the farmer pulled into the driveway in his flash Falcon. Out he got in his swandri and gumboots puffing on a cigarette. The kids and I followed him to the back of his car and watched as he lifted the boot lid which was half tied down. Suddenly two spiky horns forced their way through the gap and out jumped a large white goat. I was speechless. Both kids looked at me in horror and my son said,"thought you said it was a baby."
"Umm! I did, I muttered, and immediately felt guilty for it being so big.
"Well she's only eighteen months old," said the farmer as he held on to her.
I wanted to say something else but felt like the cat had my tongue.
"Lets get her around the back of the house, but she'll need a collar," he said drawing on his cigarette and exhaling into the air.
I handed him a piece of rubber tubing from a kids bicycle which he slipped over its head for a makeshift collar.He then tied her to our gum tree with a long length of rope. At once our pet went crazy snorting and thrashing around the yard,flattening the rhubarb patch.
"She'll settle down once she gets used to her new surroundings," the farmer said, before putting his hand out for the twenty dollars and driving off. The kids looked on in dismay and I felt duped.
A friend arrived a short while later and wanted to take a look at our new addition, however the sight of us obviously agitated our goat as she stamped her hooves and stretched on her collar so much it flew over her head. She was now unrestrained and race past us in leaps and bounds out onto the road. The kids and I were in hot pursuit but couldn't catch her as she galloped up some one's driveway, around their house and back out again.By now we were joined by other kids in the street who were keen to help out. Eventually I caught up with her in a neighbour's shed standing on top of a bright red fishing boat. I gasped with horror as she stared me in the eye and stamped her hooves in protest, while i tried to coax her down. Suddenly down she leapt down racing past me and out onto the road again. There she continued her journey and disappeared into the distance. I couldn't keep up any longer but my son and his merry band of followers were still on her tail and caught up with her in a market garden near a paddock of sheep where she had settled down. I was devastated thinking I would be sued by a boat owner and a market gardener. After a restless night I was relieved to hear there was no damage done at either place and the sheep owner had offered to keep her. I quickly accepted knowing at last our twenty dollar investment felt at home with her own kind.