I must be rubbing off on Ricardo in a big way. This weekend he mentions to me that he wants to go see visit some goats. "Your goat," he specifies, "the one you've named." Of course this wins a smile. This, from the wonderful boyfriend who has accompanied me to the Goat Olympics and on a fruitless hunt for the illusive Goat Days festival, and humors me every time I get all gooey-eyed about these wonderful creatures. And then I ask, "Which ones?" I've named a few.
There's Bert and Ernie. And there's Nanny and Nibbles. And then of course there are all the (previously named) goats up in Arlington who call New Moon Farm and Goat Sanctuary their home, for now. And the goats at the pumpkin patch. And then the goats at the petting zoo, whom I might have named last time I was there, but we really don't have a close acquaintance.
So I take him to see my original kids. Bert and Ernie, and another I dubbed Friar Tuck, because of the monk-like baldness on the crown of his head. I love these kids, even though I can only touch them through the fence wire. I like to think they love me, too, they just show it in a manner of teenage indifference. Friar Tuck, though, he'll stand close to the fence while I scratch him, looking sort of woeful and penitent.
I find it slightly disturbing and mostly amusing that goats have managed to creep into Ricardo's dreams. Perhaps it's the dream he had the other night that prompts him to initiate a trip to see the goats, or perhaps it's that he just loves me that much, but he informs me he's had a dream. In the dream, I have a goat, and he says at first I'm very happy. Then after some time, I'm really not happy. He says this all so matter-of-fact, without a drop of irony: I'm unhappy in the end because my goat eats my entire backyard.
It's true, I think, that goats will eat whatever is available in their surroundings. It may be that I need to compromise and live next door to a farm and be an adopted mom of goats. But I dare anyone to spend ten minutes around a goat and not smile. Really. If you're in need of a cheap pick-me-up, find the nearest goat and take a field trip. You've gotta crouch low and stare into their eyes and rub their noses and scratch around their ears and tummies and watch them eat and play. I don't think you'll regret it.