Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Goat Tales

Goats similar to the ones in this story.  More or less.

Holly is a goat. Billy is a goat, too. This is their story.

Holly was hand-reared by humans, and given every reason to believe that's what she was, too.

She was just a kid when we got her. She liked to hang out in bed with her new people, getting a bottle when she felt hungry. There is photographic evidence that she enjoyed perching on the Bear's shoulder. (Goats are incredibly sure-footed.) When the day came for her to move out to the barn, she said, "WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME OUT HERE WITH ALL THESE FILTHY GOATS?"

Billy came from a troubled background. He had run away from home and was terrorizing the nearby town. Billy eluded capture for weeks despite the town's cleverest detectives heading up the goathunt. The police would get a call from a frightened burgher, but Billy would have vanished before they arrived. One day his luck ran out -- his bad luck, that is.

They brought Billy to Zoar Farm ("The City God Didn't Destroy!" as Zoar's tourism bureau likes to say. Zoar was a little place near Sodom and Gomorrah that was Lot's first stop before his ill-advised move to the desolate cave-country with his oversexed daughters.)

Zoar Farm is our own escape from the world. It's not just a little place, it's a state of mind, a Benedictine preserve where oblates say the Liturgy of the Hours, and read scripture and the Rule of St. Benedict every day. We also provide a volunteer ruminant rescue service.

They were an unlikely match, the spoiled princess Holly, and tough little Billy, who was skin and bones when we got him. Yet after Billy recovered his strength they did what goats do and now Zoar is looking forward to at least one, possibly two, new kids. Soon. There was much rejoicing.

Oh, yeah, there are some good psalms about sheep. Goats tend to get associated with desert demons, though. But our goats are mostly good, except for the Boer the shepherdess has taken to calling "Goatburger." If the only reason you're useful is your meat, it doesn't pay to make an enemy of the shepherdess.

I'm sure there are some Catholic messages in there and stuff.


  1. This would be a better world with more Zoar and less Walden.

  2. Zoar is a wonderful place...Where even a skinny lost goat, running the streets can find peace and happiness. Holly (the princess) was the goat blessed last fall by our priest at the blessing of the animals. We wish her well through her labor and delivery. One thing we've learned with the goats is just how important the increase of the flock was to a shepard. God shows us the miracles here every day at Zoar. Sometimes simple things are important to witness. Anyone who wishes to try their hand at being a shepard or shepardess is most welcome. It's not as easy as it sounds. The rewards God gives us are wonderful though. To witness new life, or simply hold a warm egg in your hand that you've just taken from the hen's nest. With God life is good.


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