31
Mar 05

THE FT TOP 25 ANIMALS – 2: Goats

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True Story (yeah I know): As a child I went down to my cousins and stayed overnight with an elder and somewhat aggressive child. At one point I was woken in the night by him shining a torch. Apparently I was grumpy as he and his younger brother asked me “Are you afraid of ghosts?”
“No. Of course not,” said I. What was there to be afraid of. White, shaggy, bleating creatures whose young are called kids. Nothing scary about them.

This mishearing came back to haunt me a few days later when at a petting zoo and a goat tried to take my arm off with its waste disposal unit gob. Actually I am a bit afraid of goats, because they can and will eat anything. They say the cockroach is natures ultimate survivalist. Well that is okay if you want the quality of life of a bug, but if you want to roam free, majestically on a mountainside and eat rocks for dinner – you’ve got to be a goat.

The ghost/goat dichotomy did strike me as apt though. Consider a case of goatish reincarnation. Man dies, and is resurrected as a goat. Bleating his way forward with the knowledge that all that matters is freedom, sex, eating and decent facial hair. (Making really nice soft cheeses would also be added to the equation for me.)

Oh: and as a child my nickname was Goat Peter. I would like to think it was for my rugged, outdoorsy charm. But actually the terribly tedious teatime trials of Heidi were to blame.

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