from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #6)
June 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)
The fires that burn within artists require them to act, talk and move differently than us non-artistic folks. Laura is one such artist. She will start talking to a movie, be moved to write a poignant vignette, inspired to compose a new piece for guitar and cello/violin/other instrument…all based upon some obscure event that no one else would seem to notice.
We had the privilege of living on a small place in the country which had horses, goats, dogs and visiting roadrunners, coyotes, etc. for almost a year. During that time Mama Goat gave birth to two male goats. Laura was the first one to find the newborns and was instrumental in saving the life of the second newborn. She was given the honor of naming them because of her care and work, so she naturally grew attached to them.
Goats are wonderful creatures and are quite fun to be around. They really like interaction with humans. Laura built a habit of storing away table scraps of salad or other items and routinely taking them out to the goats for treats. She enjoyed talking to them, training them and just being in their company. They enjoyed her as well.
Laura was also a very vocal and strong supporter of goats.
During this time we were attending a church where the pastor and some parishioners had taken a six week missionary trip to several remote villages in the Philippines. Upon returning the pastor naturally wanted to tell the congregation of the adventures of their trip. On the Sunday that the pastor shared their adventures we were sitting three rows back on the end of the aisle that leads to the pulpit. In other words, really close to the pastor.
The pastor described how they were transported to these remote villages as passengers on small motorbikes. They rode on dirt roads and paths, across streams and rivers and at times had to get off and help push or walk to get to the remote area where they were going. It was a long, arduous and at times dangerous journey.
He described in detail that he and the driver were not the only ones loading down the motorbike. There were supplies, clothing, food and other items that were tied down on these small motorbikes. Furthermore, he also described that goats were tied to the sides of the motorbikes and transported along with them.
At this point, the pastor began expounding upon how vocal goats are, and about the hardships of being the one to ride beside strapped down goats that are vocalizing their displeasure about their plight.
As I stated before, something about artists requires them to do things that others wouldn’t and this was one time that Laura felt something must be done in order to defend the honor of goats everywhere. Without realizing what she was doing she blurted out in a very loud voice “GOATS ARE GOOD!”
Honor defended, world back in right order.
Sitting there I saw movement in front and to the side of us start like a wave and cascade outward as the people in the pews around us started chuckling at this outburst in defense of goats. Either the pastor did not hear her outburst or chose to ignore it because he continued on with his story without missing a beat, but I did notice he moved away from making anymore comments about goats.
After we left church I was laughing at my wife’s defense of the goats. I ended up recounting the events to her. Having been married to Laura for over 33 years (at that time), I was neither surprised nor amazed that she didn’t remember that she had blurted this out; she thought she had only spoken it to herself in her mind. Typical artist!