My favorite Woody Allen line begins "I shot a moose...", well I hit a goat...
A few years ago my sister and I went on a hiking trip in Washington State in the Olympic Mountain region. Our guide was an Earth Mother type, biologist (kinda) person, that sprinkled her Shaman like sayings on the paths leading to our bed every night. My sister is a science teacher and spent most of the trip correcting her inaccurate assessments of all things flora and fauna. I come from a family of teachers that I have all reprimanded on occasion for repeating to me the exact same information I just heard from whatever tour guide we were following. While I can appreciate their Love of Learning, I am not as fond of their Love of Teaching. Being the only "student" in the crowd has forced me to silence on many a family outing.
On this particular trip, the Mother Shaman Lady believed that all humans have a spirit guide in the animal world. When we saw Dolphins off the shoreline at one of the beaches we were traversing I was thrilled that this beautiful leaping creature was my spirit guide. I bought a couple of Dolphin trinkets, tried to find the Dolphin in a field guide book for the Northwest and announced to anyone that listened that my husband was a Pisces and that is why we were compatible.
Back in the city and 15 years later it appears although you may choose a spirit guide they have the right of first refusal. Instead of a Dolphin, it appears my true spirit guide is in fact the goat. I did not realize that the statement 'he gets my goat!' is in fact literal in my case.
On the train this weekend I was staring out the window at the yards lining the train tracks. Suddenly I saw a goat leaping across a city street. Of course I turned to the people sharing my car and shouted, "Did you see that?" Since most of them had electronic devices in their ears or computers on their laps no one responded. I started talking to the window pane about my uncanny relationship with goats in the past few months. I mean there were all the books on goats at the LitFest I just attended; the likeness of Uncle Sam (see previous post) to a goat; and my absolute devotion to the Cubs who have been cursed by a goat for over 100 years. My ex-husband has grown a goatee (let's not try to figure out that connection) and I have developed an affinity to Feta now I am a vegetarian...
Some may think this a coincidence but I think my connection to goats began when we owned (together, now he owns singularly) a farm on the prairie. On my way to HUCK'S to get coffee one morning I saw what I thought was a calf leap the bank in front of me. As a city girl I am not familiar with all things bovine or for that matter any type of animal or wildlife. I pulled into the coffee shop and heard some of the locals talking about a butcher shop down the street. The butcher built an addition to their property in order to become a certified kosher butcher shop.
I told the attendant that I had seen a calf on the road and she asked the HUCK'S patrons if they knew the owner of the farm up the street. One of them piped up that it wasn't a calf it was a goat. In fact it was one of the Kosher goats that escaped last week. I thought about asking for clarification, then realized the goat was doomed to be butchered Kosher. Armed with all the town gossip I hopped into my Buick nestled between the pick-ups and headed back to the farm.
I slowed my car after the first hill and there in the middle of the street was the black and white goat staring me in the face. I think that was when he cursed my beloved Cubs to another 100 years of defeat and saw fit to cast a spell on me at the same time.
Later that summer there were rumors in town that the goat had been caught and was shipped to Chicago. However; I saw that sucker leap away from me and I think he (or she how does one tell on a leaping goat?) is still alive and holding my spirit hostage.
Now my only hope is that the Cubbies win the world series. Once the miracle happens and if the earth does not catch on fire, I can switch to a more gentle spirit guide than a goat...even a Kosher one...like a lamb, they are black and white also, right?