Thursday, April 5, 2012

Taught by Goats

Taught by Goats

What do goats teach?

You must slow down and be deliberate.

If you are in a hurry the goats rebel.

Don’t rush, latch the gate otherwise everyone will raid the barn, bounce onto the milking stand, stuff their faces deep into the grain bucket, and ransack the hay bales.

Slow down.

One step at a time.

Nature has her own rhythm; the light of day slowly fades to night until it is almost completely dark. I don’t even notice the darkness as it falls gradually while securing the goats in their cozy stalls and locking the chickens away from the foxes. I know the foxes stock the chickens at night, they leave their footprints in the newly fallen snow.

What do goats teach?

They play ring around the house instead of going inside to eat. What’s the problem? Are there ghosts inside? Oh, now I remember, it must either be a new moon or a full moon. Maybe it is the total darkness the new moon brings, but it is connected to a goat rule. If it is dark and Lori hasn’t yet closed us up for the night, it isn’t safe to go inside – RUN!

Always be watchful.

Goats’ heads all turned one direction. Motionless. Not a muscle twitches. Could be the Border Collie from next door. Or an elk. Or maybe a fox. Roosters shriek a warning if a fox is near.

Always be watchful. Always be aware.

Pay attention. Or the goat will step in the bucket full of creamy milk.

Pay attention. Or the chickens will dash into the pasture.

Pay attention. Or you might get sprayed by the skunk eating the cat food in the barn.

Pay attention. Or you will hurt your body.

Pay attention. Don’t lean over the back of a goat with horns.

Pay attention to the wind. It brings the scent of spring or a wildfire.

Pay attention to the clouds pouring over the mountain to the west. Will the thunderstorm catch you outside?

Pay attention to the sunrise. It is red, it will be storming later.

Pay attention to the rhythm of the earth rolling beneath your feet.

Pay attention to learn what is enough.

Pay attention to learn how to live!


  1. Love this. They sure have taught me a lot (especially the slowing down and paying attention...they KNOW when you are distracted!)

  2. love it Lori! Thanks for preaching the goat Gospel to me today! A great reminder to slow down and pay attention :) NancyR

  3. We all need the reminder to slow down and just be in the moment. All animals are good for teaching us this, but goats are the most likely to take advantage when you are distracted.

    Glad you liked this piece. I'm taking a creative nonfiction writing class and this is my try at a lyric essay.