A co-worker (we shall call him Nice Farmer/Lawyer Guy) came into my office the other day and was talking about getting his Adorable Daughters a few baby goats. He's in the country where that's totally legal and feasible, and--although I love being in walking distance to all the wonders of town--I have to admit I had a little pang of jealousy.
His girlies are just about the same age I was when I got my first goats. They were two nanny (a.k.a. girl) pygmy goats, named Rebecca and Lucy because they were my favorite names at the time. (You know, the way you have "favorite names" when you're seven.) A few years later, we started breeding them each year to have babies. Of course, that involved getting a billy (a.k.a. boy) goat, named Billy, because, well, I didn't care about stupid boy names.
Billy was ornery beyond all belief, and had the horns to match. I always thought he was a bit of a demon in goat form, but I was happy to put up with him if it meant wee goatie babies every year.
And babies we had! For about a month each Spring I practically lived in the barn. Nice Mom had to force me to come in for meals.
'Becca and Lucy had no problem with me helping with their mothering duties, nor did Elizabeth or Noel, the two extra goats that we added to the herd a few years later. Of course, the babies had to be sold when they were a few months old, but I never remember being fussed about that because, for all I knew at the time, they were usually going to pet homes. (And, no, we're not talking about the fact that I may have been occasionally misled on that particular fact!)
I would have loved to have seen a few of them as grown-ups--particularly one of our first little boys, who was completely inappropriately named "Bruiser". (My little brother's idea of a good goat name.) He was actually sold to a petting zoo, and thanks to the fact that I was his secondary mother, he was probably trying to crawl into children's laps even when he weighed 75 pounds.
But now I've gotten sidetracked....back to the urban goat.
During my junior year of high school, my family moved into town--a small house with a little fenced yard. By that time, our herd of goats had mostly died or been redistributed, but Rebecca was still around. No one in the family could stand to part with her after so long, so we decided to try to bring her with us. It was totally illegal, of course, but it was a small town and we hoped she might be able to avoid notice of the authorities, which she did.
'Becca lived in town with us for...oh, at least another fix or six years, before she finally died of old age. And, far from complaining, our in-town neighbors adored her. She was quieter than everyone else's dogs, kept the lawn mowed, ate extra kitchen scraps, and entertained the neighborhood kids to no end.
Even setting the legalities aside, I wouldn't want an urban goat today (I like my garden, for one, I like my husband for another), however if we ever decide a house in the country beats the amenities of living in town, a few baby goats will be the first new pets on my list. I may even have to name them Rebecca and Lucy, just for old times' sake.
And for now, Nice Farmer/Lawyer Guy has promised I can visit.