The Goats

The goats were as happy as they could be. Every winter the bucks urinated on their own faces, combed it through their fur, and head-butted the other bucks out of the way. The does wagged their tails and offered themselves to the smelliest and strongest, and because these bucks couldn’t be everywhere, the old and young males took their chances.
            Thus it was. Thus will it always be.
This is who we are, the strongest and smelliest goats said.
            One year, near the end of the breeding season, perhaps because the grass had fermented, or she had discovered a new herb, or she had eaten an apple, one doe said, We could do things differently. I don’t want the strongest, smelliest buck to father my kid. I want a relationship.
            The other does and the weaker, less smelly bucks agreed.
The strongest, smelliest buck felt too exhausted to sire another kid anyway and the breeding season was almost over. Why not? he said.
            The traditionalists opposed but the new movement had the majority.
The next breeding season the bucks stood up-wind on rocky outcrops and flaunted their muscles, horns and pheromones and the does chose. Couples formed.
The free-thinking does avoided the traditionalists who did not know how to change their behaviour. Moreover, those goats were used to being led. Without a leader they weren’t sure they were goats at all.
What shall we do? The traditionalists bleated. What shall we do?
The strongest, smelliest buck was bored with his few does and the whole season lay ahead. We need to formalise our relationships, he said.
The traditionalists agreed.
And for that we need a leader …
And a committee …
which voted to go back to the old ways.
            Thus it was.

Moral: The price of freedom is freedom itself.

by Joy Manné


  1. Walburga AppleseedMay 15, 2015 at 4:13 PM

    Ah, Joy Manné. you are a master storyteller.


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