Even farm goats can have shot at fame

By Baxter Black: PNT columnist

There is a parable of the International Goat Sensation: a story about a boy and his goat.

Tim was a kind-hearted graduate student who raised longhorn cattle. On his daily trips from ranch to school and back, he passed a plowed field with sparse feed left.

A big horse and a small goat stood by the fence and watched him as he came and went. Concerned for their well being, the third day he stopped at the feed store, bought some hay pellets and, after dark, snuck back to the pasture and fed them.

One day he saw a man loading the horse in a trailer. Tim pulled in to visit, never mentioning his “meals on wheels” activity. It turned out the owner had been hospitalized and it was his brother picking up the horse. The sick owner had given instructions to sell the animals.

“I’ve got the horse sold,” he told Tim, “but my brother promised the goat to a family of ‘exchange students’ from Mexico and I’m afraid they plan to eat him.”

This saddened Tim so he reluctantly took the goat. He named him Chico.

Back home, Chico didn’t fit in with the longhorns. They used him variously as a soccer ball, shot put, back scrubber and tank float. He also stank.

When the veterinarian was out at the ranch working cows he offered to castrate the goat, saying it might make him better company. Only $150.

He also suggested that goats were herd animals and he should buy Chico a female goat. But not just any goat.

Tim, Compassionate Tim, who believed the veterinarian, searched all over and finally found a purebred Pygmy female goat in Okmulgee, Okla., halfway across the state. At $4.02 per gallon, the diesel roundtrip cost $300.

Plus, of course, $75 for the goatess, herself named Lila.

Goat life on the ranch became blissful. Chico greeted all Tim’s longhorn customers by putting his front feet up on the driver’s side and waiting for the window to roll down. He became the official caprine greeter.

Tim said when his customers would call or e-mail, they never inquired about his health, his family or his graduate studies, but they always asked about Chico.

Thus, an undernourished, unwanted, orphan goat that had been banished to spend life with a horse became an international goat sensation.

Alas, as with many celebrity athletes, when Chico’s trading option came up and he became a free agent, Tim couldn’t afford to keep him and he was snapped up and is now working at the Wal-Mart in Miami, Okla.