By Sandy Fields
“They can’t get your goat if they don’t know where it’s tied.” This, along with a cartoon goat, was printed on a favorite T-shirt back in our St. Thomas days. Since it was fairly common to see goats tied to fence posts, it was comically perfect for that island.
Although I’m not nearly as proficient at catchy sayings as my great-grandmother was, I do love to toss these ridiculous phrases into conversation. The other day, as I was commenting on something getting my goat, I wondered just where in the Sam Hill that came from, for pity’s sake.
Extensive Internet research reveals some notion of goats being placed with race horses to keep them calm. Stealing the goat the night before a big race could destroy the horse’s peace, ruining his racing ability.
Maybe that’s the origin, maybe not. My fascination with this phrase, and others like it, is that someone said it in the first place and it was repeated and repeated until people were saying it across the nation with no one knowing why.
I’m fit to be tied because I’m not clever enough to come up with something original to pass down through the ages. Bless my heart.
Sandy keeps an online journal at her website www.field-days.com.
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