by Lorie L. LaPrelle
At first I was charmed by the animals, with their cute little horns. Their eyes reminded me of the cat eye marbles my brother so benevolently collected. He would show them to me and on rare occasion, let me touch them. The goat’s eyes were just like the marbles except for the color. All the goats’ eyes were yellow or blue with black, but had the same diamond shape slits in their eyes.
My father gave me a nickel to buy some food from what looked like had once been a candy dispenser. I put the nickel into the bright red dispenser, turned the chrome handle and little pellets of food came tumbling down into the spill tray. The goats crowded around the dispenser to get any food that may get dropped. They could even use their muzzles to lift the door to the spill tray to get any lingering pellets. Initially, I was afraid they would bite me and it took some convincing from my father to get up the nerve to get the food out of the spill tray. He kept the goats away from the tray so that I could get the pellets.
Feeding the little goats gave me great pleasure. They did not bite, but rather nibbled the food out of the palm of my hand. After begging him, my father gave me several nickels and I feed the goats over and over. The time came when my father would not give me anymore nickels. By this time the goats reckoned that I had food to give them. They started following me around and nestling their warm muzzles against my small hands.
Soon they were pushing me with their heads. Some were more aggressive than others. I became very scare and tried to run away, but they seemed to be coming from all directions. I had my pink windbreaker tied around my waist The next thing I knew one of the larger goats had the corner of my jacket in its what a few minutes prior had been so cute, mouth. I began to cry. I looked to my parents and they were laughing. They thought it was so cute that the goat had my windbreaker in it’s all consuming mouth. I really thought the goat was going to eat me next, as it seemed to have no problem eating my jacket.
To this day, I am terrified of goats. What once was a great source of pleasure is now a lifelong fear. Thanks mom and dad.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.