If I were a goat, I would be preparing to flee.
In fact, I would have long started getting ready to disappear, never to be seen again.
I cannot understand goats. Like every living thing, goats are born and therefore have mothers. They are raised, just like the young of all living things. In the same manner as baby humans are raised by their mothers, goats also have mothers who raise them. They are helped to walk and taught to behave appropriately. I am sure just like children, baby goats are now and they scolded for mischief making.
They also have aunts and uncles. When they are in real trouble that warrants a spanking, I am sure they flee to their relatives for protection.
I can bet that errant baby goats have been accompanied by an aunt back to their mother’s pen after escaping a thrashing.
Look, goats are normal living things. In other words, goats, like humans, are normal.
When baby goats spend the night away, their mothers are unable to sleep, fretting and wondering where their kids are.
Obviously, it would be risky for baby goats to play in the dark. They might hurt themselves. Even more chilling they might end up eaten by a hyena.
In the same vein, human children are not allowed to wander around at night alone because they might be abducted by witches to be used in terrible rituals. Worse still, they could be killed for similar purposes.
For this reason, they must be home at a certain time. As a human child, you can’t go around eating everything in sight. From a young age, you are taught what to eat and what to avoid. That is why when children are left alone, they eat pebbles and soil.
In order for them not to eat such things, they always have a minder around them.
Surely, the same applies to goat children.
It is rare to see them alone. They are always with their mothers or aunts.
If not, and just like human children, they move around in the company of siblings and members of the extended family. Because goats are not violent beings, they lead a placid life for the most part. In fact, I tend to think goats lead a better life than human beings. They don’t have a huge appetite. All they do is nibble on some grass, have a drink of water and they are fine.
They don’t aspire to eat roast chicken and other top diet that give humans diseases like cancer. Goats also don’t have to incur a lot of expense in moving around to attend weddings and other social activities. If they live in the same pen they can fall in love right there and start a family.
I like goats because, unlike many living things, they are harmless and not scary looking. Compared to a crocodile or a lion, they are nice beings. If goats were human they would be monks and nuns.
They would be so much of pacifists they would put everyone to shame.
I also like the way they walk. Have you ever witnessed a goat strolling to visit its friends? It walks so majestically on those short trotters.
I imagine a goat beauty contest. The walking must be some sight to behold.
Every human being is getting all hyped up because they are going to their home village to see their relatives and show off. There will be much revelry and merry making.
In this part of the world, that means trouble for the goat community. This time of the year brings large scale murder of goats.
Everywhere you go goats will be in big black pots and on the barbecue. The men will enjoy a delicacy of goat liver and kidneys as they catch up on gossip and drink away.
Nothing in a goat is wasted.
The trotters are considered a rare delicacy to be eaten by a privileged few. As for the head and the eyes they too will go in the pot to be savoured a few days after the main festivities.
Human beings are cruel.
They have no compunction eating a goat’s head, and staring straight into its innocent eyes before feasting on them as well.
Now if goats are beings which behave like humans by raising their children into fine adults, why can’t they learn?
Right from childhood, baby goats have had their parents and other relatives eaten every year. They see them slaughtered right before their eyes. I am convinced that baby goats pick up some of the human language because they interact a lot with us.
They must have picked up word that they are growing fat and next Christmas it will be their turn.
I am at pains to understand why goats cannot flee when this time of the year arrives. Mind you, it is not as if all goats are treated this way. Only in this part of the world are goats so badly treated. In other countries, particularly overseas, they are treated much better.
They are pampered for their milk and even considered pets. I guess for the same reason that some human beings ended up living in god forsaken parts of the world, some unfortunate goats also find themselves in the midst of predators like human beings.
I am still convinced if they apply their minds to it, there must be something goats can do about the annual carnage depleting their population and taking away their loved ones.
It can never be too late to start. As human beings we are taught never to give up and keep trying till we succeed. I think this lesson is relevant to the goat community as well.
From now onwards, as they are busy raising their offspring, adult goats must advise their children that when they reach a certain age they must make a run for it.
My plea to goats is for them to run for dear life. They musn’t wait for their friends or relatives; they must just run. Who knows, if they run they might end up in Europe where they are pampered and regarded as pets.
Run, goat, run!