The front door of the rural elementary school was propped open to give access to fresh air from the warm spring day. Davey, who lived across the road on the mini-farm, sat in one of the classrooms. He was lost in daydreams. It was the 1960s. The idea that any intruder would walk in and cause a disruption was preposterous. School was boring for some and exciting for others, but it was safe.
Principal Jenkins seemed to be afflicted with the same malady to which the students figured teachers were immune. He too needed some kind of serendipitous event to burst on his scene and jolt him out of the winter doldrums. Little did he know this was the sunny afternoon neither he nor Davey would forget.
This was the day the goat would walk in the front door.
Billy-Gee wasn’t just any goat. He was a smart, handsome fellow with
impeccable taste and endless curiosity. He was lonely and had decided to find that kid they called Davey. To Billy-Gee, each human smelled a certain way. The goat’s pure white coat glistened in the sunshine as he picked his way through the tasty blades of grass.
Miss Gordon, the unflappable school secretary, interrupted the musings of Mr. Jenkins.
“Sir… uh, I think you’d better come out in the hall. We have an unexpected and very unusual visitor--sure wish I had my camera.”
Indeed, the sensible principal did see something he had never seen before: a white goat ambling in the direction of the classrooms. He wasn’t sure how one calls to a farm animal in such a situation, so he hurried to catch up. Billy-Gee, ever the gentleman, stopped to check-out this unfamiliar person's scent.
Mr. Jenkins slipped his hand under the trespasser’s dapper red collar and turned him around before any of the students could get wind of the funny little sightseer. Miss Gordon took hold of the other side and together they led Billy-Gee outside.
She whispered, “I think I know where he lives.”
This sounded a bit remarkable to a man who had no personal knowledge of any local goat-abodes. After she enlightened him, he sent her to retrieve the boy.
Davey didn’t care why he was being summoned. At least he was free from English class for a spell. As soon as boy and goat espied each other there was recognition. Davey was stunned.
“Billy-Gee, what in the world are you doing here?”
The goat merely reiterated his bovine-babble. “Baa-bleat-baa-bleat.”
The adults watched as the child and his pet made their way home.
“Look,” Miss Gordon pointed, “Davey’s talking to him. Isn’t that cute?”
Mr. Jenkins noticed the goat sauntered along without a leash, glancing up at his best friend as if he understood every word. Davey had a lot to say.
“That was kinda dumb, Beeg. What if you’d got hit by a truck? Wasn’t it enough you ‘bout killed yourself stickin’ your goofy face in the red paint Pop was usin’ on the barn?”
Billy-Gee had no reply. Davey continued his accusation of goat-crimes.
“Don’t you get pukie-sick when you chew that tobacco you find way up in the rafters?”
There was still stain on Billy-Gee’s goatee, so he couldn’t deny that one.
“Didn’t we get shocked nearly to pieces when I hitched you to the cart and you took off like you was stung by a bee and got us all tangled up in the electric fence, and my own father and uncle ‘bout fell out from laughin’ so hard?”
Yeah. That was hard to forget for sure. Billy-Gee winced.
At the gate to the small corral, Davey stooped and hugged his loyal pal.
“For the record, me ‘n the guys didn’t mean to snag ya’ with the fish hook when we practiced casting. You standing on top of Uncle Lawrence’s car every day is still pretty funny though.”
The goat looked down, possibly feeling a little vindicated. He let his boy go on.
“My sister gets pretty embarrassed when her car pool comes in the mornings and they see you sleepin’ on the chaise lounge on the front porch. Personally, I think it’s pretty cool.”
After Billy-Gee watched Davey trudge back to school, he made a small guttural sound and placed his prehensile upper lip and tongue on the handle of the gate and went to work. He couldn’t help it. That’s just what goats do, and besides…the gettin’ out bell would be ringing soon.
(1) Mary’s little lamb may have followed her to school one day, but we’re the only family I've ever known whose goat attended on his own. (2) I don’t presume to know what a goat is really thinking. (3) Davey is my brother
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