Saturday, January 20, 2007

THE OLD GOAT

I had force-fed this story upon poor H.E Eigler's comment space about a year-and-a-half ago. Heather had asked for a piece of flash fiction, challenging her correspondents.
I had copied and pasted the Goat story below, but when I put it into Heather's comment area, I held the V button down too long and out came about 20 copies of the same Goat story.

I thought Heather would be furious at this display of insensitive selfishness and outright clumsiness with my new computer.
She was not, and in fact kept all twenty dittoed goat stories in her blog for a long, long time.

I must say I wouldn't have written the story, had not Heather suggested a theme.
I have not written anything decent since.

Here then, is my "immortal" GOAT


THE OLD GOAT


In an old prairie dugout, there lived a goat.
Goats seem eternally peeved, that superior expression, but Andreas the Goat was not really peeved; quite happy, really. Did he not have what he wanted, the supply of scraps at the nearby junkyard, the good feeling he got from the Jimson weed and chicory, the late middle age age which had now cooled his passion, True, the young she-goats still showed interest, though this more for his old daddy goat appeal than anything else. He was a handsome old goat.

One day, another goat passed his way. A young-old nanny .. She still had a prance to her gambol, as if very youthful, but a little gray in her dapple showed she was almost as old as Andreas.
The old goat regarded the new arrival with some interest. Meeehh, he bleated, almost out loud. There was, inexplicably, a Meeh-ing response
. Andreas did a slight double-take, but he composed himself. Always be cool around females. "Hello. Come closer. What's is your name, little she-goat,what's your name? "

"Yasmine." she bleated.

She clacked along the gravel to his hideout and came closer. He could now see her face. The cutest little snout, though he could could see by the reddened blacks of her comma eyes that she had been into something.. Funny weed? Perhaps a bit of fermented barley down by the sump pump. She had certainly was on something.
Oh not again, the old goat thought. These kids, always grazing on those devil weeds. And the adults just as bad.

She was now right up to him and went to almost pass him, though rubbing a little along his rough hide.
It had struck Andreas that it had been so long, so long since there had been a horn-to-horn. Or even close contact with a female.

But just as soon as she had come up, she suddenly turned on a cloven hoof and seemed about to run away..
But he followed and trotted beside her.

"What's your last name," he asked.

"Springbok."

"Springbok??

"Yes. Yasmine Springbok."

":Icelandic," he asked.

"No, South African originally.

And with that, she seemed to just spring away from him, as she had done just before.,soon to disappear through silver-and-blue Russian olive bushes.

These spacey drug freak nannies, they're all the same, the old goat thought. So much into power plays, games, control. Use you as a sounding board. Tease you and run off.

But her scent, the recent nearness of a female, had awakened something in Andreas.

For some time, the old goat had noticed his thoughts were more in the past than the present. Manger scenes, back in the days wheh he'd had a family, kids, barns, chickens. All gone now. All grown up. Or maybe worse. He winced at the thought.
Always the new she-goat. that's how it had always been up until he grew old. Never mind, Yasmine Bleat, or whatever your name is, I will tend to my grazing, see my reflection in the old glass windshields around the garbage dump. What a fine old goat I am. I don't need anything or anybody. I am a rock. I am an island.

But Yasmine kept coming around.

At first she seemed to ignore him as she gambolled past, but he had to admit she was raising old- goat passions in him, not only the hint of an erection he was starting to feel along his scrabbly belly, but also some sort of promise that Yasmine seemed to hold.

One day she came right up to the old goat and said,"I will give you whatever you want. Anything at all. Whatever you want, real or imagined.
"Nutcase," he decided. Off-the-wall she-goat probably Iberian. Gypsy. Best keep to myself."

But on the third day she came back with an old soup can can in her mouth, which suddenly, inexplicably, turned into a flower.
The old goat pawed at the ground, but here, suddenly was a bunch of carrots. "How you doo dat?" the old goat asked, trying to show casualness, not the sudden, strange supernatural fear.

I am she-goat, mistress of goathood. I can make you horny. I can de-goat you if I choose. I can make you magic. I am Isis-goat. I know you better than you know yourself."

. Never met a goat like her before.

They took to running around together, past the trees, past the birds, past the clucky stampeding chickens, through the yard and into a grove of Russian olives, spiky and hard to get near, let alone eat. "Got something to show you, said Yasmine. Come."
Andreas followed, followed her down a glade to the hollowed-out stump of an old oak tree, ancient, thick, though the inside was rotted out, leaving a circular ruin all around. One end was open, and inside, there was space for two or three goats, as if in a pen. There, inside the old oak stump there was a nest of spiders, just babies really, scrambling for cover. Yasmine suddenly went to stomp them, and in fact, trampled a couple. The others got away.
Andreas was surprised at this sudden show of atavism. Who, what was she really? Andreas had a sudden feeling of unreality as . the hollowed oak stump seemed suddenly alive, all ashimmer. . "Do not be afraid," said Yasmine. This is only a show of my power. I can give you anything you want. Anything at all. And then she knelt on her front legs and produced the vision of a past manger scene, the old goat's former mate, the kids, the chickens. All he had to do was walk into it and there he would be.But Andreas just stood there tranfixed, wondering at the unreality of it all. And just as soon as the scene dissipated, she scrambled for a wall and was suddely gone.

It took a long time for the old goat to return to the dugout.

He was much changed old goat.

Seven years of rooting around the old dugout that he had lived in
And for the first time, he'd learned something. But what was it?

He yearned to see the young-old she-goat again.

One morning, he saw two goats up on the rise, a fine billy and along with him, Yasmine.

Son of a wanton goat! he thought. I should have known.

But the following day she was back, alone, her mysterious companion not there.

"I want you to love me," she said, rather matter-of-factly. I want you to love me. Spiritually, like a goat-knight.
I will give you anything you want." And suddenly, between them, there sprung a clump of olives. Andreas had a taste. Not at all like stale Campbell's soup. Something in those olives though. He could feel, sense the ramaining baby spiders in the stump's walls. Could see them spinning their little gossamer webs, and the mother now nearby.
He made to tell Yasmine how he was feeling, but she was not there now.. She was gone again..


She came back that evening, and, after some rubbing against him, unexpectedly, presented herself to him. Andreas was in goat heaven. He took her. And afterwards, without much ado, she went to run off again. "Stay," said Andreas.

But she gave him a quick nuzzle and she was again gone.Seven days went by. No Yasmine.


He saw the mysterious he-goat again, alone this time, up high on the knoll. Soon another goat joined the handsome Sean Connery- goat. It was Yasmine.
Andreas could see by the familiarity displayed between them that they were, it seemed, still in love. "And me, what about me?"

She showed up alone the following evening.He was half-made with jealousy and woe.

"Explain."

"You can't get everything from just one goat," she asserted. I am with him, but I love you."

"Yeh."

And she was gone again.

Nights were now spent in fits of jealousy and discontent. He would do this, he would do that. He would butt heads with the mysterious lover.
And one day he did. He saw the two of them up on the rise again and ran right up. "You got a problem? said handsome Sean Connery- goat. "Yeah, I've got a problem." And with that, he gave the handsome stranger a pretty good grazing. The stranger did not fifght back. "Leave him alone," Yasmine bleated. "Leave my husband alone."
Oohh.

Andreas walked back down the hill, to his shed. He had a sense of clairvoyance. He thought, as he had run away that he heard Yasmine say, "There is a reason for everything. I had come to you for a reason."

He sulked in his "apartment." So that was it. They are married. Well,he had his pen, he had his food and he had his certainties. It was an episode, a learning experience, old as he was.I will be a rock. I will be a hill. I will keep to myself.

Yasmine did not come around again.He grew to be his old self again, his certainties, the "key" his pen.

One morning,something compelled him to leave his pen, and leave fast. There was the sound of heavy machinery just above. He was out just before a massive bulldozer razed his home.

And high up on the knoll, again, he saw Yasmine. Alone. She was making moves to go back down to the other side of the knoll. She had almost disappeared now.. He had no idea why, or what he would do, and could he do it. But he suddenly made to follow.Soon, he was up on the rise, with Yasmine still in sight.

--Ivan
-

----- Original Message -----
From: Ivan Prokopchuk

46 comments:

Josie said...

Omigosh, Ivan, that's wonderful. I'm going to send the link to my daughter to read, she would love it.

I feel very bad. I used to have a springbok purse. My brother brought it back from South Africa for me. I loved it.

What a lovely story!

Where is everyone today? I have my new computer now, yay.

Cheers,
Josie

ivan said...

Hi Josie.
Thanks a lot!

Eerie. I wrote this story quite some time ago, before I even though of South Africa or met you.
I think you had told me your mother came from South Africa, but that was well after I wrote the story.
Parallel universes.
I am so flattered that you think your daughtter would like the piece.
I think everybody is going through something; I am going through something...Some affliction.
...Maybe I'm just out of beer.

Feel a lot like Voltaire's man falling of the tower: "Feels good so far." Heh.

Congrats on the new computer.

Josie said...

I would say, also, that the old goat still had some "spring" in him? :-)

By the way, it's amazing the things my new compuer can do. I'm going to have so much fun.

Going out for dinner soon.

Josie

Josie said...

Ivan, Liz has gone over to the dark side, and switched to the new Blogger. I think I will as well. You should too. It won't really be much different from the old one.

Josie

ivan said...

Springbok.

How I envy you computer adepts.
I used to have my techie do all the work, just give him instructions.
Now I am on my own.
Hey, I'm a hot-lead linotype man, a fossil.
But maybe I'll switch to Beta by next month.

ivan said...

Josie,
Still in the house?

I just came back from snowy -14 C
shopping spree.

Brrrrr.

doubtingthomas said...

Only minus fourteen? Spring come early in Newmarket? I don't even let the earflaps down on my "wolfboy" hat at that balmy temp! OK, nuff bragging, that nippy weather is enough to have a certain mayor call out the troops.

Think of poor Josie with all that wind and snow. The beecee-ites are trying save their crops, much as California orange farmers are. BC farmers are all "buds", eh? ;-)

ivan said...

Hi Tom.

Uh, it's not a dry cold.

You Albertans!

Yeah, poor Josie in Beautiful Vancouver that has somehow become the late Al Capp's snowy Slobbovia.

Remember that line?
Sharrup, little Noodnik, even the walrus have ears."
There would be frames of men with long noses, in fact up to their noses in snow.
But Josie has the right attitude.
Work, business; a positive attitude will stop the nightmare.
And a new computer to blog with.
See her piece on Hillary Clinton just posted?

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Josie said...

Ivan, I have switched to the new blogger, as has Liz. It's your turn now.

Josie

ivan said...

This weekend, tying shoelaces is a major undertaking.
I'll have to bite the bullet for a week or two.
Bathos.

EA Monroe said...

Come over to the dark side, Ivan. Josie and I are waiting for you!

If you go ahead and set up the "Google Account" and use the same user name, email and password, you shouldn't have any problems posting.

That's what I had to do back when Erik kept kicking me off his blog -- probably because of all that Gazebo vandalism during Christmas. Which reminds me, I still need to write another mini-masterpiece! Hah!

ivan said...

Mini-masterpieces are welcome.

ivan said...

I just left something on Erotic
Erik's blog.
He'll probably kick my butt.

But then who knows? He's such a
Kraft-Ebbing guy, he might just like it.

Josie said...

Liz, how are we going to convince the "old goat" to switch to Beta? Hmmmmm, let me think.... Has anyone seen Jasmine?

Ha.

How are you this morning, Ivan?

Josie

EA Monroe said...

Ivan, Josie has nominated you for Prime Minister of Canada! Yay!

~laughing~ Okay, I'm going over to The Gazebo to see what you've done now! Erik will have to catch your butt first. Put on your running shoes, Ivan!

ivan said...

You have just lightened my mood, Josie.
I woke up this morning very soggy and hard to light.

ivan said...

P.M. of Canada. Wouldn'lt that be nice.

I tried to comment, but was (sorry Josie) scotched by beta. Again.

This morning, I feel as if I am in some sort of mad scientist's experiment where the body has no head. I can't tell beta from theta.

Maybe a romp through the chilly suburbs will do it.

Shouldn't try it through the Michgan woods though--Eric might catch me, perhaps mistaking me for a wood duck.(It's the flapping of the wings that gets 'em. LOL).

Erik should really sue. We are merciless!

Josie said...

Ivan, can't you post on my blog anymore? My goodness, that's terrible. You will have to switch to Beta. It's really easy.

Josie

Josie said...

Liz and I can walk you through it, if you switching to Beta, if you like. What version of Windows do you have?

I think in order to post on a blog that has Beta, you have to be logged in to your own blog first, and then you can travel anywhere. I can't post on your blog anymore unless I am logged in through Blogger first.

Sigh.

Josie

ivan said...

Josie,
I've got:
Microsoft Windows Me
l981-2000.

I am feeling a bit punk tonight and will have to make some chicken soup. Like really...Seems like I'm Vladimir Illish today.
I'll be sharper in the morning.
Fear instuctions would be lost on me in my current state.
That dang Mongoose beer.
The wild weasel bit me!

But now that you have changed some settings, I see that I can get through on your blog if I keep attempting.

There. It finally worked.

I can comment on your blog, and on Liz's--sort of.

Josie said...

Ivan, I don't think you'll have any problem switching. ....When you feel like it.

Josie

ivan said...

thnks

EA Monroe said...

Ivan, today I've seen you post as Ivan, Anonymous and as GroveIslandPress then back to Anonymous. Somewhere along the way you are doing something right!

ivan said...

Oooh.
Grovelislandgrove. Heh.

I guess I just pick, pluck and pray.

Hey,
"Once upon a time in Mexico" playing on Canadian TV right now.
Selma Hayek. Yeah.

And for you girls, Antonio Banderas!

Josie said...

I just watched the first part of the most delicious "Jane Eyre" on PBS. Part two next week. Best Mr. Rochester yet. Very sexy...

Cheers,
Josie

ivan said...

I think I saw that one some time ago.
Don't the Bronte sisters paint those wounded, haunted masters well?

Ah, but my Mexican westerns.
I watch mainly for the Flamenco and the Mariachi, though the shoot 'em-ups seem to reach James Bond proportions.

Learned one hell of a flamenco riff! Picked it up from the movie.

"Once Upon a Time in Mexico was shot in San Miguel de Alllende, my old stomping grounds, and I mean stomping.
Carramba.

Dave said...

Ivan... I am going to send this story to a "goat loving" friend of mine who I have no doubt will enjoy it immensely... :-)

H.E.Eigler said...

Ivan, glad to see this piece again! Good luck if you switch to Beta....I've not been brave enough yet.

Josie said...

Ivan, I'll bet you did some stomping in your day. You know, I've never been to Mexico, but I have always wanted to go. Everyone else in my family has been there and LOVED it. My daughter stayed near where "Night of the Iguana" was filmed. One of my co-workers is there right now.

Sigh.

Josie

ivan said...

Heather,
Thanks for giving "The Old Goat" some air time, way back then, and thanks for being a catalyst for other writers, certainly this one.
There's something about your enthusiasm and recent work that is really quite---dare i say it?--inspiring.

ivan said...

Josie,
I have been to San Blas, not far from Acapulco, chasing iguanas down cobbled streets and (guiltily)
trying turtle soup.
If you stay away from the magor tourist resorts and live in small outlying villages villages, you can really become a blue-eyed campasino and have a wonderful time.
On the Beta: My techies tell me they will have to rebuild my site from the ground up--I have so many novels up on permanent posts, along with a whole whack of old college stuff; likey will have to make a spare template.
I can't switch for three weeks.

ivan said...

Dave,
Welcome.
I have seen your apposite comments on other sites. Great.

I have a feeling I know why your friend is someone who likes goats.
Have you ever, held in your arms, or see scampering about, little baby goats?
They are beautiful, clacking along on their tiny faux-hooves, their wooly new coats and faces more like playful kittens than goats.
I guess it's much later that they develop that peevish expression, when they know what the future might hold. Heh.

Thanks for the appreciation.

Ivan

H.E.Eigler said...

Ivan - You should read what I've just posted to my blog before offering such nice comments about my recent work! HAHA!

It was too funny to see your comment after my most recent post - but I thank you for being so sweet.

Josie said...

Well, Ivan, as long as you can still post to our sites, and we can post to yours, then it's probably best to keep the status quo for now.

Hope you're having a great day. It's POURING rain here today. Sigh.

Josie

ivan said...

Heather,

Keep on writing.

Margaret Atwood says once you have the baby the adepness fades for a while.
Make hay while you can, I'd say.

So what's the harm with a Haiku on Pepto-Bismal?

Everything is material!

ivan said...

Whoops!

These Kresge glasses.

It was TUMS you wrote the Haiku about, not Pepto-Bismal.

Ah well.

If you navigate towards Josie's blog, you'll find some gas there.
Like really.
Saints preserve us!
An entire essay on flatulence.

Now doesn't everybody feel better?

Josie said...

Ivan, I'm taking a gas mask to work tomorrow ... :-)

Josie

ivan said...

Josie,
I can just see it.
W.W. I Air Warden replete with tin hat and
binoculars, ever vigilant for the Zeppelin gas bags.

That rain you guys are getting.
Did I hear 400 millimetres?...I must have heard wrong.
That'll keep the pollution down, I think.

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EA Monroe said...

Hi, good morning. Josie in her gas mask and her sexy yellow puddle splashers. It's a riot!

ivan said...

Good morning, Liz,

Yep. Josie, cute and ever vigilant!

Josie said...

Hey, good morning, you guys. Well, I'm for sure wearing my puddle jumpers here today. It's a torrent... sigh.

Josie

ivan said...

You guy had better get busy at building an ark.
If you can't find enough animals, I'll volunteer.
We schizos come in twos. Heh.

(Answered the phone today.
Said, "It's for you.").

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