.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

LETTERS FROM THE NEST: Billy Goats Gruff

-A A +A

By: CHRISTY ELKINS

Ahh, Mother’s Day. That special day reserved for the ladies who wipe noses and raise future leaders.  Who sacrifice time and energy to create an atmosphere conducive to mothering and loving little ones. Most women are adorned with flowers, sweets, lovely cards or brunch on a patio overlooking the tranquil waves of the lake.
I got a goat.
I arose early on Sunday morn, to the clanging of dishes and the whispered excitement of my oldest child presenting an omelet, handpicked flowers from our dew covered back yard, and an interpretive reading of a book she found in a cereal box.  
We had decided to get an early start and head to a flea market in a neighboring town in search of a few vintage items for an upcoming kitchen remodel as a gift for Mother’s Day.
I love pieces that tell a story, so our treasure hunt began.
After finding a few blue mason jars, an old apron, and shielding my children’s eyes from sale signs that included apostrophes in the incorrect place, there he was.
In all his glory.
A small, lonely billy goat surrounded by cages of other farm animals including a few bunnies and chickens. That is correct. Chickens.
(Not  “chic’s” as the sign so proudly exclaimed).
We had spent most of our cash on our kitchen items, but there was just something about that small, dirty goat that pulled us in.
I fumbled through my purse and found one last check, to which we were uncertain the owner of said goat would even accept as proper flea market payment.
“We are honest people. Just tell him you’re a cop!” I explained to my husband, as he left me and the children in a haze of cigarette smoke and burned DVDs to rescue the goat from his flea market habitat.
I loaded the kids in the van and laid a small, faded blanket in the floorboard.
I peered through the heavy crowd of secondhand treasure hunters to see my husband in the distance, with his arms wrapped around an obviously bored and slightly angry animal. We placed him in the van and the kids squealed in confusion and small sense of horror, sprinkled with delight. Then he bleated in anger, we all screamed, and my middle child attempted to feed him a cheese cracker.
(So, let’s pause for a moment. It is Mother’s Day. I am at a flea market wearing black sparkly ballet flats and skinny jeans, smelling of pork rinds and the proud owner of a goat named Murray. Just want to make sure we are on the same page here. )
They say to fear a goat from the front, a horse from the rear, and a man from all sides. Driving home that morning, with the wind in my hair and my three kids in the back. Four if you count the goat.
Five if you count the husband.
I could not have enjoyed a more perfect Mother’s Day.
And if you hear me yelling “MURRAY!” on the back porch, it’s okay.
Refrain from calling 911.
They will just tell you my husband is a cop.