That was Saturday. And Sunday afternoon found me again at the park, with the goat in the back of the station wagon. Aslan travels pretty well, though he’s never quite sure how things are going to end up. Usually, a car trip ends in a play date with his little goat friends, but occasionally it ends in a session at the veterinarian. And as the last time he went to the vet, there was a painful incident involving his privates and a pair of pliers, a person wouldn’t blame him for being a tad skittish. But when we pulled up I front of the park, I think he realized that fun was in store, because he scrambled out quite willingly and trotted along right behind Mal.
Now, JP had promised the twins that they could visit the small menagerie at the park. So, we went up to the woman that had helped us yesterday. She was still in the same spot, a small table set up in the dirt in a shaded corner. She’s in charge of selling the park entrance tickets: 100 cfa for adults and half that for kids. (100cfa is about 20 cents US). It’s a bit more to see the animals. The guide in charge of the menagerie told us not to bring the goat on our visit, as it might excite the jackals and hyenas in a “Yay! Lunch is early!” kind of way. So, Mal tied up Aslan in a shady spot with lots of dried leaves to munch on. But when she tried to leave, he started to cry. And by the time she was out of sight beyond the gate, he was screaming his head off. We kind of figured that he would eventually get distracted by the tasty food and calm down. But here’s my theory: Aslan is so well fed and pampered, that his mind is elevated to a higher plane that that of his brethren, who are concerned about where their next meal is coming from. As a result, our goat has an unusually rich emotional life. Dried leaves are as nothing to him compared to his beloved Mal, light of his goat life.
In the end, I had to go back for him. When he saw me, the intensity of his cries died down a bit, but didn’t stop. I untied him and then he quieted right down. He was a now a Goat with a
Before we arrived, JP had been sceptical, suspecting that the goat would idle, lollygag and just generally be a goat-type slacker. Instead, he cast all those other, more banal pets in the shade! He walked tirelessly right alongside Mal, completely undistracted by leaves , grasses and any other items of potential interest to goats. He was happy just to be out in the fresh air, having a nice walk with the Goddess of his little goat existence. Most people we passed mistook him for a dog and the few that did realise did double takes. He'll definitely get to go on lots more outings to the park!