Thursday, May 5, 2011

Never Say Never

(No, sorry Megan, this is not a post about Justin Bieber or his popular song.)

It is instead, a post about eating my words.

I don't like animals.
Even as a kid when we had a pet dog, I rarely petted her.  I'm not an animal person. I poke fun at animal news stories. I laugh at people who treat animals like family members. I dislike yappy small dogs. I dislike big scary dogs.  I don't like animals kept in houses.  I don't like animals outside of houses.  I dislike rodents.  I hate reptiles.  I can't stand cats.  I don't pet horses. I don't 'ooh' and aah or 'Oh look how cute?' over anything alive that isn't a human being. I don't allow pet goldfish to live in a bowl on our counter for more than a couple of weeks.  I let Luke talk for hours about horses, I even go into the horse stalls most weeks at the end of his horse lessons, but I try to discretely plug my nose and avoid any physical (including eye) contact with anything with more than two legs. When Luke's eyes light up at the sight of an animal, I've learned to let go of the guilt as I say to him, "One day, when you have your own home."

Get my point?
I tolerate animals at a zoo. That's about it.

For a couple of years, I have had "Find a 4-H Club for Luke" on my to-do list.
(Do you know how hard they are to find?)

To make a long story short, Luke joined a little 4-H group that raises goats to sell at the County Fair at the end of the summer. They sell them for the meat. (Who knew there is a fairly decent market in Utah for goat meat?!?)

To make a long story even shorter,
1. Luke has been saving for months now to buy a horse saddle.
2. The Goat Teacher told Luke (and Mike) the price of the goat, feed, etc.
3. Mike, if you remember here, has an economics degree.
4. Mike knew he could teach Luke a good lesson in investing.
5. Mike helped Luke understand that if he were to spend some money now and combine it with some hard work and time, he could quite possibly have enough money for a saddle by the end of the summer.
6. Luke was on board immediately.  The opportunity to 'raise' a goat!  Entering something at the county fair! Getting a saddle even sooner!
7. Fortunately, Luke's dear friend Paul, was on board too.  Paul, who just happens to have an empty goat pen from the deceased goat of yesteryear was more than happy to 'rent' it to Luke.  (The 'rent'?  'Work' that Luke has done for six years and still does for Paul 'for fun'.  (Shoveling horse poop, moving hay, driving the four-wheeler to haul weeds, etc.)

The other night, the much anticipated night had arrived.  The goat was ready to leave it's family and begin it's 'raising.'

The journey from the back of our suburban to Paul's goat pen:

The release:

The immediate attempt at bonding:

The immediate bonding attempt that didn't go so well:

The pride:

That which had me standing in front of it today with my knees bent, lips puckered and a voice making some kind of clucking sound interspersed with a high pitch voice:

meet HANK the goat

Mike and I have had all kinds of goat discussions about the wonderful lessons all muddled together for our young son to learn.  Hard work, saving money, making money, having a goal in mind (saddle), responsibility, ownership, and the hardest lesson we may (all) have to learn?  Love, attachment and letting go.

Who knows if the goat really will meet it's fate at the county fair?
Only time will tell.

But judging from the first 48 hours?
Heaven help us all.
Luke (and his mother) have fallen in love with...
A GOAT!!!!!!!!!


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