On my hike down memory lane, I stumbled across this gem……….


Goats. Who loves .goats? Remember Heidi and Peter, and his herd? They were cute, weren’t they?

And they are smart.

The ram who ran the show on our farm was a mean son of a bitch. I’m sorry for the language, but he was. He was’ da Boss’, and he let everyone know it. He would run at unsuspecting victims and with head down butt them, knocking them into kingdom come.

No-one came near him, nor his harem of nanny goats.

Now, just a small segue, as it happened my sister, at the tender age of twelve, had attracted the attention of the neighbour’s son. He needed a reason to call on her So when he found an enormous’ Majota’, a kind of wild melon, in his field, he had the perfect excuse to visit his fair lady. He tucked the fruit under his arm and jumped on his trusty steed. Not quite shining knight and white stallion, but close enough.

Now, just as her young suitor came around the corner, love glowing n his eyes, and romance flooding his heart. Bobby, unaware of his immediate presence, bent over. She was filling the goat’s food trough from a sack of grain under her arm.

One would think Billy Goat Grim would appreciate her service, and politely stand aside as she delivered his food. One would, would one not, but then one is not a crazy, roman-nosed, scary-eyed, rambunctious old goat, is one?

Anyway, as Bobby bent over the trough, which was a 44-gallon drum cut in half lengthwise, her rear presented a perfect target for old Grim. He backed up a bit, put his head down and pawed the ground. All the signs were there, to an onlooker. To someone with their head down, and bum the air, not so much.

It all happened in one cataclysmic moment. Grim ran full speed at her, and horns down rammed her so hard, she was catapulted clean over the trough, a nose-first ploughed the dirt,j just as farmer’s son came into frame.

Bobby was bruised and bleeding and excruciatingly mortified. Without even looking at her visitor, pushed him out of the way, and hobbled home sobbing loudly.

Now, somewhat like Baby and her corner, in my dad’s opinion,

‘No goat butted his baby on the bum.’

One thing my dad had that set him apart from other men was an artificial leg. Today’s prosthetic limbs are fantastic, with all the scientific research and experimentation going on. Still, back then, an artificial leg was a bulky and ungainly contraption of metal and leather. It was heavy, with large iron hinges allowing him to bend his knee, and walk.

It is interesting how children are conditioned into accepting what they consider normal in their lives. To me, any Daddy who didn’t have a tough knobbly knee was missing something.

But I digress.

Hearing his daughters anguished cries, and snotty, bubbling recount of her traumatic happening, he told her to go inside and get cleaned up.

Then he marched up to the cantankerous old goat.

“This is between you and me now,”

He yelled at Grim, who looked up eagerly.

“Oh yeah?”

One could almost hear the goat’s thoughts,

“Well, come on then!”

He put his head down, and pawed the ground,

“Whatja waiting for Huh? Huh?”

“C’mon” yelled my dad, “c’mon you, crazy-eyed devil! Come on you evil old bastard.”

“Right then, you useless old codger,”

Thought Grim. He was looking forward to this encounter.

He pawed the ground once more, and then began his charge.

My dad waited.

The tension was building.

The crowd was silent.

Bobby sucked her thumb anxiously, watching her brave and wonderful father defend her honour.

I watched as well, exploring my nose with a dirty finger, while Peter rocked back and forth on the empty drum he was riding.

Then it came… the Clash of the Alphas.

As if straight out of Mortal Combat, Grim heard,


The command that must be obeyed.



From Travolta’s’ Michael’ when he and the bullfight it out,

Just as Grim’s battering-ram of a head was about to make an impact, Dad brought up his hinged knee. The goat’s head smashed into the iron, as Dad, simultaneously, brought down his fist against its skull.

Grim snorted and shook his head, surprised at the double whammy. Not quite sure what had just happened, he backed up again, readying himself for another assault.

Dad waited.

Quite a crowd had gathered for this epic event. Farmhands, gardeners, and their wives, and a whole bunch of excited kids from the local compound.

So, back at the arena, Billy Goat Grim was not having a good day. Twice he had charged furiously at the puny human in front of him. Twice he had been knocked for a six by some ungodly protuberance that nobody of flesh and blood should have.

He wasn’t having as much fun as usual. Out the corner of his eye, he, saw his herd wandering up to see what was going on.

” Oh no,” Grim thought,” Not in front of Nannie”.

With a bleat of anger that morphed into an unholy scream of rage,

” One more time for Nan and glory!”

Down went his head, beard flying, eyes mad with rage, he challenged his nemesis one more time.

Dad stood ready.

The goat scorched up to him, horns at the ready, he was going to knock his opponent to the ground, and show him who was boss.

Dad waited, with a first of steel, and knee of iron.

Imagine, if you will, a ball of fury, weighing 27 kilo’s, travelling at about 40 km per hour, barrelling down the road at you? With evil on its mind? Quite unnerving, but my father stood his ground.



Grim didn’t stand a chance. He was knocked out for counts with one final well-aimed blow, and my father was the victor.

Billy Goat Grim settled down quite a bit after that. He still threw his weight around with his herd, but he judiciously looked elsewhere, pretending not to notice we were there whenever one of us were around.

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