Boy’s Worst Friend
My struggles with Geraldine the Goat.
I didn’t have many friends at school. In fact I had none, but what I did have was a goat. Before we go any further let me be very clear this is not a story about a boy and his best friend the goat. I hated that goat she was a dick.
Now you may say that goats cannot be a dick because they are just goat, you never met this one. I didn’t respect it enough to give it a name, though my mum called it Geraldine. It was the bane of my life all the way through secondary school and I still have nightmares about it.
When it first turned up, or should I say she? No I won’t I’ll say ‘it’ because it would’ve said that about me. When it turned up the family were excited we never had any real livestock before we had a dog and a cat and we even had a rabbit once and they were all pretty great pets. I particularly liked the dog he was great fun to play with, he always wanted to try and please you. I missed the dog and so the prospect of another pet, and one that was quite big and a little bit different was a exciting one for a young lad like me. What I got was a cantankerous mean-spirited and ultimately contrary git that hated my guts.
Let me give you some examples of Geraldine‘s behaviour. The first thing told me she didn’t like me was when I went to feed her and I was pouring her food into her food box and she walked over to me looked me square in the eyes, because she’s got square eyes and urinated on my shoes. Now let’s be very clear, the shoes were brand-new literally only just out of the box and should have been a lovely bright white but from that point on we are a grim browny yellow regardless of how many washes they had. At the time I dismissed the smirk on her face as something benign. However with experience I found that it was anything but.
She had been with us for a couple of months and every time I looked out of the window of my bedroom she was there down below staring up. She never missed a trick did Geraldine. She was always intimidating me. I think the thing that made it much worse was that with everybody else she was lovely, she was actually like a big dog with my siblings and my parents and when I complained about her they just said I was getting it wrong.
You know the old excuse that kids tell about the dog eating their homework. The goat ate mine regularly. I don’t know how she got it I came up with more imaginative places to hide it but she still found it even when it was in my bedroom it somehow ended up with goat bite marks in it. I never saw her in the house so how on earth she got hold of it I will never know. I accused my siblings once or twice but found it it was nothing to do with them, Geraldine was working alone. I got away with the goat ate my homework once but never after that and the amount of detentions I got as a result meant I was always late home and my dinner was cold.
When the school decided that it would go with online submission of homework I was delighted, there was no way Geraldine could jeopardise my chances of getting home on time if I had to email my homework to my teachers. However she found a way around this. One winter I went to my bedroom to find my laptop when I couldn’t find it I looked out the window and there she was, Geraldine smirking directly at me.
When she realised that I was looking at her she shuffled away towards the back end of the garden where the pond was. It wasn’t an ordinary pond, we had what amounted to a duck pond at the end of our garden and this winter it had been so cold it had frozen over. There lying in the middle was my laptop, I looked back at Geraldine and I’m sure she was laughing. I charged out of the house and down to the duckpond. Sure enough there were prints in the snow, it was her.
I looked around for a stick long enough to reach to get it but there was nothing. There was only one option. I had to cross the ice myself, I carefully stepped out onto the ice and shuffled carefully across towards my laptop I was an arm’s-length away when I heard the cracking. The pond wasn’t too deep but it was still going to be cold and I didn’t want my laptop to fall in either. I edged even more slowly towards my laptop and crouched down to reach it, just as my fingers touched the edge of my laptop there was a resounding crack, crunch, splash and I fell backwards through the ice into the cold dirty water. Thankfully the laptop wasn’t in my hand and so it didn’t come with me. However in my attempts to climb out I broke the ice it was sitting on and it sank to the bottom of the pond.
Yet again when I confronted my parents about this they mocked me and claimed I had done it all myself. Geraldine was the perfect angel. Only I knew she wasn’t.
Every day I walked down the path past her field to pick up my bus and every day she would be in the same spot, unmoving apart from her head. Her eyes would follow me from the front door all the way to the bus stop. I swear she was smirking at me.
It was the same on my way home, she was there but this time as I walked past she would follow me down the path, always a few steps behind, and she would freeze as soon as I turned to look at her.
One of the reasons Mum wanted a goat was so we could have fresh goat’s milk. It worked out really well for everyone except me. Somehow whenever I went for some it had curdled. Even when she wasn’t even near she made my life unpleasant.
That bloody goat cost me my first girlfriend. I had invited her round when everyone was out, prepared a fantastic dinner and was about to serve up an unholy stench filled the room. It was so bad my girlfriend vomited all over the table. At first she was massively embarrassed but then she became furiously angry about it claiming that I’d farted and it was my fault. When I explained it was the goat she scoffed and pointed at the goat stood as far away from the house as was possible. She dumped me and left.
When I was 17 my parents bought me a car, it wasn’t flash but it was mine. The local dealer had agreed to drop it off after dinner and I sat waiting excitedly. When he arrived he was red faced and panicking.
“I’m so sorry. I’ve hit your goat!”
We all rushed out to see what had happened. When we got outside the first thing we saw was the bloody goat trotting happily across the field. The second was my written off birthday present.
You may think to yourself oh that must have been the worst birthday ever. Well no, no it wasn’t, the goat had one more level to go to. On my 18th Birthday we had a marquee in the garden, friends and family all gathered together to have a good time. On the top table sat a fantastic cake and an expensive bottle of champagne. Midway through the party in it wanders and made straight for the cake. Did it eat the cake? I wish. The goat trotted up to the table coughed and then expired falling smack onto the table sending the delicious looking cake flying across the floor and the champagne spinning with it. The fun doesn’t stop there though, that bottle, well it span so perfectly that when it hit the floor the cork was dislodged and it flew straight into my face. My final birthday gift was three stitches above my eye and four hours in A and E.
I didn’t have many problems after that, though I’d still occasionally wake up because I could feel her eyes staring at me. Now life is much better, I’m married and my first child is on the way. Thing is, my wife is determined to name our child after her grandmother, Nanny Geraldine.