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The Girl who Cried Goat

A true story about the girl who finally met her match.

By Rachel M.JPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
The Girl who Cried Goat
Photo by Jake Johnson on Unsplash

When you live in the country everyone is your neighbour. So, when I say that in the Spring of 2004 our neighbours lent us a goat, I'm referring to the family that lived a hundred meters up the road.

Living in the country also results in borderline entrepreneurial methods of saving.

Be that on time, money, or water. Everything is a squeeze, so it should come as no surprise that the man (my father) who used to take a bar of soap into sun-showers to save a dime on water was the same man who thought that adopting a goat was the solution to controlling five acres of grassy over-growth. Just one goat.

Rueben's Domain; Five Acres of Land for one Goat

The goat's name was Rueben, and every day I'd go out into the fields to offer him fresh water and his favourite weeds. He'd chomp appreciatively, and sometimes I'd attempt to give him a scratch by the ears. I always kept my distance, because even though Rueben was kept on a leash (a very long one) he was still a goat.

My sister and I were terrified of him. One afternoon when Dad had gone to the shops Rueben liberated himself from the leash and casually invited himself inside.

It was like a scene from Scream; my sister and I tiptoed through the house, keeping one eye on him as we scaled to the highest points in the household, perching on countertops and the backs of lounges. His head would pop out of one of the bedrooms, demon eyes scanning the room left-to-right in search of something or someone to consume.

We clearly didn't know about the whole 'climbing goat' situation at the time...


Flash-forward to the summer holidays, and time off school is spent visiting the local river, waiting in pubs for Dad to finish his drink, sleep-overs with friends, video games, and lots of bike rides.

Beth - my newest and most rambunctious friend to date - was staying over for the weekend. Not knowing how to ride a bike, she asked if she could borrow mine. I waited outside with her and taught her all I knew. Her progress was slow, but her enthusiasm never waned.

She'd fall, she'd get up. She'd fall, she'd get back up.

Not having a second bike to join her with, I grew bored as the afternoon sun melted to dusk, and I retired inside to play Spyro the Dragon.

The moment I sat down to play I heard her calling my name.

"Rai! Rai! Come look!"

Worried that she'd hurt herself, I sprinted to the door... only to find her standing by the bike with an enormous grin plastered across her face. "I rode a little bit further this time, wanna see?"

I sighed, relieved, but frustrated. No, I didn't want to see her ride my bike, for the hundredth time. But I planted myself on the stairs nonetheless and agreed, "Fine."

She hopped on the bike and rode all but three meters before toppling over and falling to the ground. She grinned up at me from her seat on the dusty driveway, "See?"

I blinked in disbelief. This is what she wanted to show me? I bit my tongue and offered her a smile, "Nice," I say, completely unimpressed. She was already picking the bike off the ground as I turned and headed back inside to the comfort of my couch. My sister had taken control of the game, so I sat by and patiently watched.

Only a few minutes had passed before I heard Beth calling my name again.

"Rai!" she screeched. I let out an exasperated sigh, and stomped my way to the backyard. She grinned at me.

"I rode further again," she said, leaping onto the bike to demonstrate. Four meters - this time - before she stacked it.

I gave her a nod of acknowledgment, frustrated that she'd called me over for something so boring. "Show me when you can ride the entire driveway," I told her, thinking that would give me at least ten minutes without her harassing me.

Not even a minute had passed before I heard her calling out my name again. Knowing that there was no way she'd managed to ride from one end of the driveway to the other in such a short amount of time I made the executive decision to ignore her.


Her cries grew louder, and my sister and I shared a mocking look.


I pretended not to hear.


I sprang to my feet and ran to the doorway, "What do you-". My fury dissipated in an instant when I watched the scene before me. Beth was indeed racing from one end of the driveway to the other, except she wasn't riding the bike...

She was being chased by a goat.

Back and forth and back and forth, she ran like a cartoon sketch.

"What are you doing, come inside!" I yelled. She hurtled to the door and I slammed it behind her as Rueben galloped toward the stairs.

"You have a goat!" She asked me, eyes wide in disbelief.

"No it's not my goat," I said, now unable to hold back my laughter.

"What do you mean it's not your goat," she yelled.

"It's the neighbours," I explained, doubling over as I cackled.

Beth ended that day with a number of scratches and bruises covering her legs, but thankfully none of them were a result of Reuben's escapades. That day might have been the day in which Beth met someone who was as rambunctious as she was and I will forever have the memory of them running back and forth etched in my mind.

I don't remember if she ever learned to ride a bike, but Dad did eventually learn to secure Reuben's leash just a little more tightly.

exotic pets

About the Creator

Rachel M.J

Magical realist

I like to write about things behaving how they shouldn't ~

Instagram: Rachel M.J

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