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  Texas : Features : Animals

THE GRANDFALLS GOAT PARADE
Grandfalls, Texas

Kids raising Kids. In this case we encourage it.

by John Troesser

About 20 miles South of Monahans in Ward County, you'll come to Grandfalls, Texas. It's right between Royalty and Imperial. If you've ever driven from Monahans to Fort Stockton, Grandfalls is the town with the Armored Personnel Carrier next to the chamber of commerce.

It was high noon on a Sunday in August, and most people were inside their houses. We looked down a side street as we drove through Grandfalls and we saw three people walking four goats. The humans were casually dressed, but the goats looked formal. We pulled up alongside the group and found a father and daughter along with the daughter's friend (the people). We're still not sure of the relationship of the goats, but trust us, they were related.

They were Boer Goats. The ones that originated in South Africa that are raised for meat. While we're used to being around Nubians, Toggenburgs, and Alpines these immediately struck us as different. Their entire demeanor was regal. Maybe that just comes from growing up between Royalty and Imperial. It was quite a change from our last encounter with the wild goat-children of Weimar. See The Weimar Goatherd. (Now that David Kraemer isn't here, we don't mind telling you that his goats were just plain spoiled. Nothing serious; just too much attention and not enough discipline, that's all).

Goats posing
Goats posing
TE photo

We asked for a photo and as we raised our camera - the goats suddenly stood stock-still and gave us their best profile. This is the behavior pet photographers dream of. Now, we've found that animals (and some humans) sometimes confuse cameras and guns. Maybe it's the word millimeter that scares them. Maybe it's the phrase "Stand over there and let me shoot you." These goats had been through this before and were as anxious for a good image as we were (like they're going to get copies for their photo album).

The humans were Frank Pesina, 11 year-old daughter Crystal, and a rather sunburned Melody Bowden, age 9. We were then introduced to the goats and their names were much easier to remember, since every one of them were named after their markings. There was Sandy, Cinnamon, Spot and Spotted Ears. This sort of naming just isn't done with humans. There was "Scarface" Al Capone, but of course no one called him that to his (scared) face. We found out that the goats were being walked to develop their musculature and that Frank, Crystal and Melody were returning this group to pick up a fresh batch back at the pen. They gave us directions to the pen and said they'd meet us there. They then jogged behind us until we got there. It was evident that the goats enjoyed the run.

bleating baby goat
Collie bleating
TE photo

As we neared the pens one little goat was bleating. This was "Collie." Collie had seen her mother approaching and was anxious to have her back. We were able to photograph Collie in mid-bleat and also the mother and child reunion a few seconds later. "Big Red" suddenly appeared in the pen from "out of nowhere" and for a minute we expected trouble. Something about the name "Big Red" and "in the pen" brought visions of Huntsville and red-headed convicts. But he was as well behaved as the others.

Although Goats frequently have twins, there had been a recent birth of triplets.

Crystal and Melody are both in the Grandfalls FFA program and their goats have won 1st Place in local and regional competition. Father Frank is a mechanic in Monahans, and we think he is deserving of a blue ribbon himself for taking time to take the girls and their goats around town on a Sunday afternoon.

We always have problems remembering names, but luckily we wrote them down. We could've remembered without help if their names had been Mustache, Ponytail and Blondie. The girls want to say hello to their schoolmates and promise they won't forget them after they move to Hollywood.

John Troesser
November 2000

More Texas Animals
See Grandfalls, Texas



 
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