In my ongoing quest for inner peace — because the outside world is so not peaceful — I’ve found something new. Baby goats. Sure, puppies and kittens are undeniably adorable, but baby goats have their own personality. Sweet and mischievous, these pint-size pickpockets will eat anything they can get their teeth on, including cash, your driver’s license, or any other kind of paper you’ve got on you. I have no data on what they think of cell phones, but let’s assume that everything is fair game.
Our most recent baby-goat adventure occurred when we stayed up in the hills above Santa Barbara. The property had two baby goats that we visited every morning. Who can stay stressed when greeted by the “where have you been?” bleat-bleat followed by the “no, don’t leave me” bleats when it’s time to move on with the day. The smaller goat was a girl with green eyes; the larger, a boy with blue eyes. They loved our company — or maybe it was the pats and the hay — and we loved their baby-goat vibe.
Victoria, British Columbia (one of our favorite places on the planet), offers a baby-goat stampede. The city’s gorgeous Beacon Hill Park has a petting zoo, and, just before the zoo closes for the evening, all of the baby goats, after having spent the day outdoors enjoying the attention of tons of little kids, are led out of their area and into their overnight accommodations. But “led out” is tame; at the signal, the gate is opened and a crowd of baby goats tears down the pathway, lined on both sides by spectators, and into the barn. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen (and way calmer than Pamplona, even with all the joyful bleating and tiny hoofbeats).
One more baby-goat experience. Maybe it’s because we live in LA, but goat yoga is really big out here (I have yet to try it). Watching baby goats wander through a yoga class, occasionally climbing on people’s backs or shoulders through Plank Pose and Downward-Facing Dog, Child Pose and Warrior Pose — it’s a combination of community, communication, and compassion between living things. The perfect dose of namaste, even from the sidelines.
Who knew that something as small and endearing as a baby goat could pack so much peace into an encounter? Kind of gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “get your goat.”
ⓒ 2018 Claudia Grossman