Thursday, June 11, 2015
In the weak sunshine of a Florida winter, it is customary for some Floridians to sit on their septic tanks, their faces tipped up to the sky, their sinuses exposed to the gentle medicinal comfort of the sun’s warmth, their hope as raw as their throats that God and nature will heal them of their Ebola-Rhino-Flu-Plague. Okay, sometimes I pull a lawn chair over to the septic tank and sit in the sun and hope that it will make me feel better when I’m sick. Sometimes, Phillip, my son-in-law, brings the grandkids over and sits on the septic tank with me. What can I say; it’s Saint Cloud.
Once upon a time, we (Philip and I) sat in the sun on the septic tank. I was feeling as weak as two kittens in a sinking sack from Ebola-Rhino-Flu-Plague, while Conner and Zoe (the grand-kidlets) cavorted merrily under a Japanese Plum tree.
Zoe sang, “Fruit-fruit-fruit, I want two fruits.” Conner pooped in his pants.
The world spun gently, right up to the point when Conner, poop in drawers, stumbled in the direction of a strange, horned, white goat that had mysteriously appeared in our yard, having journeyed from somewhere beyond next door.
“Phillip, grab that boy before Billy Goat Gruff knocks your kid down.”
The goat flipped his scraggly beard in the direction of my voice. Phillip ran and scooped Conner up, setting him next to me in my pool of medicinal sunshine on the septic tank. The goat, a smallish—no higher than my knee variety—with dirty blond hair and “come hither” yellow devil eyes, started a slow determined trot in our direction.
Phillip, never a lover of goats or farm creatures in general, said, “What does it want with us?” He sounded nervous—also squeamish.
“Oh, he’s probably just seeing what’s what.” I tried to sound confident.
The goat kept trotting.
I closed my eyes in exhaustion brought on by the Ebola-Rhino-Flu-Plague. The odor of goat, BOY goat, engulfed me, and wow, did he smell close! When I opened my eyes, it was to the sight of this stinker of a goat trying to French kiss the sleeve of my shirt and the sound of obscene noises of goat love. I bolted out of my lawn chair.
I yelled, “Or he could be looking for a date.”
The goat made a lunge at my leg. I dodged.
“Grab the kids before it’s too late—this stinky goat is in full on goat whoopee love mode.”
Phillip scooped up Conner but Zoe, misunderstanding what I had said, began running wildly around waving and yelling, “Go away stinger goat. Go away.”
Confused, but hopeful, the goat surveyed the scene and then lunged at the closest leg—Phillip’s leg.
Zoe waved and yelled, “Leave my daddy’s leg alone.”
“It’s having its’ way with your leg,” I screamed, as I ripped the garden house from the side of the house.
“Run!” I ordered.
Expecting a torrent of water, I turned the spigot on full blast, but lying advertising and crap marketing had given me a false sense of security in my new never-kink hose. A weak drip of water taunted me, and I cringed to see more crimps and kinks than hose.
Zoe shrieked. “Bad Stinger Goat!!”
I whipped the hose from side to side to un-kink the kinks and to defend whatever honor Phillip had left in his right leg. The goat continued to lust.
Finally, the hose kinks came free and I fire-hosed that nasty, stinker of a goat. The goat loved it. The distraction gave Phillip enough of a head start that he, Conner, and Zoe made it to the screened porch. I brought up the rear, not two steps ahead of the now wet and super rank horn-dog of a goat.
What I saw in my son-in-law’s eyes still brings a shudder to my soul. What he said next, I cannot forget.
“I showed fear,” he said. “I showed fear.” He hung his head.
Conner tried to pet the goat through the porch screen. I tipped over a lawn table and shoved it against the screen door.
“You smell like a bad stinger goat,” I said, avoiding Phillip’s eyes. “I hope you have a change of clothes.”
Before he finished slinking off to wash himself, I said, “We will never speak of this.” His chin collapsed onto his chest. He continued slinking. Somewhere in the yard a goat bawled his loneliness.
This is the story that I started my website with several years ago. To catch up on all my tales of hose kinks, goat attacks, and family shame check out www.zippityzerns.com