Sunday, October 4, 2015


It started with the goats. No! A goat. One goat. It started with Tramp the Lovelorn goat. He got his head stuck in the fence trying to make love to the neighbor’s girl goats. So I tried to move the goats around to a new pasture but they kept getting out. 

So I worried. I worried they were out and wandering the neighborhood with their heads stuck in fences and knotholes under the blood moon and that made me start to wander around in the middle of the night with a flashlight looking for stuck goats. 

It distracted me, so much so that one morning I got up and found the front door open—wide open—swinging wide open. I think the goats unlocked it.

Later that day, still worried and completely distracted, I mowed the yard. When I came into the house—the faucet was running full blast and the fridge door was hanging wide open. I couldn’t remember being hungry or thirsty. Goats stared at me through the kitchen window—bawling.

Sleep eluded me. I began to move through the days like a zombie, the nights like a banshee.

My truck broke down: five days and five hundred dollars later and the pickup was liberated. The fridge started to wheeze: the sensor was going; the official seventy-five dollar diagnosis? It’s going to crap out. Went to the doctor, so that she could use the word polyp in a sentence.

On overload, I missed a really important family event—no, make that—two REALLY important family events. I called my husband on his business trip in hysterics. He thought someone had been killed in a car accident.

“I missed the baby’s blessing,” I screamed. “The kid’s primary program. I was so tired. I was on zombie auto-pilot.” The rest was wailing, weeping, and goats yowling in the distance.

From Costa Rica my husband dove right into the heart of . . . my darkness. “What???? The primary program????? I thought someone had died in a fire. You forgot? If that’s the worst thing you ever do. Relax.”

A red haze of disbelief filmed/fogged/sloshed through my brain. “The. Worst. Thing . . . That’s it? That’s your idea of empathy?”

I said something to him that we tell the kids never to say to anyone, and then I hung up on him. It felt good. I’m not going to lie.

Today, I got up at three in the morning and put two pork roasts in the crock-pot for a dinner party that isn’t supposed to happen until next week. 

Truthfully, it may not be the goat’s fault.

Linda (Foggy Top) Zern 

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